A To Do List for Life

I actually wrote this post about a month ago, so “yesterday” isn’t yesterday, it’s weeks ago, but as I reread it this morning, I thought I’d add a few finishing touches and share it anyways.

Yesterday morning was a real stinker of a morning for no apparent reason. I got plenty of sleep the night before, and I ate a good breakfast. My schedule for the day was just “normal busy,” and I didn’t even need to get out of my PJ’s until after 11 o’clock. Not a bad start to the day, but for some reason, it was still a real stinker.

I felt tired. It wasn’t I-just-ran-a-5k tired though. It was more like can-I-please-shut-off-my-brain tired. I was also very unmotivated. The previous nights dishes were still staring at me from the sink, and two loads of laundry mocked me from their baskets. I had a lunchtime meeting to attend, which I am usually very prepared for, and I hadn’t even thought about the agenda. I eked out a few notes and decided to just make the best of it when I got there. I was really grumpy, too. I woke Sydney up by complaining about the the laundry on her bedroom floor, and I grouched at Alli several times … for everything .. and loudly. Coffee wasn’t helping, and my shower didn’t perk me up. It was simply a stinker of a morning.

Then, before my meeting, I stopped for gas and was wrestling my wallet out of my person when this card fell out.

to do

A friend posted this meme to Facebook a while back, and I liked it so much I printed it out and laminated it to keep in my purse. While I waited for my tank to fill, I read over my to-do list and thought about each item.

As I began to count my blessings (one loving husband, three beautiful daughters, and a warm, comfortable home just to start) my mood began to lift just a bit.

I purposed that day to practice kindness with my kids. I apologized for my morning grumpiness and did my best to be patient and ‘just breathe’ when Alli was frustrating me (as only a two-year-old can do).

Letting go … not my strong point. I control everything. I always feel like if I’m not in control, my world goes a little a lot wonky. But in my meeting, I tried to let others take the lead. I did my best to hear everyone’s opinions, and I DID pass a pretty big, important job on to someone else. Knowing that she would do a great job, probably much better than me, and that I could trust her, felt amazing!

So far so good, right?

Dun dun duuuunnnnn ….

Productivity is my middle name; calm is barely in my vocabulary. I am a constantly-on-the-go kind of girl. I like it that way, but I did have, at one point, a few minutes to think about how a little calm time might be good for me. I’ve been trying to plan a beach vacation for my family, and I think if I can pull it off, that would be the perfect place for me to find my calm again. Thinking about the possibilities led me to remember other beach vacations we’ve taken, and simply daydreaming of those lazy days in the sand actually made me feel calmer already!

See the ocean is my zen spot. I like to sit in the sand at the ocean’s edge and meditate on my smallness next to the vastness of the water. It brings perspective to any troubles I have because I know that in reality they are small and manageable. In that moment, my heart whispered, “Go.” And I will be listening and following through with that  with pleasure.

I can’t say that I will be able to follow the list everyday. Letting go, calm, and breathing … all chinks in my armor. I can say that I think I will continue to carry my to do list with me, and I will try to re-read it and re-purpose myself each time I come across it. All I can do is try.

And maybe I should add THAT to my to do list.

Just keep trying.


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