The thing about ‘to do’ lists, besides the fact that they’re never-ending, is how they trick me into a way of life that satisfies me on the surface “look how much I’ve accomplished” while impoverishing me inside. I am so often not ‘in the moment’. I wake up thinking “to do: get out of bed, do exercises, get breakfast…” and I’m already depressed that there won’t be enough time before work for a bit of colouring. And, resentful, I dawdle and end by rushing about to leave for work on time.
I remember waking up as a child with vague, happy hopes of what the day might bring, and I’m trying hard to bring that back. If I create my ‘to do’ list on paper, make it reasonable, and then set it aside, I find I can enjoy myself more. Part of the key is making the list reasonable and not filling absolutely every minute with some chore. Another key is not constantly referring to it all day long. I need long moments that are not previously allocated, moments for enjoying the green of the new grass that has finally arrived and feeling my spirits lift in response, moments where I can be fully present.
I’ve done it before so I’m optimistic. But it’s been only short bursts of awareness. I want to stretch those moments into my normal outlook, fight the drive to be always useful and replace it with to be always, and joyfully, here.