I don’t really know what I’m doing or what direction this is going to go in so if you happen upon this don’t feel like you have to read it. But for the last month there has been something inside of me screaming to get out. And since I don’t know exactly what that ‘IT’ is I really don’t know how to release it. After a series of events over the last few months (most prominently being the passing of my grandmother) I am left questioning how to live a more meaningful life .. a life where I feel more things. I have ideas, theories, things I want to try etc but I was having a little trouble actually starting them. While I was rambling to a friend the other day I realized that I keep saying things that I want to do / should do / know I have to do .. but I seem to get hung up on the actually doing them part. And I found myself annoyed at myself and as soon as she left I vowed (to the notes section on my iphone) to make some changes.
But my problem is some of the things I want to do are big tasks that aren’t easily completed with a kid hanging on each leg. So instead of trying to do them at once I felt like I needed to break them down into tiny bits that I do each day. For example I want to purge so much crap from our house but was overwhelmed and my friend suggested getting rid of 1 item on day 1, 2 items on day 2, 3 items on day … you get the idea. And I have a years worth of papers to file but don’t have 3 hours to sit and do it all at once so I thought maybe I could do a little bit each day.
So I decided to make a daily checklist because I can only do things if it seems like a competition with myself. So I searched for a blank daily check list on Pinterest. Side note.. you would NOT believe the ridiculous to-do list/ checklists that are out there! A 30 item weekly checklist on how to clean your house?! A 20 item daily checklist for social media. My stomach hurt just looking at all of the things people think they should be doing.
Anywho, My list started out well with things I really want to do to improve myself … meditate, journal, that getting rid of one+ item each day thing … As soon as I started the list I began to lose focus and put stupid things on there like pick up my house at the end of the day and respond to emails , deep clean 1 room, or prepare for the next day .. Then I realized I was missing the FRICKIN point of what I was trying to accomplish. A meaningful existence. And I can promise you a meaningful life of feeling isn’t found after cleaning my toilet once a week!!!!
So I made a new checklist .. a LIFE checklist.. It does not include no brainer things that I would do eventually like emails and work … and it does not include cleaning or catching up on filing. It includes quality things that I think will actually make my life better and lead to a more meaningful, fun, fulfilled life .. well that and vitamins .. because I can never seem to make myself take those.
Here it is ..
Meditate – because everywhere I turn someone is recommending it so it must be like coconut oil for your mind.
Journal / Write .. I used to hate journaling for various reasons but I’ve been doing it lately and have been really enjoying it
Purge something – I’ll start with one item on day one, 2 items on day 2 and so on .. Resulting in hopefully getting rid of a ton of crap by the end of 30 days. I kept this one on there because I do think purging clears mental space and I’m in desperate need or more mental space.
Take vitamins –just because I keep forgetting .. like since March
Do something silly .. I take life way too seriously sometimes
Be brave / do something scary – this isn’t as hard as it seems. I’m scared of a lot of things
Feel something – as easy as standing out in the rain .. assuming it’s raining
Read (something other than Dr. Suess)
Share something real – I’m ready for some more real talk and less surface stuff .. this post is todays 🙂
Quit something every Thursday.. I stole this one from my hero Bob Goff .. If you haven’t read LOVE DOES stop everything and order it on Amazon .. or get it from the library. But now that I think of it he doesn’t talk about quitting things in that book at all. But still get it, read it, live it!
Play .. just another reminder to stop taking life so seriously.
I recently took a quiz (obviously I was procrastinating something else) from Gretchen Rubin (you know, author of the Happiness Project) It was a quiz on what she calls the Four Tendencies. The short explanation is that the quiz helps determine how we individually respond to expectations (inner and outer) which helps us figure out how we can best change our habits.. You can be an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel. I knew before taking it that I would be an Obliger. Which in Gretchen’s words means “I do what I have to do. I don’t want to let others down, but I may let myself down.” Which I interpret as .. I do what others tell me to do but I’m not motivating myself to make changes in my life that I want to do .. which is kind of lame in my opinion and also explains a lot of my issues. Obligers are externally motivated so it’s best to share goals with others that will keep you accountable. So I choose to share my list publicly with the 2 people* that read this blog to hopefully make it stick.
I’ll report back.
Feel inspired to make your own list? Do share it with me!!
And in case you don’t care about my to-do list but still somehow made it this far .. here are a couple photos of my kids playing boat in a cardboard box to make you smile.
*And by 2 people I mean that my mom usually reads it twice.