I like making lists. For better or for worse, It helps me feel in control of my life. I suppose that, as a person of faith, I'm not supposed to want control of my life, but in the day to day matters, it keeps me sane.
Speaking of sanity, or lack thereof, the door to my van fell off today. It's been sticking for a few months now, so I really should have put it on my to do list to get that looked at. Upon returning from the grocery store, I opened the back driver's side door to let Isabella out, and a piece just snapped off from the inside somewhere and the door hit the ground. Frustrating. We did get it put back on, but I just know I'm going to forget and try to open that door again tomorrow and we'll have to start all over again.
Anyways, there was a season of my life in which I couldn't keep any sort of lists or schedules. That was the time that I had a three year old, a one year old, and an infant. My to do list each day consisted of -
1.) Keep everyone alive
2.) Keep everyone fed
3.) Do the dishes
4.) Do the laundry
That was it. I didn't dust for over a year. I rarely cleaned the floors and we didn't do any "projects". It was mommy survival mode at it's peak. Someday I'm going to write a book called "Doggy Paddle Parenting: Just keep your head above water... as much as possible". Things started to level out somewhere along the way, and I was slowly able to take on some of the less important, but still important, tasks. I even started a ministry for other "doggy paddling" moms. Sometimes we just showed up in our yoga pants and ate donuts, but we were a team.
I learned a lot from that season. The two chief things were -
1) I need to read as much as I need to eat and sleep. I must always make time for feeding my brain
2) I have to make sure I keep myself on the list of people to take care of. If I burn out, nobody gets what they need.
I told you I like lists. Two different sets of lists already. One more list before I go. These are the three types of to do lists I like to keep, now that I'm able to do so again -
1.) Things to do someday - these things are not urgent, but I'd like to get around to them eventually. An example of this would be dusting the light fixtures. It kinda bugs me, but at the end of the day, those little dead bugs aren't hurting anyone.
2) Things to do now - these things are a little more urgent, but haven't been prioritized to the next list
3)Things to do today - my "things to do now" list is always longer than I can achieve in one day, so I have to write down the most urgent things into my planner. An example of this would be "get the van to the shop before that door falls off again." Sometimes I don't even have room for anything from the other two lists, which is ok because it's all about recognizing that I'll never get it all done. This is why it is important to prioritize.
One more thing I'll leave you with before I go. I didn't think of it, but it's been extremely helpful to me. Only put 3 items on your to do list every day. This is in addition to the every day stuff like folding laundry and cleaning up breakfast. Before I had kids, I could easily cross off 10 or 15 items, but I've got to be realistic now, or else I'm just setting myself up to be frustrated and I'll forget one very important thing -
Life most often happens in the interruptions.