Life Will Start When My To-Do List Is Done

For the last three months I have had one long to-do list. It seems like every single day I needed to work through it just to get to the next day. If I skip a day nobody did it for me. It lands right on me and my perfectionistic ways. I know exactly when it started back in April when I was starting to get serious about my middle son’s graduation party. I had the basics of the party set, I just needed to work on the memorabilia. You know the photo albums and the school memories. The things that I had oh so neglected during the previous 18 years. In my defense they were organized but I just had too many pictures and important pieces of art work. To give me clarity I went on a scrapbooking retreat with other moms who had children graduating.


I had a big aha while there….I don’t want to do traditional scrapbooking. What a huge thing to check off my list. I no longer need to keep all of those supplies. I could go digital and clear up space in my house. It was a huge relief and I thought now I can live.


But then work caught up to the top of my list. I had obligations there that I needed to get done. I began to get a grip on them and get a rhythm back and I felt kind of good with where things were at. One more thing to check off my list and I thought now I can live.


Oh, but then I had a conference for my team that I had to prepare for. I dived head first and worked like a crazy woman trying to pull off a polished and planned conference. I returned exhausted after I tried to jam pack my days. I even added in my sister coming to visit me during conference because I haven’t seen her in a few years. It all went great. Conference was fantastic and I flew home and I thought now I can live.


Hold on, I can’t live yet as I have to take my son to register for college and a big appointment in Rochester. And just to make my life more interesting my body decided I needed to slow down and gave me a cold to make my breathing more difficult. Yes, it was a huge slap in the face of  “you need to slow down”. I got those two big things accomplished and I thought now I can live.


But what a realized was there is going to be things on my list all the time. My list is not going away. It is up to me with how to deal with it. I found that in my craziness of the last few months I have forgotten some things along the way….my kids. I had turned into the person that would help them when they needed. But I was missing those important cues of body language that I was a ninja at figuring out. My youngest even said to me how he wanted to go see a play and I quickly said no as I didn’t think I could add another thing to my to-do list.


I had also neglected my health in a big way. I use to go to the gym four to five times a week and I enjoyed it. The last month I went zero times. And it showed on my scale, in my clothes, in my energy levels and how I feel about myself. My to-do list was out of sorts and I needed to put exercise back on the top as that fed how I did everything else.


But yesterday I threw out the list and bought the tickets to the play to go with my youngest son. I started listening again. I heard when my husband said he had never been to Glacier but had always wanted to. Instead of him just saying it and me nodding my head, I heard him. There is a difference. Because I heard him we are now going to Glacier as a family with two of my boys bringing their girlfriends.


This is a trip to unplug our phones and our minds. This is a trip to breathe again. This is not an item on my to-do list because I chose to start living and no longer worry about what I “have to” get done today. I will take time to have coffee with a friend today. My to-do list will always be there, but it is up to me if I decide to let it rule my life. Today I say yes to things and I am living. Now I am going outside for a walk and it isn’t even on my list!


To Organized, Joyful Living,


MS. Simplicity