A  Friday Thought to Chew On: Confounded by Closure

A Friday Thought to Chew On: Confounded by Closure

Year ago, I took a self-inventory test called the Myers-Briggs personality test and came up INFJ. I won’t spend this whole blog explaining exactly what that means, other than it does mean I’m a piece of work sometimes — deadline and closure focused (in other words, a bit OCD about checklists), intuitive (i.e., reads into stuff waaaaaay too much), touchy-feelie and sensitive (aka hypersensitive) and super independent contemplating and making decisions…or a bit of a loner who likes to take on everything all by herself. Heh. Yeah, that about covers it.

The Myers-Briggs test is like a handbook to someone’s sense of judgment and perception and can help people understand what their needs are and the needs of others in order to communicate and collaborate. For example, if you’re an INTJ (no F but a T), you may rely more on thoughts than feelings and so, those communicating with a T would probably be best using language that matches that style, such as using “I think” rather than “I feel” statements. So while I once believed this test was just an excuse to stick people in boxes to fit a particular stereotype, I’ve since realized that it has many real benefits in the business world and even in relationships, for that matter. At least in terms of trying to get along peacefully under the same roof and communicate on the same plane of understanding.

I’ve connected with a few other INFJs out on Twitter and Facebook, and it’s been a wonderful coincidence. We don’t have a secret handshake or anything, but we do understand one another. And what’s better than relating to another smiling slice of protoplasm in the universe? Nothing, I tell you.

I bring all this up because I’m dealing with the J in that personality type. My penchant for liking closure. I don’t have much closed these days. Personally and professionally, I feel like such a work in progress because well, frankly, everything is so damn incomplete.  Throughout the book writing process the first time around, I learned how to cope with this by building into that process some “pseudo-closure” in the form of mini-deadlines. For example, if I focused on completing scenes instead of chapters and instead of whole novels, I wasn’t so overwhelmed with the fact that I had another 80,000 words to go. We do what we must to blind ourselves to the obstacles that play on our fears. In my case, a fear of not finishing.

Why do I have this fear? Because I used to start a lot of things and not take them to the end of the finish line when I was a kid. It didn’t get in the way of my academics surprisingly. I was a star student. But that was always a little skeleton in my closet, and I had hoped with the completion of my first book in 2013 that I’d kicked that anxiety to the curb. But it appears to still be lurking about to pop out and scare the crap out of me whenever it feels like it.

I suppose any of us who are captivated by the allure of accomplishment and satisfaction of closure need to remind ourselves of one other very important point:  the journey is where all the real lessons are. So while some of us (yeah, like me) are so concerned about checking things off our list or experiencing the comfort of being “DONE,” we must remind ourselves that often the Eureka moments happen while we’re in the flow. It is while we are working on a project or going through a trial or tragedy that we learn the most about life and ourselves. We may not realize it until afterwards but we are absorbing so many useful pieces of information in the heat of the moment. So… why be so focused on the end? We should be enjoying the journey, shouldn’t we?  Yeah, I do forget that quite a bit. But once in a while, something or someone comes along to remind me of that valuable lesson, that in fact, closure is highly overrated.

So I guess that’s just the way it’s going to be.  I’m unfinished. Still. Like Beethoven’s famous symphony. Or Da Vinci’s Adoration of the Magi. Or a typical box of Whitman Sampler’s post-Christmas. (Who likes those nasty orange cream-filled chocolates anyway?) I guess I’ll just have to get used to having one book over here at one point, one book over there at another stage and the rest of my life at various points of this and that. Acceptance of the open-ended is a skill I have not yet fully developed, as you might surmise. Probably has something to do with that lack of patience I recently blogged about, too. Heh.

Make it a fabulous Friday whatever endeavors you start…and probably leave unfinished today. *grins* Toodles, friends.  ~ck

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