I’ve always been a “to-do” list kind of person. I will scratch my checklist down on any scrap piece of paper that I can get my hands on; the back of a piece of mail, an old grocery list, you name it! I even put my neurotic lists in the note app on my iPhone if I can’t find paper or if it’s the middle of the night. I always check things off when completed and make new lists when my current list is getting low – I am fairly certain it has been a long time since I’ve actually marked everything off of my list and had nothing to do!!
Here’s the problem. A few months ago I realized that my life was a checklist. All of the things that I did, day in and day out, were part of a list that needed completion. Now I know we all need lists to stay organized but mine had become something that I didn’t like. Maybe you can’t relate to what I am saying, but for me it was this:
- Get up
- Get kids up
- Feed kids
- Make sure kids are clean
- Get clean, fed kids dressed in something that is clean and doesn’t make them look ridiculous
- Take clean, fed, decently dressed kids wherever it is they are supposed to go at that particular moment in time
- Go to this appointment, go to that appointment.
- Clean, organize, pick up…
- Pay bills
You get the point. I won’t go on and on and bore you with the millions of tedious things that make up my day!
My list was guiding my day. It was changing my interactions with my kids, my husband, and other people in my life. It was consuming me. I didn’t have a checklist that I used to get things done, my daily life was literally a checklist. I would finish one thing and move on to the next, getting annoyed if I was stopped mid task by one of the kids. Feeling like I had failed if I didn’t get everything on my list for the day completed. I don’t want my life to be a checklist! I have to retrain myself to slow down. I have to remind myself to enjoy the little things – before they are gone and I’ve missed them. Life keeps moving and while it is important to make sure certain things get accomplished, that laundry will still be waiting for me tomorrow, so it’s better that I take advantage of the opportunity to follow my three year old who is tugging at my shirt to show me something rather than miss his excitement at the block tower that he’s built because I just HAD to check that one thing off of my list… I’ll be honest, I’ve missed a lot of moments in life because I was too busy.
One of my goals this year is to “be still”. Enjoy the now. See what my kids are showing me and truly hear what they are telling me without thinking of the things on my list. Hang out with my husband instead of using every free second as an opportunity to get something else done.
I’m learning to just be still.