the list that never ends

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The other night I told my husband I had made a list for him for BJs, our local wholesale store. After some off color jokes (from him, of course), he says to me after dinner, “Well aren’t you going to go with me?” I looked up from scrubbing a pot and replied, “No, I thought you could go in the morning.”

He looked like I had run over his puppy. “Well what else are we gonna do tonight? We might as well go now. “

What else are we gonna do tonight? What else are gonna do????

Buddy, I’ve got a to do list as long as my arm. I am never lacking something to do. And even when I think I’ve finished everything, even when I check off everything on my list, I can add ten more items without blinking.

It’s mathematically impossible for me to ever get everything done. At this rate, I’ll still have a to do list twelve years after I’m dead.

It isn’t because I’m lazy. I rarely sit during the day—I usually don’t sit until nighttime. At least, that’s when I will allow myself to sit because once I sit, it’s hard to get up and get going again. If I am sitting on the couch, it’s never because I’ve run out of things to do. I’m sitting there because I’m beat and I should be doing other things.

Most of the things I “should” be doing are self imposed. I have very few things on my to do list that other people expect of me. In fact, I could probably neglect 80% of the to do list and nobody else would even notice.

Or, they would notice, but not right away. I could leave off “go to the gym” and nobody would notice until I gained thirty pounds. I could leave off “write blog” and nobody would notice for several months when there was absolutely nothing else to read. I could leave off “cook dinner” because they would just want to go out to eat anyway. I could NOT leave off “go to the grocery store”, however because my family would notice THAT within minutes.

So why do I stress so much about getting it all done if nobody really cares but me? Why do I have heartburn and hair falling out and perpetual anxiety? I need to stop caring about things that aren’t as pressing as I let myself believe.

So that’s why I’ve made a New Year’s resolution today. I make a resolution every year and usually end up breaking it by January 14th, so I’m thinking, if I don’t actually make the resolution until January 14th, I should make it to the end of January, right? 

This year, I’ve vowed to not focus on my to do list as much. Ha. Yeah, this is probably the hardest resolution I’ve ever made. Hell, vowing to exercise every day and only eat cottage cheese would probably be an easier resolution to keep. Resolving to learn a foreign language and master the oboe would probably be easier.

I’m wound a bit tight—I really don’t know how to relax and let things go. It’s really hard for me to sit and watch a movie and not feel guilty about what I’m not doing. It’s really hard to relax while reading a book and not notice that the bookshelf needs to be dusted. It’s super hard for me to waste time doing nothing at all.

But not anymore. This year is different. I’m gonna let myself relax without feeling guilty. Hell, no one else in this house feels guilty about not getting anything done…why should I be the person giving myself a heart attack over every little thing around here?

This is the year that I tell my to do list to suck it. This is the year I go “to do list-less”. No more lists. No more stressing, no more obsessing.

It starts today—just as soon as I finish everything on today’s list…

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