Is it really possible to get everything done all the time? I used to live with a written To Do list that was a mile long – full of my kids' activities, errands to run and areas I needed to clean or organize. I gave up this list years ago and said I would only have on my To Do list what I could remember. I believe this helps me stay focused in the present moment. Well age and three kids later, this list is not very long!
I recently returned to using the written To Do list when I planned to travel for work and pleasure. I did not trust myself to remember the 101 things that had to get done before I left. One day I paused and noticed what I put on my list. If I were home, some of the to dos would have never gotten onto my list. However, the thought I might die in the air and someone had to come and clean out my dresser was overwhelming. I would not want anyone ever stuck with the task to think I was a slob, so there I was at 2:00 am the night before we were leaving at 6:00 am, cleaning my dresser.
As I write this I think to myself of the absurdity of this action and thoughts. I start to think about how many other times I have had thoughts, such as if I die, get hospitalized, lost – you fill in the blank- I would want what I left behind to be a certain way. If the dresser does not bother me when I live out of it every day, why do I care if someone else thinks it's messy? Why must my house be in order when I leave, when in truth it never is when I am home? Why do I care what others think of my organizational skills (or lack ofroof), or housekeeping, bookkeeping, or fill in the blank skills?
How do these insane thoughts help me? They do not. They keep me wrapped up in the belief that I must be perfect and have everything under control. When the truth is I am so far from perfection, so who am I trying to fool! How does my need to appear a certain way interfere with living my life? Do I really want to be up cleaning out a dresser at 2:00 am before my trip? You guessed my answer.
So instead I give up. I give over the belief that I need to have everything in order and in control. I trust that whoever is cleaning my messy dresser after I die must be close enough to me to know what was important in my life.
How about you … what is important in your life? Do you let your beliefs about how you should look in life get in the way of doing what is important in your life?