Joy on the To Do List
In a desperate attempt to reclaim some balance in our lives Bill and I frequently have a discussion that involves phrases such as: “Nothing else!” “No way. I can’t do it!” “I’m overwhelmed.” “We can’t do that. We are over committed.” On a daily basis I have to say no to a LOT of things people want me to do for them. Then at some point recently I said, “Wait a minute…Is the goal to eliminate anything that’s not mandatory for our livelihood (emails, work, taxes), our home (laundry, cleaning, maintenance), our bodies (exercise, food, doctor’s visits) or parenting (teacher conferences, helping with homework, transportation to activities)?!” Am I clearing my schedule, to what, make more room for work? It took me waaay too many years to figure this out. Way too many.
The goal is not to get rid of the things we don’t have to do. The goal is to do more things that feeds us emotionally and spiritually, that brings us joy, that helps us become the people we want to be. That stuff needs to be on the list. For sure. What doesn’t have to be on the list: arguing with people, screaming at people in traffic (newsflash: they can’t hear you and PS, they so don’t care what you think of their driving), spending time on things to impress other people, watching violence on TV, gossiping, being angry at things you can’t change, allowing someone to make you feel bad over and over and over, wishing someone ill, being bitter. That’s time spent that makes you tired and sucks the life out of you. It’s just two categories: The things you have to do and the things you need to do to help you do the things you have to do and that will make you happy. More time that feeds you and brings you joy. Less time spent doing things that make you someone you don’t want to be. What can you do today that will help you be more of the person you want to be? That’s #1 on your To Do list.
Moving seven years ago *really* rocked my apple cart. The many empty closets and cabinets mirrored the emptiness in my heart. And so I began to fill the spaces to the point where I exchanged being stymied by emptiness (perceived) to being stymied by over saturation. It has taken me months, but I am finally feeling the lifting of my self-imposed ‘too much’ — too much stuff, too much to do, too many commitments. And instead of the silence being deafened by guilt, my spirit is saying Ahhhhhhhh more and more.