…a starter or a finisher?
Do you relish the start of a new project, and do you have to slog on through the meet a deadline? Or do you absolutely love the feeling of wrapping up what you’ve already started? Do you love December and the end of the year, or do you hanker after the fresh energy of a January new beginning?!
Personally, I’m a starter. Every time – give me the newness and the open opportunities of the start of the year, rather than dragging myself through the endlessness of the festive period.
Give me a project, and I’m all over the envisioning, planning, mapping out and exploring the possibilities. I love it all. I’m in my element and find this phase of the project both easy and particularly stimulating. Once the initial creative process is largely done, and it’s on to the execution phase, I believe I can still handle this pretty well. In truth, I see that this phase is really an extension of the creative process – unfolding one’s vision, meandering through the possibilities and uncovering what is and isn’t, changing course as necessary and adjusting the shape of the ultimate outcome. And I still flow and enjoy this evolving phase…
Where the flow gets a little unstuck is on pushing through to the end – the metaphorical finishing line. This is where I always need some help; usually some motivational assistance to keep going.
It’s possible that it’s a function of ‘peaking too soon’!?! Hahaha – otherwise put as ‘overly expending too much energy in the initial stages’. And this is possibly true.
I get there – don’t get me wrong. It’s just that sometimes it’s a monumental struggle to complete, say, a dissertation, or even to fulfil a training plan to the very end. And there you go, I can’t get more honest than that!
In every case though, I’m a starter rather than a finisher… Except in a race.
The literal finishing line
In a race, it’s quite a different process for me; I’ll start off most conservatively. As much because the start of a race is always horrible, isn’t it!? Jostling for position, airways and capillaries perhaps not fully open, perhaps not feeling optimumly warmed up and properly getting in your stride. (Note that a thorough pre-race warm up mitigates against at least one part of this generally hideous transition! ; )
And yet, once warm, happily settled with my own space in which to run – to ‘race’ – and working through the body of the distance is relatively ‘pleasant’…ramping up the pace and judging that fine line between pushing hard, and burning out, and I guess that it’s the unfolding of what you’ve worked for during all of the training…
But really, the finish – the literal finishing line! – well, getting to the end of it all is the joyful part isn’t it!?! Of it all being over! A last final push with all that you’ve got (and hopefully it’s not so much that you could have worked harder throughout; therein is the fine line!).
Isn’t this a case of working hard until the very end, and leaving yourself with the feeling that you could have given no more; that you’ve done yourself proud?
Perhaps this is also why I love a spot of savasana (relaxation) at the end of a yoga class. It’s a similar idea, in that, after all of the effort during the session, the reward is actually a little repose… The culmination of the work is, in fact, a rest! A space, a pause, in which to rejuvenate before shifting to the next ‘project’, or activity.
So what to take from this?
Well, if you’re a finisher rather than a starter, perhaps your experience of your projects is totally different. Or perhaps you’re a plodder who can keep going and going and going (the tortoise to the proverbial hare?), and you’re consistent throughout.
Isn’t the real key to know yourself…? To know yourself well enough so that you can transcend difficulties that may arise from any other part of the process. To be able to accept, soften and to let go of any need to push on through when the going gets tough for you. To ask for help, or simply to pace yourself in a better way, with more, frequent rest periods. Maybe…
Or maybe the lesson is to recognise that there’s very little difference between the two – perhaps it’s just a matter of perception. In a race, I’m still hanging on to the bitter end…it’s just that the timeframe is shorter; it’s definitely finite, and usually, the end is in sight (quite literally!). The actual difference between December and January is a shift in how the energy state is perceived, for after all what defines the difference but the twelfth chime of the clock, surely…?
But if nothing else, all of this explains why it’s time to sign off and to wish all of you the same Happy New Year that I hope to experience!
All the very best for a super exciting 2018 : )