One of the more useful accomplishments as an adult is giving oneself permission to 'let it go'. This can refer to many things in life from careers to relationships but that's for another post. What I'm thinking about today is letting go of the self-induced requirement to finish things. It may be that it's a throwback to the old Protestant Work Ethic or perhaps the motto 'anything worth doing is worth doing well' from Girl Guides or some other worthy organization. Some of us have difficulty in not seeing something to the bitter end, even when completion is totally unnecessary.
I'm specifically thinking about books, movies and public shows or plays. I suspect it has something to do with having paid for the entertainment as flipping up and down the channels does not result in the slightest twinge of regret. But yesterday I sat through a play that ended up as dismally as it began. It was a clue when the theatre was barely half full, this when usually the performances are sold out. Sometimes you console yourself that it's a slow starter and will warm up and become interesting but at what time do you throw in the towel. The party seated in front of us didn't return from the intermission. Perhaps if we weren't attending with another couple--who agreed with us completely as to the quality of the storyline--we might have snuck off. One of the couple confessed to nodding off in the first half. Nevertheless we dutifully returned to a play that didn't improve and ended abruptly. At $36 a ticket we couldn't bear to miss anything, it seemed, although the accountants would say these were 'sunk' costs, as in not recoverable.
Following in this theme, this morning I started a new book by an author I have enjoyed in the past in a series for which I have read the previous dozen books. Half way through I'm finding the pace even more leisurely than the others to the point where little is happening and even that takes many pages. I'm almost skimming some paragraphs. I pause and decide to look up the reviews on Amazon, perhaps feeling a little chagrinned at my reaction. The book is still rated quite highly, in terms of stars assessed but others do mention the issues that I have confronted. One dares to mention that the book reads as though it was written by a ghost writer, but excuses and damns with faint praise by reminding us that the author is in his seventies now and has a number of other series on the go. Oh, dear.
This should be the part where I decide to 'let it go'. I obtained this book from the library so in this case there should be no feeling of getting my money's worth as though pennies fall from heaven with each word my eyes pass over. Then I start to wonder if it is my fault, the author being of a station far above mine. Somehow I'm missing the point or not appreciating the nuances. In any event we fellow authors should stick together.
I'll probably make myself finish it. But not today.