Imagine that we look at our phone first thing in the morning and it has a message beeping across our screen, like a software update required message. Except our message would read, Closure Required. The problem is that we wouldn’t exactly know what the message is referring to. The message would continue to appear every morning until we take care of the matter.
This seems like a dramatic example of how life works. It is amazing though, how our lives can significantly improve when we handle the open ends and unfinished business in our daily schedule. It might be little things like dishes in the sink, dry clothes in a dryer, piles of laundry on the floor, a broken door handle, or it might be bigger life things.
I learned this concept of unfinished business from Iyanla Vanzant, on an episode of her former show: Fix My Life. I also saw her speak in person and it always hammers home the message when I hear the words from someone in a live seminar. Closure Required, is what comes into my head when I think of this idea and it has served me well, over the years.
When I look around and think about the quality of my days, I find that when items get done, taken care of, off my list, wrapped up, finished, completed, dealt with, or finalized, it gives me a sense of relief, accomplishment, pride, a confidence booster, or energy bump. I like to look at the finished product, take before and after photos, celebrate the win, or marvel at my work.
This may seem odd and unusual, but when laundry is folded in front of me, I breathe a sigh of relief. When I have moved out of a place, I feel excited. When I file papers in an annual file folder, just a little bit of weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
Maybe it is because life can be so complicated that I have learned to find joy in the little things and boost my self-esteem along the way. Maybe I need to find ways to feel good about myself and my efforts, especially during uncertain times. Maybe I have learned really good skills around accomplishing tasks and I realize how important it is to pay attention to the small victories.
When the big stuff also gets done, it brings out more of the good feels and can provide space and room for the next chapter of our lives. Completion and wrap-up of a life phase, a project, a journey, or previous adventure can be so healthy and allows time, energy, and resources to be freed up for the upcoming steps on our path.
Yes, the family often refers to me as having OCD but trust me, I have a ton of unfinished tasks. If you could peer inside our kitchen right now you can see that they are wrong. I have mounds of a mess at times (especially after the grand pumpkins come to visit) and I go to bed with looming “to do” lists, just like everyone else.
What matters are pending and requiring attention in your life? What needs some closure for you and what can you do about it this week? What small step can you take today, to feel good about yourself and your effort? What would the beeping message on your phone lead you to work on in a more focused way? The more we tackle one small issue at a time, the lighter and more vibrant we feel.
On that note, I have a laundry tub size of dishes that is beckoning me, wet, messy and sweaty laundry in the hamper, and a carload full of belongings to remove from my husband’s vehicle, after moving out of a family camp. Life is full of stuff to do, but if we can celebrate these wins along the way, the road ahead becomes more clear.
“In life, satisfaction is experienced when activities are brought to a state of completion. Loss of energy and loss of control are functions of incompletion. The result of completing things releases one’s ability to create.” ~ William Arthur Ward