For years I have lived in a world of lists. Honestly as far back as I can remember I would make lists. I know I watched my mom making her lists and how she would cross them off. (I think she would say that I came into this world with a list and enjoyed checking off… being born 🙂 ) I always liked to add “extra” things I do to my list so I could cross them off. It made me feel triumphant!
Motherhood made lists a lot harder. Accomplishing even simple tasks were a struggle. I really had lost control of my time and I had a lot more time than ever before since I was staying home. A lot of mothering was and is reacting to life, new needs, new symptoms sometimes and new dynamics. And I also got frustrated with myself and lists. Nothing got crossed off some days and some weeks. It created a current in me that I wasn’t being a good mom and that I was not going to ever catch up. I would beat myself up so I just stopped writing it all down. I had it in my head. All lists… to-dos, to buy, to get done with my kids and to get at the grocery store. It was not helpful and it was living in denial. Because then all of a sudden BAM there was reality to hit me. I wouldn’t get something important done, I would forget to call someone, I would let my kids down by running out of milk, etc. So more of the beat myself kind of feeling.
So for years I lived like this. But surviving without lists doesn’t work for me anymore. I wasn’t completely away from lists. Major events or ministry events were planned with lists and I could make those deadlines. But a new era has dawned at our house. I am back at making lists and working hard to cross them off. But I have a better sense of balance now. I break up the big projects into smaller pieces and I don’t beat myself up anymore!
It will all get done someday (or the night before if I have really procrastinated). Usually if it has an * by it, it is done immediately. It feels good to revisit a skill that is a talent and have structure again. I know that deep down in me the recovering type A/first-born is giddy with delight saying, “Watch Out, I’m Back.” Trying to keep balance as my focal point and not let the doing get in the way of my living.
Do you have something that you have set aside because it brought you too much frustration? What could you do to find balance in doing that again and not being so hard on yourself?