Half assed.

Have you heard that term?

That was a frequent saying around my childhood home. Cussing and cursing were pretty rare in my early life, but one thing my parents hated was a job half done.  Not surprisingly, it wasn’t a problem for me!  Close enough was good enough in my world.

So the other day, I was tidying up my house.  Picking up random stuff and returning it to the proper location. About 20 minutes into this task, I noticed a pattern. I am solid on picking the item up, walking it to the right spot, but I seem to lack the discipline to actually put it away.

For example: hair ties. I picked up a number of hair ties and walked them to the bathroom, set them on the counter, and left. I totally skipped the step of opening the drawer and actually putting them away. Properly and out of sight.  Not cool. And frankly, half assed.

Slightly ashamed of the lack of follow thru, I challenged myself to put the item in the right location, no matter how many additional physical movements were required. I have no circumstances or physical issues that would prevent me from actually opening a drawer, putting a book on a bookshelf or tossing shoes into a shoe bin. It would appear that my problem is a mental one.

My old familiar friend, haunting me from the past: Close Enough Is Good Enough

Sometimes it is true, close enough can be good enough. It is okay to not rake and bag every leaf on the lawn. Or sometimes having most of the taco toppings is cool, I mean, who really needs sour cream? It is legit to wear non- matching socks if you are wearing tall boots.  Am I right?

But when it comes to the really important things, close enough is basically a fail.

For the past couple of months, Mr. Money Tree and I have been using the “Every Dollar” free phone app created by Dave Ramsey. In the beginning, we tracked our budget like rabid animals. I would grab receipts, entering items with great gusto. Categories and descriptions, break out amounts, tiny little notes to help jog our memories about a purchase.  I tracked every dollar like a school nurse looking for lice. Up close and determined.

And then I started half-assing it.

Four months into the budgeting system, I grew bored. And resentful that Mr. Money Tree seemed to have the inability to track his spending. Real life translation: I got tasked with reading and processing his receipts. This pinched my fairness nerve.

Fact: Sometimes I suck at being part of a team.

Then I got whacked with the hair tie epiphany. I started looking for other places in my life that I was failing to follow through. Realizing that I had totally jumped off the budgeting bus, I began to see that parts of me still struggle with completion.  It sounds like a problem, but I choose to see it as an opportunity.

An opportunity to honestly admit that some things in life really aren’t fun.  But they are necessary.

A Small List of Not Fun But Necessary Things:

Filing taxes

Having a Colonoscopy

Eating More Salads

Cleaning the toilet

Buying a grave plot

Putting away hair ties

Committing to a budget process

Wow, writing this post feels like having an amazing therapy session. Or at least how I would imagine a therapy session would happen.  Wonder if therapy would work for half-assedness?  Maybe.

Instead, I think I will just spend some time re-training my character. Focusing on being whole hearted and intentional in even the smallest tasks.  Because really, that is what life is mostly made up of, isn’t it? The smallest things can dramatically affect the outcome of the bigger things.

For Mr. Money Tree and I, the biggest thing right now is Retirement. Planning, practicing and preparing for day he no longer gets in the car and drives down the road to make a buck.

Pretty sure that close enough won’t be good enough when that day gets here.


How about you? Can you relate to the attitude of close enough is good enough? Or are you a follow-thru guru, hustling to the very end of tasks?


Photo Credit: jacobadam2 Flickr via Compfight cc