This is one of those weeks that has more things scheduled than I think there are hours within the week. Or, actually, there are probably enough hours in the week but that would mean probably giving up sleep. And, grin, going from experience that is not the way to go.
I woke up this Monday morning early, with the sun just barely peeking over the yellowing maple tree leaves, and I felt my heart begin to race. Get moving. Finish this. Remember. How are you going to finish that? Go there. Too much to do. Did you do that? The to-do list was moving on to a second piece of paper and I started a second cup of coffee and began to get distracted with every single thing that needed to be finished.
I could feel time slipping by – racing by – as I tried to determined how I was going to balance everything I needed to accomplish today. Then I realized – it wasn’t going to all get done no matter how many extra hours I would hypothetically be blessed with. I knew I was going to have to choose between all of those important things on that terribly long distracted to-do list of mine.
Do this. Don’t do that. Remember the real important. Don’t compare. Slow down. Schedule family time.
It’s this balance of not letting the to-do list distract me from my real importants. My real importants? Teaching my kids. Getting breakfast. Sitting and having coffee with my husband. Playing with my kids. Not racing through the day to just get everything done, but rather allowing myself to step back just a bit and live with an intentional and grateful spirit despite the busy.
That part is hard. The grateful, stilling of the heart racing and managing of the to-do list, part when I have that ridiculous to-do list that needs an index.
The to-do list is like picking apples, in a way. Yesterday, we picked apples at my parents as the sun set. The deal with picking them is that you start with the apples up high on the branch and let the easy to pick apples wait until you get the high ones otherwise the branch gets too light and those apples get popped up too high. It’s prioritizing what needs to be done – and picking them one at a time at a time at a time. It takes time, and it’s easy to think that the tree will never be picked, and yet, if you keep at it eventually all those apples will find their way in boxes and bags.
My family is on the top of my to-do list. That’s not distracted. That’s rightly-ordered.
So I take my to-do list and I break it down. Urgent. Must do. Family. Writing. House. And then I start to choose and list my tops in each category and then that is where I start. When I see it all staring me in the face I get overwhelmed and distracted and that’s when I fuss over the milk spilled or laundry to do or toys dumped out in a pile. I call it the distracted to-do list because I miss the real important and get way too frustrated when I don’t accomplish everything on it.
Today? I’m kicking the distracted to-do list to the curb and starting at the top.
Then the rest. One thing, one check mark, at a time.
That is starting at the top.