My inner critic has always been relayed to me in my Grandma’s voice. “If you’re going to do something, do it right,” she’d say with a straight long line for a mouth. It was never a suggestion with her, always a command.
She was like a razorback boar some of the time, snorting and grizzling round our house – cleaning and grumbling and dishing out orders to all of us, her servants. It wasn’t too bad for me, cause I was little. And I definitely was treated like a little princess since I was the first granddaughter and adored by everyone except maybe my uncle who was only 8 years older than me.
By the time I had escaped the “Golden Child”- failed expectations of my family and moved far, far away from them all, I began to struggle with the most frustrating problem. I could not begin a new book until I had finished the book I was reading. I’m serious I could not make myself check-out another book until I finished the current one. This bled into other activities too. I couldn’t start a new sewing project until I had finished the present one. I couldn’t buy a new skirt or pair of pants until I had hemmed the last one. I had to finish whatever I started before I could move on, even if I hated the book, the pattern or the garment. But why? I was an adult now, I could do what I want.
In my late 20’s and newly married, my husband remarked that sometimes he was reading 3 books at a time. “What?” I asked. “How can you? You have to finish the one you’re reading before you begin a new one.” “Or what?” he asked. “I don’t know”, I stammered as my mind raced in circles to find the answer. I started thinking, why couldn’t he read more than one title at a time? There was no reason. “Won’t you get confused? And what if its’ left unfinished ?” I questioned, struggling to figure out my thinking. “So. he replied, “sometimes I don’t like the book I’m reading or half of it is good enough.” I scratched my head considering the opportunity of actually having two or three books to enjoy at one setting.
And then I heard my Grandma’s voice say, “Young lady, finish what you start. You don’t want to be that person that starts a million things and never finishes one.”