ARBITRARY DEADLINES

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Last night I met my goal of adding at least 30,000 more words to the novel I started in June. I’m glad I did because it pushed me further along toward completing another new book.  I had a goal last month of writing 50,000 during Junowrimo, but could only get 42,500 words as I had to work out the plot, characters, etc. This month, I’ve taken a lighter load so I could at least get it done. I’m still writing. My new goal will be to finish this novel in August.

Hate not finishing a challenge. The above quote is similar to what I was taught as a child. “If you say you’ll do a thing, then do it.” I grew up in a large family, and each of us had chores and tasks to finish. We learned early that it mattered if we washed the dishes when it was our turn and put them away. If we didn’t, it made getting breakfast cooked and eaten harder and might make us all run late to school and work.

There was always the threat of a whipping, but I don’t remember any of us ever getting one for chores. (There were plenty of switchings or paddlings for fighting, for breaking things, for doing badly at school, etc., though they mainly stung our pride, not our legs or bottoms.) We wanted to do our share and were proud when we did something to help. Sweeping, dishes, emptying trash, helping to cook, making beds, hanging clothes, putting away food, cleaning the car, feeding the animals, carrying in wood, etc. The list was long and changed with the season, but we knew each job was important and needed doing. Our parents worked so hard, we wanted to help them.  I feel sorry for children now, so little needs doing, and so little is asked of them. But the world changes.

It’s funny about these goals. Being retired, I pretty much can do anything I want, whenever I want. The problem is, the farther into retirement I get, the lazier I become. Really appreciate these little challenges. There are no whippings, but if you make the goal you get a little pat on the head, even if it’s with your own hand. Life is better with a goal and some meaningful work to complete. Tomorrow will be the last blog and I’m eager to finish blog 31. It’s not like anyone will see them or probably read them, but even if the deadline is an arbitrary one, I intend to get it done.

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