Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who Does The To-Do List Work For?

So, I love to-do lists. I mean, I really love them. Basically, if I'm upset about anything at all, "making a to-do list" would be one of the top three cures for my angst. I've learned, however, that there are different uses for lists and that it's important to remember: The List Works for ME! I do NOT work for the List! Seriously, if you use a list correctly, it's a comforting friend and aid. But, give it too much power, and you're done.

Case in point:  We've been without Daddy for just over two weeks now. At three weeks, two days, we will officially enter the "longest time we've been without Daddy" zone. Already, my girls are asking when he'll be back; and I'm ready, too. But, we're just beginning. This is stressful and I'm getting tired, cranky, and negative. Solution? Among many things, make a to-do list. Write it all down. And then stand on top of it and look down on it and say "I'm in charge, list! I'll do what I want and need to do and that's it!"

Sometimes I write my list in order of priority of task. Sometimes I just "vomit" onto the paper all the things that are rattling in my head that "need" to be done....and then I alphabetize them for fun. Sometimes I categorize them by area of life or person that they pertain to.  And then, when I'm through being stressed, pissed, sad, and angry, I do a few things on the list, feel better and eventually throw the list away.

It's not really about finishing the list, I've learned. It's about knowing that it's there if I need it. Sometimes it's just comforting to have my life reduced to an oblong piece of paper  - before I go back to living for real.

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