The List

28 Jan

to doEvery morning I wake up, I am confronted with an impossible to-do list riddled with tasks of all varieties.  Some of the things I have on my list have specific times or deadlines by which they need to be accomplished.  Other things on my list include a laundry list of errands and chores that continue to pile one up on another like a precarious set of children’s blocks.  Then there are the “me” things on the list that have been included because I’ve been told so many times that it is important to take care of myself – exercise, reading, meditation, crafts and hobbies …

Every night when I go to bed almost everything on my to-do list from that morning remains in place, ready to be included on the next day’s list.  Typically most of the deadline or scheduled items have been accomplished.  A handful of the errands or chores have been, but they typically have had to be relisted as they have already been undone.  Rarely, if ever, are any of the “me” things on my list accomplished.

As I lay in bed each night I toil in my mind through my list.  I try to analyze my day, and critique my efficiency.  The voices in my head typically chastise me for failing to take life seriously, or failing to have my priorities straight.  Inevitably it is during this quiet time at night, I will suddenly remember some critical “to-do” that somehow failed to make the list.  Many nights this awareness will occur in the midst of a dream, as if some slumbering scepter whispers in my ear.  It will suddenly creep into my consciousness, and in the midst of the early morning hours, in the dark, I will be panicking about how to fix this oversight and keep the world from crashing in.

Like the piles of laundry, stacks of clutter, jam packed bookshelves, my to-do list has become so overwhelming and unwieldy.  I work frantically through the day simultaneously exhausted and desperate to check items off the list while trying to “take time to smell the roses.”  I fall in bed defeated each night in the still and the quiet no longer able to busy myself away from the angry voices in my head.  I gasp … I pray … I yearn for the day that the to-do list is complete, while simultaneously acknowledging I will never achieve this goal.  I will always be three steps behind … Always dropping the ball somewhere … perpetually disappointing someone … excusing myself from those things that bring joy in meaning so that I can tend to the albatross list.

I sit here now with three minutes  remaining before I have to drop off a child … with dishes scattering the counters … two weeks of laundry on my floor … lessons to be planned … homework to be completed … children needing loved and tended to … friendships requiring nurturing … money to be earned … room upon room to be cleaned.  Every corner confronts me with condemnation and I just yearn to hide where my list can’t find me.

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2 Responses to “The List”

  1. P Zwirnbaum January 29, 2014 at 4:57 am #

    Since I’ve emerged from lala land, I’ve realized some things. One of the biggest has been that I accomplished so much more than I thought I had. I was always sure that everyone else had things together and finished everything. Since I’ve looked objectively at what I did, I’m impressed with me instead of being ashamed.
    You’ll find out the same thing, I’m sure. You accomplish a huge amount, kiddo. There are very few people that could juggle all that you have. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You aren’t perfect, but your pretty darn close.

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