I'm not a quitter. Sort of. I can finish things, and I don't usually procrastinate.
But sometimes I kind of forget about things. Maybe it's on purpose, maybe not.
The funny thing is, even writing this post, I had such a hard time finishing it. Is that irony?
We have this new goal to have the girls read a certain number of books every month or they lose their screen time. We're not starting it until February, though. So...
I'm not really sure where I was going with that.
My wife was the one to bring this up. When I mentioned this new Reading idea to her, she thought it was a good idea, but then said that she doubted we would follow through with it.
I asked her what she meant by that, but really, I already knew.
See, we sometimes have "good ideas" like this that sort of just fizzle out. You want some examples?
Once we had this idea to all wake up early every morning and have a large, hot breakfast. At the time we were having a problem with the girls balking about their schoolwork. If we all got up early (before my wife went to work), we could eat breakfast together and start the day on a good note (that was the thought, anyway).
I think that plan lasted about a month, maybe 5 weeks. I'm not even sure why or when it stopped.
My wife had an idea for a chore chart, probably with stickers. I'm not sure how long that one lasted, but I don't think it was more than a week. (Frankly, I don't think she ever made the chart.)
I used to come up with a detailed daily schedule for school subjects, complete with lunch and snack times. It wasn't too long before those plans were derailed. I didn't even bother to do it this year.
As I'm typing this, I'm starting to see a trend. I think the reason we feel the need to start something new is because we're in a bad habit, and we see the need to get out of it, but to do that we need structure. And maybe a hard turn to get us out of the rut we're in.
In all of the scenarios that I've described, we just needed to redirect ourselves on a better path. Once we did that, we didn't have the need for the stringent system. We're not really Type A people, so we don't thrive with regular rigidity, but everyone needs a wake up call at some points in their lives.
We can follow through with things, I told my wife. After all, I worked for years to get published, we've directed many plays, we finish projects we start.
Having things fall through is not exactly the same as not following through.
We have this new goal because we see the kids aren't reading as much as we want them too. Hopefully this system is all we need to get back on the track we want them to be. And if it fizzles out, but we keep the good habit, all will be well.
And, look, I finished this blog post. I guess I'm not so much of a quitter after all.
Scott Keen is the author of three young adult fantasy novels, Scar of the Downers, Rise of the Branded, and War of the Downer King.