Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Endless “To Do” List

Dear Amy,

It’s been a long couple of weeks. We’re in the process of making some very significant financial decisions right now and I admit, I’m overwhelmed. Unfortunately, Rit and I both fall into the endless cycle of becoming paralyzed by indecision because we’re so afraid of making the wrong decision. The absence of my usual jolts of caffeine and sugar racing through my system is making things particularly…um…hard. I’m so grumpy, I can hardly stand to be a room with me.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when faced with all of the many roles of the stay-at-home parent. Many of us fill the roles of parent, housekeeper, chef, gardener, behaviorist, researcher, executive assistant, accountant, personal shopper, organizer, seamstress, party planner, dog walker, teacher and chauffer. It’s easy to feel buried, tortured by the ever-present thought that you’ll never get ahead, you’ll never claw your way to the top of your to do list.

A week and a half ago, I hit bottom…not really, but it felt like it. I put the boys down for naps, went outside to the back patio, turned my face to the sun and just sat. I sat and thought and tried to work through how I could ever accomplish everything I need (and want) to each day…in a mere 24-hour period.

And then I started writing. I went through the first several chapters of one of my favorite books, How to Organize Just About Everything by Peter Walsh. I felt a deep need to get back to basics, to re-evaluate my priorities, and to look closer at what I truly want in life. The first several chapters of the book cover “Getting Organized” and “The Nitty Gritty” of daily life. By the time the boys woke up from their naps, I had page after page in my journal filled with very specific, measureable goals. They range from my personal goals in all aspects of my life to family goals, relationship goals, household goals, and parenting goals. I even created a new personal mission statement and came up with an immediate to do list.

We all have those things that we procrastinate on, the things that get shoved to the back burner with the promise of doing it later. But later never comes and those never-completed tasks begin to pile up and crowd your peripheral vision. It becomes harder and harder to focus on the bigger picture.

As we work on revamping our physical wellness through better eating habits, it seems natural to revamp other areas of our lives as well. Here’s to getting on top of things and finally crossing off everything on that to do list.

Who’s with me?

Love, Kate


talesofahummingbird said...

i am SO there with you...and 36 weeks pregnant with a 16 month old. i keep a big to do list and then each day depending on our schedule, the weather, etc...i make a tiny to do list for that specific day. one that i know i can accomplish. and i even write down things like grocery shopping so i get the satisfaction of crossing that monumental event off my list when it happens. if i had my way i'd ship my son off to grandma's for a week to really get ahead...but i'd miss him...and it wouldn't be as fun. so i just keep trucking and try to include him in the fun and make it a learning process for him when i can (folding laundry, watering the garden, etc). and i guess, for a stay at home momma there is something to be said for falling into a glorious heap of goodness in your soft comfy bed at the end of the day. :) hang in there - we super moms have a lot of plates to spin! but i do love being a super hero, the cape is way cute!

Molly said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, Katie. I recently heard someone say, "What's going to happen is happening." I think that is so true. If you want to do something in your life, be it big or small, you have to make it happen today. You can't wait for tomorrow or next week or next month because then it just never seems to get done. Reading your post inspired me to set some new goals for myself. Thanks.

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