I always have.
And yet I make them.
I always have.
I guess I just keep thinking that one day I will check every last thing off that list. And when I imagine how that will feel...well it goes something like this....
One day I will get up, ready to rock, my to-do list in hand, and will one by one, check every single task off the list. When I've checked off the last task and my work is done, I will feel a sense of accomplishment and the license to put my feet up, breathe in the sweet scent of cleaning supplies filling the house, have a slice of the delicious freshly-baked chocolate cake that of course popped out of the oven exactly on cue, the moment I finished my "to-do's." And which I can eat without guilt since I of course ran 6 miles that day. Duh...it was on my to-do list. I will push my perfectly-styled hair out of my face, since of course showering and primping was part of my to-do list, right after that run. I will take a sip of my coffee. And I will just. Breathe.
This is the kind of idiotic, idealistic and impossible thinking that prompts me make to-do lists that I never DO. And you don't have to tell me this all adds up my being a "type A"/obsessive compulsive nutcase. I'm well aware.
What always happens is I check a few off and then the sheer number of things still remaining overwhelms me and I end up rebelling against my own to-do list! Then I feel like I'm a loser at everything: Loser Mama, Loser Friend, Loser Writer, Loser Blogger, Loser Editor, Loser Ship-You-the-Stuff-You-Ordered-From-Me, etc. I feel frustrated with myself and can't even feel good about the stuff I DID get done.
It's really awful. Except that I really like writing with my favorite Sharpie Extra Fine pens. Like...a lot.
Yes. Names. Four names to be exact.
Two were friends. One was a writer I'm working with. One was my 4-year-old.
All four people were people with needs I specifically wanted to address today. I could have made a list of individual tasks related to those names that would have overwhelmed and probably shut me down. But somehow four names on a paper, all four whom I like a great deal, felt do-able. I hoped.
And it worked!
It kind of surprised me! There were unexpected phone calls, interruptions I hadn't anticipated, additional tasks I'd not counted on that presented themselves, pink applesauce I hadn't planned on finding smashed into my rug, but I took them in stride because they didn't block me from dealing with the four people on my list.
I texted one friend. I emailed the other friend and then worked on some art stuff she and I are collaborating on. I talked to the writer on the phone, re-read some writing he did and then emailed him some follow-up thoughts. And I purposely spent time just sitting and scratching my son's back, listening to him talk about Thomas the Train and who has "passenger cars" versus who doesn't.
And I feel...strangely peaceful.
My hair is not done. I never put make-up on. But I didn't go anywhere and James thinks it's cute when my hair is all crazy! I didn't push "enough" laundry through. But there are four people who I loved, connected with, took care of, reached out to, helped, encouraged and gave my best.
And it feels so great. And I'm going to keep doing this, as long as it continues to work. No more To-Do lists for me! I'm going to make People Lists.