I think I have blindly and accidently stumbled upon something brilliant. Last week, I made a list. A list of things to do. Note to reader: I realize that list-making is not a new concept and that I did not personally discover “the list”. I was hoping it would help me focus on specific things that needed to be done AND help me stop before I lost focus and became discouraged. I wrote down numbers 1 – 20. Why twenty? It seemed like enough tasks to make some progress and challenge myself a bit, but not too many to accomplish. I didn’t get everything done on the list. And I forgave myself. I just “rolled over” the undone tasks to the next day. The items were very specific. I didn’t write “clean the kitchen”, for example. I picked the most urgent tasks. Wash the dishes (so we actually had some clean ones) and sweep the floor. Once those were done, the kitchen was somewhat presentable and I was able to move on to another area. The idea is to deal with the worst of the situation and end up with a reasonably lived-in home that is not overwhelming and discouraging. Spending all my energy and time on one room results in one clean room, but I’m eventually going to have to leave that room and come face-to-face with the rest. I’m not going to write down “finish the laundry” because the laundry is never finished (unless we all walk around naked for a day). I’m going to do a load of laundry a day or two if there’s a lot. I’m not writing down “weed the garden” because that’s not doable. I’m going to weed for 15 minutes. Small wins…the satisfaction of crossing something off the list. And when the day is over and it’s time to rest, I can do so knowing that I’ve taken steps in the right direction. Progress. To celebrate that – and to ensure that there is creativity in even the hardest days – I’m going to paint over the day’s list and do a quick journal page. Nothing fancy. Just a symbolic gesture. That day is over and done. It can’t and shouldn’t be re-lived. Let it go and move on. I’m three days in on the list-making. It may not be a forever thing. All I know is that it’s working for me right now. It was an awesome weekend. Lots of family, friends and accomplishments. Oh, and LOTS of rain. Did I mention that it rained this weekend? It’s raining now. I’m not complaining (much). We’ve been in a drought. I would imagine that it’s over. It’s part of who I am to start worrying when things are going well. When is the other shoe going to drop? This happiness can’t last. Something is going to go wrong. What a horrible way to live. Missing out on the good because of worry about the bad. I’m going to work on changing that. It may be an actual item on the list today! Good things will happen. Bad things will happen. That’s just the way it is. One doesn’t cancel the other out. It’s a matter of perspective. In reality, my problems are still with me. The financial issues aren’t resolved…and a thousand other things. I’ve just changed my focus and moved the good stuff into the forefront. Perspective. It all needs my attention, but in equal measure. There is that balance thing again I am a work in progress – with a list.
Just a quick follow-up ’cause I gotta go work my “part-time out of the house for a little bit o’ cash” job.
Yesterday’s list was a success. I got almost everything done with a little bit of help from the family. The things that I didn’t get done are just going to roll over to today and I’ll fill back in the list up to 20.
I’m actually happiest about the things on the list I didn’t do.
My husband has been working crazy, long hours. I’ve barely seen him all week. Last night, he got home around eight.
I had actually cooked a real meal (with veggies and everything).
I chose to sit down and eat a meal with him…and then didn’t get back up. We spent the time together.
Stuff on the list may not have gotten done, but something more important was accomplished.
My goal is not simply about living in a more organized, tidy home. The home is important, of course.
My hope is for a simpler, less complicated environment that lets what is really important be the focus…my family, our life,