This is my 100th post. It feels like it should be a celebratory one. Yay! There.
Now on to business. I tried making a to-do list to match my husband’s strategy when he has a lot to accomplish at a time. I’m not usually a list girl. If it is important, I will remember it. It is kind of a built-in prioritizing mechanism.
So I made a list. It was long. It had 26 must-do-now items (big ones) and then a bunch of things written up the sides of the paper and on top, and on the back and then there was no more room. The problem with me and lists, I remember now, is that I can’t prioritize on paper. I think it means I have to do everything on it right away. So I do. Usually simultaneously. And then I burn out.
And come to think of it, last week’s burn out all started with a list as well. Ever since I can remember I have jumped to finish tasks and get them in the ‘done’ category before I can even write them down. I remember my first phone bills as a teenager – I would rip them open and run to the bank with a cloud streak following behind me because I couldn’t stand to leave it undone (I wait until the due date at least now!).
I’m also the kind of person that doesn’t know her role most of the time. I have a terrible habit of pissing off my bosses by assuming their jobs are my responsibility. And that of all my other colleagues too. Kind of like that helpful person in the park that returns your Frisbee when you’re playing Frisbee golf (like the usual game without the course, clubs or balls). It isn’t that I actually go to other people’s desks and start taking things away. It is more that I think I’m supposed to do it all and beat myself up when I don’t. I don’t have perspective around these things. The result is that I try for happy medium and show up lazy, frantic and everything in between.
Also, it isn’t that I can’t see what needs to be done first or what is most important on a list. It is that I can’t leave things undone. And on a farm that is like committing sanity suicide. I should clarify that cleaning my house is something I have no problem leaving undone. That’s a glitch in my system.
I recall writing about being only one person. As I look at my list, (or not make a list at all), I need a new mantra that repeatedly reminds me that I am only one person. I cannot be expected to do the work of others. This includes the work of my children as well – they have to learn to dress themselves, tie their shoes, brush their teeth. Enabling a child to do things for themselves is what a good parent does. Not returning their Frisbee in the middle of a game.
Incidentally in my list fury yesterday I showed up at the feed store for pig food and layer mash and there was that telling sound of chickens coming from their shed. It was ready-to-lay day and I had totally forgotten! I had set aside my brain and turned to a piece of paper as my guide and something as important as: ‘there are a dozen living full grown chickens waiting for you’ got wiped out. Thank goodness I happened to be there at the right time and they had some boxes for me.
I’m going to drop the list thing. My cloud-making superhero can’t cope with them very well. I don’t usually forget important things. That could be how I cull the stuff that doesn’t need to get done right away. As someone who blogs to make sense of a batty world, I think my mind might take the written word too seriously. I have a habit of putting what I write down into practise as though it is the gospel. And some little things don’t deserve that kind of attention. Not immediately anyway.
I’m going to keep working on leaving things undone. We will probably all survive. In fact, I’ll have a good look at my dirty, dirty house and see what’s behind that (because I even seem to drum up some forgiveness there). More of that please. Much more of that.
It is not more money that I want. I do not need more shoes. I have a lot of good friends. I have a family that I love dearly. What I am asking for is perspective. Give me the wisdom to see the difference between the stuff I can’t do anything about and the stuff I can. Let me know what is mine and what belongs to others. Give me faith that I will know what is important and that it will all work out okay.
And for the 100th time - thanks so much for reading! This has been a great journey so far.