Make a List of All the Things

When we first got married, Nathan would often say to me “Crisis averted.” Like almost everyday. I preface this post with that so you can see I have a long history of weighty undertakings that lead to catastrophic desperations – at least in my mind : )

This is one of those times. I can’t bear the lead weight of the tasks looming over my head. They clog my brain and cloud my thinking. Tell me this happens to you! The emotional drain is priceless energy I desperately need but is being stolen. What can I do?? Nathan quickly intervenes in my paralysis and tells me to make a list. I complain that making this said endless list will take For-Ever! But I make a list of everything on which I am behind. I write all the things down to get a handle on the unnamed, undesignated, unspecified tasks. Each item is instantly clear and concise.

Now that they are on paper, I usually show it to Nathan and ask for his input. He points out the ridiculousness of my plans, calms my worries, and immediately my anxieties fade away. Some tasks are unnecessary (like ironing the tablecloth – what?!), some can be delegated (make a return to Walmart, pick up the boots from the shoe cobbler), and most can be accomplished in minutes. I could do two in the morning and two in the afternoon. I could do two more tomorrow. At worst, some of the unfinished tasks were overdue responsibilities that bring frustration, and crossing them off the list today would bring instant euphoria.

The heavy requirements that overwhelm and trap me, begin to shrink, and my brain is unbelievably grateful. You see, getting a handle on chaos can be a real struggle, but adding one more thing to the simple task list, declutters my disorganized mind immediately!

When we’ve had a newborn, I do this with regularity until days are more consistent and life formalizes. I thrive on systems and structure, but I usually lack the drive to keep them up. The simple practice of making a list of all the things, keeps my barometer balanced.

Remember that no one can weigh you down like yourself. Start that list!

with love. Damaris

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