A Life Lesson About Loose Ends

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A couple of weeks ago I had one of those lightbulb moments that simultaneously makes you feel better (“aha! Now I know what I need to do!) and worse (“for goodness’ sake, how did I not realise that before?”).

I was having a really grumpy kind of a week. You know the sort? Everything feels like an effort. Energy is low. Irritation rises to the surface more readily than usual. I was feeling decidedly unsettled and I wasn’t sure why. Actually, I chose not to even try to figure out why.

(Two-years-ago-me would’ve been all up in my head trying to problem-solve my way out of my malaise, endlessly wondering “but what does it meeeean?”. Now I know that sometimes we just feel a little off. It’s part of being human, and that’s ok. It doesn’t have to “meeeean” that anything needs fixing.)

Inevitably (as is often the way), in not trying to figure out why I was feeling so glum, I suddenly had a flash of clarity: I had too many loose ends.

There were too many things in my life and my business that were up in the air, making themselves a nuisance in the back of my mind, poking and prodding me for attention.

For example, I needed to find time to get my fringe trimmed (ah, to be 14 again and willing to do it myself with the kitchen scissors). I’ve been desperately trying to catch up with a friend I haven’t seen in way too long, but we couldn’t make the logistics work. I needed to go and collect my new glasses. To decide what to do about a birthday gift for a friend. To find people who might be willing to answer some research questions for me. To deliver some flyers for an event I’m helping organise.

There were just too many unknowns.

All these things needed space in my calendar, but I kept batting them away because trying to figure out when to fit them in to an already full-enough schedule felt stressful. I felt as though putting all those things in my calendar would mean sacrificing some of the white space that’s so necessary for my productivity and my wellbeing.

But I soon realised that was just my perception and not the reality. When I actually sat down with my diary and committed to making some decisions, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I’d thought. I realised I could chunk things together, delivering flyers and getting my fringe trimmed on my way to a social event I was going to anyway, for instance. Once I knew that I’d made space for the things I needed and, importantly, wanted to be doing, it felt like a weight had been lifted!

Do you have any loose ends of your own?

Any half-thought-through, partly organised things that just need a little closure or a place in your diary?

Spend a little time either consciously choosing to let them go or scheduling in the action you need to take to close the loop and see how that makes you feel. If you’re anything like me, it’ll feel like a weight has been lifted!

Have you ever cut your own fringe with the kitchen scissors? Does anything else from this lesson about loose ends resonate with you? Do share in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!  

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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    Louise Miller2 Comments