Has your to-do list ever taken over your soul and controlled your mind like some sort of organisational dementor? Sort of like a Kondo with teeth and giant tentacles that seeks to remind you that YOU HAVE THINGS TO DO. Or like a Tonia Todman gone wrong, tucking you and your world in within an inch of its life?
Honestly, mine sometimes doooooo.
I only realised it today when my to do list slipped from helpful to … controlling.
I was just hanging out listening to the radio, eating cheese, thinking about stuff as I drank a glass of very cold riesling …
And I wanted to write down a thing that I thought of.
And then I thought of a another thing to write down. And then my brain rang an unfamiliar alarm.
And I warned myself that I don’t need to keep track of every little thing. And that a thing on the list is not a must do. It’s just a might do. Because sometimes thing change and the thing you had to do shifts a little or a lot and that is OKAY. And also I WROTE THE THING. I am allowed to NOT DO THE THING.
In about 3 seconds flat I realised that to-do lists can be very mindcontrol-y and annoying if you let them be that way. And that made me feel HAPPY and like I am actually on the mend.
Don’t get me wrong. I love lists and they have actually 1000 percent saved my sanity for so many years, when I didn’t really know what to do next, such was my sadness and struggle. My to-do lists helped me to push on and sort out my days. I love them so much.
But when you are NOT in sadness and struggle. When you are feeling grateful and okay and semi-delighted and a bit like things are a little better … you can rethink the very driven/borderline obsessive to do list urge a little bit, I reckon.
You might not need the list to wrangle your anxiety and focus your foggy day. You might not need that dot point map of your days so keenly anymore.
Perhaps you can dip your toe in the less list-y life and feel a little bit of spontaneous sunshine and swishy pond and breezy tree and just random mind wandering.
You can just be where you are now. With nothing … to do this minute.
What I am saying – and my boss Ella would call this ‘burying the lead’ – is that to-do lists can be so helpful, but they can also snap you out of the perhaps-quite-pleasant-at-this-moment-nice-time and urge you to hurry on and schedule all the things.
Learning to balance my to-dos with my no-need-to-do-a-thing-right-now is my new to-do.
Oh. Whoops. Shit. Well. You know what I mean. I’m TRYING.
I’m going to make an effort to look at my to-dos as my to-maybe-dos and I’m going to more enjoy reflecting on my to-dones and where things are right now.
You are so welcome for this babble. No problem.
PS: I’m back on the blog now! I handed in my book and I have some space back in my life for my beloved blog. Yayyyyy! Thank you for waiting for me!