18 July 2012
To do or not to do, that is the question....
Yesterday evening, I returned home from a lovely catch-up with a friend, to find my study in disarray. I quickly deduced that DD1 had been frantically trying to finish some homework that she had been putting off for the last few weeks. Casting aside my anguish over the unruly mess that she had left on my desk, I promptly discovered that my 'to do' list had gone missing.....arrgh! This is very bad news.
I love a 'to do' list. At the end of term it seems to be longer than at any other time of year. Why is that? Teacher presents to buy, tax bill to pay, holiday clubs to book, new passports to send off for (obviously that one wasn't on my list or we wouldn't have had a frantic trip to Peterborough last week!), euros to be bought, holiday company to call.....the list goes on.
A week or so ago I blogged about a conference that I had recently attended at my church. The speaker, Shauna Niequist, encouraged us to make two lists: the first should be a 'to do' list which not only includes the mundane items that we have to do on a daily basis, but also the things that we enjoy, the activities that make us feel alive - for me, these are my 'bisto moments' (see this post). On the flip side, we were encouraged to put together a 'to don't' list. Now this is where it gets interesting.
The 'to don't' list should feature all of the things that we feel guilty about not doing, the things that at one time or another, we have felt pressured to do, either by other seemingly 'perfect mums' or by our own guilty conscience. Perhaps our current schedule no longer allows us to squeeze in these things and they therefore need to be removed from our to-do list, even if only for a short while. Maybe our 'to do' list is just way too long at the moment and we are constantly stressed by all the 'should dos' or 'must try harders' attached to the forboding list. So without further ado, here is my 'To Don't' List - I had fun making this one!
1. Baking - I no longer bake. I don't have adequate time to do it properly, so it stresses me and then I end up eating it all when the kids are at school. This really is not good for the waistline!
2. Gardening - I hate it with a passion. The OH enjoys gardening so I will leave it to him and just enjoy looking at it.
3. Changing sheets more than once a fortnight - don't get me wrong, I love slipping into clean sheets but this means washing, ironing and re-making beds, this ain't gonna get done more than once a fornight, no matter how much I like it!
4. Cleaning kitchen floor more than once a week - I know it really does get dirty a lot more often than that, but I'm of the mind that life is too short.
5. Taking children swimming - I just loathe swimming. The getting changed, getting wet, whole palava of trying to get dressed in a dirty, germ-ridden public changing room - yuk! (unless it's for cooling down purposes in 35 degree heat of course)
6. Going to theme parks in the school holidays - we do not do crowds or queues, my children get angsty and we all have a bad day.
7. Doing craft/scrap-booking/photo montages - I leave this to the 'crafty mums'. I am not part of this gang.
8. Owning a gym membership - I used to, for years. At the moment, I cannot deal with the pressure to go that regularly.
9. Hosting kids' birthday party at home - I have fallen into this trap once or twice, I will NEVER do it again.
10. Saying 'yes' to everything I am asked to be involved in - this really needs no explanation.
I have finally given myself 'permission' to not do these things. That is not to say that I haven't done them in the past, or I won't pick them up again at a later date, but for now my life doesn't have room for them (or I loathe them!). By writing them down, I feel a sense of release.
What features on your 'To Don't' list? I would really love to know, if only to add some more to mine.....now that I'm feeling so liberated!
PS You'll be relieved to hear that my original 'To Do' list was found lurking under an ever-growing pile of paperwork....panic over!
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