One day back somewhere I must have done one of those personality type test things that you often have to do as part of a training day when you work for a company. I remember very little from these training days other than, sitting in an airless room doing silly tests with a bunch of equally uninterested adults is a drag. One thing I did learn, that has stuck with me, is that I am a Completer Finisher. Essentially I like to get things done, fully. I don’t like to procrastinate, I am not a perfectionist but I absolutely hate being halfway.
I’ve been thinking about this character trait for the last few days and I see how much it effects my life. One of the ways being a Completer Finisher outworks itself, is that I am uncomfortable with potential. What I mean is that as soon as I identify potential, in anything or in any form, I get twitchy until it is realised. Let me give you some real life examples and I know when my family read this they are going to agree wholeheartedly as these are the things that have made me very hard to live with over the years. And yet they love me still…
Impatience: I hate to wait for anything. When I see something that can be done, then I want it done as soon as possible. My son walking for instance. He’s the right age, he can walk while we hold his hands, there’s even a glimmer of him wanting to walk but does he do it!!?? Untapped potential.
Dislike of surprises: you might think this is an odd fit for this discussion but the more I have thought about it I do think it’s connected. It makes me think of when my sister was planning a party for me, can’t remember if it was a birthday party or my hen night but I asked her so many questions about it that she finally blew up and told me I was a control freak and a horrible person to plan anything for. Or the fact that when my husband proposed to me with a surprise trip to Paris I ended up bursting into tears because I couldn’t cope with the fact I didn’t know what was going to happen next. This need to know what’s going to happen is obviously about control but I think that comes from the fact that I like to see something to completion, I want to know how things will end, what is the finish point. To know that in advance, gives me a peace. This is also why if you tell me the end of a film before I have watched it, I won’t be angry, I like to know, it makes the film far more enjoyable for me when I know where it’s taking me.
Inability to enjoy now/what I have: this is a particular bug bear of my husband and the source of many arguments in our household. Above is a picture of our kitchen in the new house in Christchurch. It’s a very nice, fully functioning kitchen. But there is so much more potential for it to be better. I have a list in my mind of all the things I want to do in our house to make it complete, to make it what I know it could be, to make it our home. We’ve run out of cash until I get a job so we have to wait, which in a way is good because we may well change our mind about what is best for the house as we live in it longer. But that list haunts me everyday, I want to get through it, I want to finish the changes and I won’t settle until we do. Sorry honey, I can’t help it, I really can’t!
Frustration: I get frustrated. Sometimes the need to see something completed and my inability to do just that can be too much for me to bear and I explode with frustration. This can make for a volatile house mate for my family. Best thing to do when this happens, send me out for a run.
All that said, I do think being a Completer Finisher is not all bad and certainly in work it’s a useful trait but I can see it makes me tough to be around sometimes. Sorry. Bear with me.