I'm really trying to reform myself from a "collector of things" to a "user of things". There are several areas of my life where I like the idea of doing something--apparently--more than the doing of it. Well, that's not true. Whenever I do the something, I really enjoy it and think "why don't I do this more often?!" But, I just don't. I'm not sure what it is about me, but I have several examples so I'm growing into the idea that it's just a pattern/habit/character flaw that I'll need to work on or otherwise come to grips with. Perhaps an example would help illustrate the dilemma.
I am probably the best outfitted non-scrapbooker on the planet. When we joined our church, they asked for my hobbies to share as a way of introducing us to everyone. I carefully looked at the line on the form, and honestly struggled with what to put down. There is a rather large and serious scrapbooking contingent at the church so I didn't want to misrepresent myself as one rather than a wannabe. So, I very nearly wrote down: "I like to collect scrapbook supplies." That would have obviously been a joke, but the pastor said, "thanks for wanting to be so honest." OK, if he didn't find it funny one on one ...that wasn't the direction I wanted to go in front of the entire church. So I proceeded with "scrapbooking (knowing in my heart that wasn't very precise), cooking (knowing in my heart that we eat out on a frighteningly regular basis), and being with family (knowing in my heart that would happen without ANY effort on my part because we all live in the same house.)...but alas.
My daughter is nearly 3 years old, and I have carefully organized pictures from her birth through about a year, some less organized pictures of her first year, and some digital photos I haven't even bothered to print out of her second year. All of that has yielded a total of about 8 scrapbook pages. (Nice work, Mom. Way to capture all the memories.) In the spirit of full disclosure, the great majority of those pages were completed when my sister came to visit for a scrapbook weekend in April. We had a blast...I felt great about what I was doing... It's just that I had apparently no ability to keep it up unsupervised.
Another example of this pattern came up just recently...Running.
I decided to start running--which could also be called "collecting things one would need to run." I have some sweet shoes, socks (which my colleagues say are really the key to running), an awesome watch that has interval timers on it, even "wicking" clothing. I've taken out all this gear twice. That doesn't sound too bad until I add on "in a month" to the end of the sentence. I work with lots of runners, and they were very excited that I was tackling this---sending me links to "Couch to 5K", advice on apparel, where to shop for gear as a newbie, how and when to stretch, that we should get a group together to do one of the many races around here, etc. Until they, too, know that I collect things far before I really use them, they began asking me how the running was going. Started off with a bang on July 4, but took a couple days off from work after the holiday so I didn't have to account for anything for a little bit. Naturally, they asked about it when I returned. Um, yeah, I haven't been back out--my shins hurt a little bit. After a couple of weeks with no running, one guy observed, "you know, I'm a big believer in recovery time, but I think you might be milking it a little." Truer words have never been spoken.
Anyway, I ran again this week. It felt great. I reported to the office with pride.
But haven't done it since Tuesday.