To Do Or Not To Do?

The weather outside is dreary.  It is a cold, rainy/snowy day.  It’s the kind of day that makes you want to curl up on the couch with a soft blanket and nap.  The kids are independently working and I have some time to work on my to-do list for the week.  Every week, I compile a list of the things that I want to get accomplished.  The usual things such as cleaning the house, getting materials ready for the next week, creating units that they want to study, etc.  Each week, I work as hard as I can to check off those items, only to do it all over again.

Today, I was looking at my to-do list and I couldn’t help but think of the things that are missing.  I need to pay the utilities this week.  I need to add that.  I have to sign the youngest up for basketball.  I need to add that.  My list gets longer, but the amount of time that I have to get things done is the same.  I work diligently to check items off and when I go to bed I should have a sense of accomplishment about the things that I finished that day.   Only, I don’t.

You see, when I go to bed I think about all the things I didn’t do that day.  I think about the opportunities that I had, that I wasted.  My son wanted me to play cards with him, and I was busy doing something else.  My daughter gave me a hug and I quickly patted her and kept working.  I am not an absent parent, but there are times that I am dismissive because I have a goal that I need accomplished.

My to-do list keeps me focused.  But, it also keeps me rigid at times.  If I have too much on my list I feel the stress creeping into the back of my shoulders.  I feel the tension, and then I get stressed and irritated.  I know that there is nothing on that list that absolutely has to be done in that moment.  I have my kids lessons planned up through the end of January.  The unit I am working on?  It’s not needed for another month.    There are things that are urgent, and things that can wait.

I need to do a better job of completing items on my to-do list.  I need to prioritize my list, and if I have my must do’s completed, I need to take time to be spontaneous.  To do, or not to do?  That should be my question.  My to-do list should include some moments for myself and my family, but it shouldn’t need to be written.  Play a card game with my son.  Make a batch of cookies for my husband.  Watch a Hallmark movie with my daughter.  Sit in the floor and work a puzzle with my other son.  Read a few chapters in my book.  Take a nap.  Call my mom.  Stop letting my to-do list run my life.  Those are the items that should be my priority.


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