To Tie or Not to Tie? Loose Ends + End of Year

loose ends and end of year

It’s almost here. 2017. Some say 2016 has been the worst year ever. There are many arguments to corroborate that belief. And yet, I find myself, ever the optimist, searching for the silver lining in my own personal life and in the circles and communities around me.   

Personally, there were some big wins. My husband and I purchased our first house back in February. I started gathering monthly with women for special New Moon Circles. I began teaching yoga formally and consistently, and Wandering Wellness – both the blog and consulting service - has expanded tremendously, offering me opportunities to work with companies and individuals in D.C., Los Angeles, and NYC.

However, despite these points of celebration and pride, I find myself inclined to obsess over the loose ends. The things I swore I would do and didn’t. As the year winds to a close, I find myself haunted by the following:

  • The thank you notes I’ve been meaning to send to students, companies, and friends that have gifted me the most beautiful, unexpected things. I write them in my mind immediately, and often send them 2-3 months later if at all…
  • Wedding presents for friends. I know I technically have a year but I’d like to get the most thoughtful gifts ever and be done with it.
  • Following through on promises I've made. The main one here is cooking for my mom and dad. They have a lot going on and live just over the river in D.C. I promised my Mama I’d make her a bunch of easy to freeze meals to make life easier for them. Haven’t done a damn thing.
  • Officially changing my name. Though professionally I’ve been Joanna Andreae for quite a while, after 3 years of marriage (and even a failed trip to the social security office with the wrong copy of my marriage certificate), much to my husband’s chagrin, I have yet to make it official.
  • Clearing and cleaning old stuff. This covers all manner of sins. Closest. Clothes. Organizing essential oils and first aid kits. Dishes I no longer use. It’s time to clean and if necessary, cleanse.
  • Moving my 401K from my old employer to a new fund. Snoozefest alert, and yet financials are so darn important. It’s high time I do this already. I’m certainly not going back to the corporate world, but I need my financials to reflect that belief as well.
  • Getting a D.C. Library card instead of spending $200 on monthly book orders. I could save some trees and some space in our tiny house if I just did this already.
  • Going through old photos on my computer and phone and organizing them. Family, business, vacation. Etc.

Now, I don't share this list to punish myself, but as a way of showing I too have many things – big and small, personal and professional – that I want to get done. And yet, I know there’s no way it’s all going to be completed before end of year. Likely 80% will carry over.

But upon further consideration and lots of meditation, I think I’ve finally reached a point where I’m OK with that. That’s the thing about “to do” lists. They never get shorter. Instead of frantically trying to tie up every loose end, I’m going to prioritize a few things that are both important and urgent, and let the wheel of what remains find completion in time.  

I’d rather spend the final precious days of the year taking time to relax, reset, and focus on the inner work, anyway. Wouldn’t you?