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Do you love making lists?
Well, I do. I always have a to-do list with me. Most times it’s written on my phone while at others it’s just a mental note. Sometimes it’s a reminder while at others it’s just a sticky note. The underlying factor being I’m always on the go with one task to follow the other. I do like the comfort of knowing that I have a list to fall back on if I forget though that rarely happens. But in the midst of all the mental notes, reminders and lists, each day in my life looks like an assembly line, activities to be done one after the other. Yes, my time is always filled with one or the other item on a to-do list leaving me with no chance to just be.
While the lists definitely help me but do they really?
If I can be completely honest with you, I wish for nothing better than the carefree life of a child. When it’s 2 am in the morning and a sleep deprived me is on the verge of a breakdown because my daughter just won’t stop crying or sleep as quickly as I want her to, I just want to run away to being a kid again and let my parents do all the grown-up things in the world. In those moments, which definitely are not among my best, I wish my list only had which chapters I have left to study or which subject I’m yet to start revision for. I don’t know when the list transitioned from what I need to study to cooking, packing, paying credit card bills, apartment maintenance, M’s fees to linking Aadhar to my accounts!
It’s all very confusing because if given a chance I wouldn’t probably go back in time. But being a grown-up, a parent and then a working mom is so darn tough that I can’t help yearning for simpler times with simpler lists. A simpler life!
At the rate I’m going, I think I’m well and truly into the danger zone of a burnout. A few days back I read Vidya’s post Horse, Mindfulness and To Don’t List. I loved it so much, especially the To Don’t List, that I had to make one of my own. Maybe a different kind of list is what I need. Instead of worrying about what I have to do, maybe I should try a different approach. And thinking about all that I don’t have to do sounds promising, doesn’t it?
It’s worth a try!
So, here I am and let’s gets started with the list.
The To-don’t list.
Ignore my health or skip breakfast.
Worry about not being valued because I have the most wonderful and loving family to back me up.
Try and do everything myself.
Worry about the policies that make my life as a working mom difficult. No point worrying about what isn’t in my hand.
Fret too much when M refuses to eat. I don’t always have to obsess about feeding her.
Fight everyone else’s battles.
Explain my beliefs to others.
Worry about how clean or messed up the house looks. Or, arrange everything every single day.
While writing down the list, I realised I need to stop from time to time, rest and maybe just breathe. Be grateful for what I have. Listen to music and just not do anything for a while. Mindfulness, perhaps, is the key. A conscious effort to be mindful of uncluttering my mind with the things that really don’t need my attention or time. Also, try and remember that I’m only human, not someone who needs to do everything well all the time. It’s okay to falter, slacken my hold even. Because I won’t do anybody any good if I burn out, would I? Let’s see though how much I succeed or even how much I remember to follow the to-don’t list.
So, that was me. Tell me, what would be on your To-Don’t List? Try it out because if nothing it’s definitely therapeutic.