Theory and Practice

The Land of Half-Done

I live in the Land of Half-Done.

Our house is always a mess. Always. My wife and I have now lived together in three homes over 14 years and in all that time, I cannot recall a single time period of longer that a week when our place was not a mess.

It’s the classical modern problem: too much stuff, not enough space, and no energy to do anything about it. But that’s not the whole story. No, the truth is that sometime early in our relationship, we settled down in the Land of Half-Done.

The Land of Half-Done is a semi-magical place, where many plans are made, many projects are started, many dreams are dreamt, but nothing ever comes to fruition.

Dishes make it to the sink but never get washed. Picture frames are purchased but the prints never appear behind the mattes. Holiday cards are printed and addressed but never mailed. Old clothes are bagged but never make it to Goodwill.

It’s true that our house isn’t the largest; we’re packed in tight with three humans, two cats and a pair of goldfish. And it’s true that we have too much stuff packed in around us. However, the biggest problem is that there’s so much we never find the time to finish. And that’s the single greatest factor contributing to the piles of stuff in every room.

The trick is immediate follow-through. We’re not bad a starting things. It’s finding that extra “oomph” to finish. After dinner, the dishes have to get all the way to the washing machine, the soap needs to go in and the machine needs to be turned on. Right away. The clothes need to get taken out of the dryer, folded and put in the closest. Right away. And all of those projects we’ve started but are waiting for the time to finish, we’ve got to get pick them up again and knock them off, one by one. And before we start anything else.

It’s like a kata, a practiced set of choreographed moves that carry through from stance to stance. We need to learn the martial art of Clean Fu.

I live in the Land of Half-Done. And it’s time to emigrate.