Friday, November 9

these things matter

I have been bumping around my life lately, coming up with good ideas and big plans and letting them slide away. This year I considered ways to grow intellectually and shrink consumeristically, I came up with grand schemes and great plans, I grew as a wife and mother, I floundered as a wife and mother, and in the end - I feel like I have returned to the beginning.

I tried to do too much, take on too much, be my image of supermom too much, and here I lie - zitty from the junk food and sleepless from the sugar and caffeine, my darling daughter sleeping in innocence beside me, ignorant to the ways I have failed myself and therefore failed her.

I am not being too hard on myself, though I can see how it sounds like I am - I am done with the guilt over the things I wish I'd done differently, guilt being the most useless of emotions (is it even considered an emotion??). Useless unless it is used as a catalyst for change and that's where I find myself now. The changes I want to implement are many, the same many changes I have tried and failed to implement before - so what do I do? I figure out which basic changes are important and I focus on those.

While I was waiting for Rigby I had lots of time on my hands - I also had a long-ass list of things to do. A list so long and overwhelming that I would look at it and decide to sit and read blogs for two hours instead of attempting to tackle it. It got to a point, though, where there were items on the list too important to keep shoving aside - so I re-wrote the list. I had two headings: Urgent and Important (there was a third, something like "not that important" but I had a hard enough time not putting everything under the urgent heading - the third list ended up staying empty and eventually was dropped altogether). I then picked four items from the list to do the first day, I wrote them down on another slip of paper and then put the master to-do-list somewhere I would not stumble upon it and be tempted to try to do too much. Four seems to be the magic number - less than four and I feel rather unaccomplished at the end and try to add three more things to do and feel like a failure when they don't get done. Five things are too much and I lose sleep (or shower time) trying to get it all done. Four things fill the empty bits of the day nicely.

Rigby's arrival put a bit of a wrench in the perfect machine that was my to-do list, but I think I can get my groove back (maybe I need to try three items again). It also got too tempting to add little things to the list, like "make dinner" - something I do need to do anyways, but by adding it to the list I was making the list *look* overwhelming.

But I have veered away from my intended subject... I want to make a LIFE to-do-list. Not one of those 50 things to do before I'm 50 lists, instead it will be a list of ways I want to live - things that are important to me and then pick the top two-three things to work on right now. Once those are a part of my daily life I move on to the next two, until the who that I am matches more closely with the who I want to be. This is, of course, an ongoing project - since that is all life really is, isn't it?

I thought I could sit down and come up with the list - I thought it would be easy (I am a natural list-maker) - but now that I have intellectualised the process the way I have, I think I need to, at the very least, make a spreadsheet.

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