To Do lists.
You either love them or hate them.
I love them when I am crossing things off - nothing like that sense of accomplishment, regardless of how mundane the items.
I will admit though that I hate to make to do lists.
Creating lists require me to be organized in my thoughts.....to know what it is I want to accomplish.
The sheer idea of thinking of all the mundane things that need to get done - clean the refrigerator, sort the mail, stop at the dry cleaner, return x,y, & Z to the store...etc, etc, etc - drives me crazy.
Life is too mundane to begin with. Why would I want to make a list outlining the numerous mundane things I have to do?
Nope....all the fantastic feeling of accomplishment crossing things off the "to do" list doesn't outweigh the cons of completing a "to do" list for me.
Unless it is something larger than the mundane tasks.
Unless it is about living life.
Unless it is about finding joy in those mundane parts of life.
I am a follower of the blog and website Tiny Budda and am inspired daily by quotes, words of wisdom, various posts about life in general.
This week I came across a post entitled "10 Simple Ways to Enjoy Life's Journey More."
Now here was a "to do" list I could get my arms around, that I could get excited about, that I looked forward to accomplishing.
Simple things like -
Take a discovery walk. Today, while I was lying on the couch with my daughter, just enjoying a quiet moment together, I was taken aback by the sun streaming through our front window with the orange red burnt leaves blowing in the wind. This moment reminded of my "Enjoy Life's Journey To Do List", so I asked Rachel to join me on a walk around the neighborhood. I usually run along the route we took....in the shadowy sun-rising morning hour....and never really took time to enjoy my neighbors gardens, the fall decorations, etc. What a joy to walk alongside my bubbly 9 year old as she chatted about life as a 9 year old....with her hand in mine. Wonderful.
Take lessons or classes My children certainly do this - Rachel takes cello , her brother attends circus camps, all the kids have attended various camps/lessons for sports and music. Seems so simple to sign them up. At what point did I decide that I no longer needed to learn new things? Guess what. That is ending this week. I've decided to sign up for a Rock Climbing class. And I'm also toying with the idea of learning how to play another instrument in addition to those piano lessons I took as a child ...maybe the guitar or violin. And a language would be fun....perhaps Italian so I can dream about an exotic vacation in the far, far, far-off future?
Keep a gratitude journal Such an easy thing to do but something I had never done until a friend suggested it several years ago. What a difference it made in my outlook. At first, I really had to think about my day and what I could be grateful for. But a few days in, I began to notice myself showing gratitude throughout the day....as those little things we so very often overlook became so evident. Talk about changing your mindset. This was a game changer for me.....until I became to comfortable and stopped writing them down. And then I had a difficult situation thrown in my lap that lead to a very tough few months - a time when I probably needed a gratitude journal more than ever - but it was something that was completely forgotten about. Today I began to take note again....and it was the little things like the sun streaming in the window, the squeeze of my daughter's hand in mine, a little baby overjoyed with glee when a dog appeared at the park during our walk. Simple things....things we overlook.....and when we take notice....have the ability to change our outlook.
And my favorite on the list?
Bike more. OK, twist my arm!
My least favorite on the list?
Create a detailed plan for your day. Oh no! Not create a "to do list" within my no to do list list?? Further inspection does not indicate creating a list of the mundane things you need to get done but to make sure that you include those really amazing experiences you want to enjoy so those mundane items don't take over. OK,....I can accept this one.
My plan is to check off all the items on this list.....over and over again. This isn't a list that will get crumpled up and thrown away when it is completed. No way. This is a list that will continue to tell my life's story. To help me enjoy the journey. Yes, there will still be all those mundane things in life that have to be done, but in the end, it is the list of how I enjoyed my life that will matter.
Who wants to join me??