Are you a list maker? Does it feel like they run your life sometimes?
In my working days I had little sticky notes in multiple places. There was always one on the side of our refrigerator when our kids were growing up.
I had special note pads for Christmas, small ones for fall and summer. There were one or two on my desk. If I didn’t write it down it was often lost.
These days lists have gone techy. I still have a small paper pad in my work area but I keep lists on my iPhone. There are shopping lists for groceries, Costco, Target, and Hobby Lobby.
I have a To Be Read list for books in the Notes app and miscellaneous things as well as to-do.
All of them are about doing. To read, to buy, to do, to give, to go…….
Are you tired yet?
Summer sounds like the perfect time to make a NOT to-do list. I had to give this a lot of thought. We are oriented to do. Not doing sounds lazy; at the least unproductive.
Here’s what I came up with:
Not To Do
- Negative self-talk
I excel at apologizing for, well, being me. I chastise myself for eating too much, not being more generous, speaking harshly, not doing more…and so it goes
2. Engage in conversations that I know will incite division
This one is easy for me because at heart I’m a peacemaker. These days it can be more challenging. Everyone has an opinion and it seems like they think they should share it. People have forgotten how to agree to disagree. I try to stay out of that toxic behavior.
3.Use food, social media, wine or other substances and activities to self-medicate
There was a lot of talk about the COVID 15. We were confined to home so we ate. Apparently a lot. I’ve done my share of numbing in the past. I’m not sure there was only one substance I preferred. The key is to be aware. Examine the need you’re filling. This is a tough one because it takes honest, and deep, introspection.
4. Ignore the needs of others
My dollar to a panhandler might not change his life but I don’t want to ignore the needs that are right in front of me. Sometimes it’s as close as our neighbor or family. Texts, phone calls, a card in the mail, all of these can bring comfort to someone. I don’t want to ignore the lonely and lost.
5. Put my family last
Are you thinking, ‘duh!’? It’s easier to do than we realize.
I’ve heard it from people whose parent(s) were in leadership positions, ministry, pastors…the kind of arenas where they were giving time to others and forgetting to give to their own.
6. Ignore personal self-care
Is you hand up? I never heard the term self-care until a few years ago. We were eating three meals a day, bathing, wearing clean clothes, trying to get a little exercise and sleeping in a comfortable bed. Isn’t that self-care? Well, it’s a start.
I’m learning how to still my thoughts and control my breathing. To be less demanding with what I think I should do. I’m learning about balance and how it’s not 50-50 every day. We can’t ignore self-care forever. If we try it will eventually speak up in ways not to be ignored.
As I look at my list I realized the not to-do list is far more important than doing.
Are you ready to make a NOT To-Do list?