I was talking to my friend today about how, now that her kids are both in school, how she fills her time. I imagined that since she has 3-5 hours a day, she must be into so many new projects, doing things for herself, becoming the person that she so wanted to be.
Instead, she told me, that she was still so busy. There never seemed to be time for herself. There always was something to get done: laundry, cleaning, cooking, errands, all sorts of stuff.
I asked her, “Ya, but what do you do for YOU?” She said, well, I get out to see a movie once in a while.
Then she asked me, “What about you? How do you have time to do all that you do?” I’m a writer, a runner, a reader, and now a toastmaster, a former yoga instructor, in addition to doing all the mom stuff and homeschooling. She knows how much I do and how much I enjoy what I do. “How do you find time? Don’t you have to do the laundry and dishes and all that we have to do?”
I told her, “I make time.”
No matter how much we get done, our to-do list is NEVER empty. I could spend all day cleaning and working on the house, but that would never get done. There is always something else on the list. If I am ever going to make time for myself, and for the things that make me who I am, make me feel alive, I have to do it now, and make the conscious decision to take time for what I love. The dishes, the laundry, all that, they can wait for me. These things always manage to get done eventually.
There’s only so much a person can do in one lifetime. And when I die, at my funeral, I don’t want people to say, “She kept her house so well.” I want people to say, “She was always busy with interesting projects that helped people. She put her family first. She knew herself, what she liked and let nothing stand in her way of enjoying life. She made time for what was important to her and she loved the people around her with abandon.”
Nobody is going to give me a medal for finishing my to-do li
Like my husband says, “The only time our to-do list is empty, is when we are dead.”
I have a very long to-do list. But once I realized that I am not trapped by it, and I am not its slave, having a long to-do list doesn’t scare me anymore. It’s there as a tool to help me prioritize and remind me of what I need to do, eventually. But the most important thing on my to-do list, that’s at the very top is, “Be who I am and live life to its fullest.” If I don’t do that, then what’s the point of all the other stuff?
So, what about you? Are you trapped by your to-do list? Do you live a life you are proud of and look forward to getting out of bed in the morning and embracing the day like an old friend?