Adding To The To-Do-List

To Do

By Kate

In more ways than one, my life seems to be one big reflex test. You could call it the ‘alarm rings-wake up, get up, drink up (caffeine that is), and get out’ reaction. It’s only when I take a second to stop and really think about my life – the patterns, interactions, and day-to-day events– that I realize how rarely I tap the mindful check-in button.

What can I say? I’m a creature of habit. And in many instances, that works for me. It’s what ensures that I’m in bed, to dinner, and at work on time. Our dishes are clean and our laundry is folded thanks to an every-other-day policy. I enjoy my step-by-step morning routine because, to be honest, it doesn’t require much thought and thinking hard at 5 am isn’t on my TDL.

So, it’s not all bad. The cause and effect way of living has its reliable advantages. I crave a color coded schedule and I find comfort in having a plan. I like knowing what I’ll make for supper every night and what time I will wake up each morning.

And yet, there are more days than not that my schedule runs the show, start to finish, with little time left over for spontaneity. Because the lawn needs to be mowed and the oil needs to be changed, while reading my book and heading to the beach are optional. Not to mention, they feel somewhat superfluous. Through glorifying work and productivity, enjoyment and restoration have come to feel extravagant…or perhaps even undeserved.

Here’s the thing though, I like reading and I love the beach. They may not fit into the ‘quit slackin’ and make it happen’ lifestyle, but they bring me joy, add to my well-being, and make me feel alive. That’s got to be worth something right? Just because flipping the pages of a novel and strolling through the sand aren’t considered accomplishments doesn’t mean they aren’t purposeful.

Maybe life isn’t all about checking items off the to-do-list or maybe things like reading and the beach deserve a few lines on it. And even if balance proves to be impossible to ever really achieve, I’ll keep working towards it.

I’ll still set my alarm and faithfully rely on my planner, but perhaps I’ll skip chores some nights in favor of an evening on our deck. Or I’ll stop at my favorite store on my way home, just because. I’ll hike more, for no other reason than that I love it. Because I don’t want to solely check off or get through my life. As I take a second to really stop and think about it, I realize that I’d like to enjoy it too.

{featured image via pexels}

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