Friday, May 13, 2011

Enough already!

I bought one of those Page-A-Day calendars on clearance in January for like $2.37. How could I pass up daily inspiration for $2? It is appropriately called, "Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much." OK, stop laughing. I know you can't teach an old dog new tricks...or can you?
For the days that seem strikingly profound in their 4x4 inch bit of wisdom, of course, it ends up stuck on my fridge. One of them says, "Every day we complete many tasks, and yet we often see only those left undone. Stop to look at all you have accomplished...a meal prepared, a report finished, a phone call made, an issue resolved... When viewed from this perspective, our lives are filled with completed tasks!"

I should feel that way right now. I've had an extremely productive week. Monday was a lot of here and there (and did I mention I ran - ok walked some and ran some - 4.4 miles? Uh...that's another blog!) Tuesday I had my brakes on the car replaced and got groceries. Wednesday I cleaned out the garage. Thursday I went to the bank, washed the car, cleaned off the front and back porches and got out the patio furniture and painted a bench for the back porch. Today I changed the sheets on all of the kids' beds, redeemed cans and bottles for Kayla's Relay team, did about a zillion loads of laundry, planted flowers and weeded around my front flower bed, and got my oil changed. My awesome neighbor mowed the lawn, so I'm good til the rains that are supposed to start tomorrow pass again. In the midst of all of that each day I got the kids to soccer and baseball and talent show rehearsal and dance. Kids were fed, bathed, and school ready and transported wherever they needed to go.

So why, after all of that, do I still feel like I need something more? What is going on with me. When will I feel satisfied? *sigh* I really do feel like I can accomplish more now that I have done all of this. I am sure some of these projects don't sound that daunting, but when you consider that the porches and garage had become unrecognizable, and the weeds had gone rampant after record rains this spring...yeah, it was a lot of work.

Somehow, all I can see is what is left that I still need to do. I want to slap myself.

I know that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. I'm really only 5 days in. I got so many "big" projects done because every morning I woke up and decided, "THIS is what I am going to do today." Instead of writing a to-do list that covers the front and back of a legal pad sheet of paper, I have been choosing one or two things that I can start and finish in a day. I work them around my other commitments, and at the end of the day, I can actually cross some things OFF my list. It really is amazing. If I can learn to use that process, then I am sure I can learn to give myself credit for what I have done, and allow myself to ENJOY that satisfaction that comes with a job well done.

The to-do list is fine, it helps me to have a starting point to organize my thoughts, but I have put aside thinking that I have to touch EVERYTHING on the list every day, and thinking that I have to get twenty enormous tasks done to feel like I'm worthy.

I also know somewhere in the back of my mind that getting so many things done is only setting me up for future success. Having an organized, comfortable, welcoming home makes so many other things in life easier. I'm more productive when tasks (like a buried back porch or 8 loads of laundry) are kept managable and are addressed in small bits instead of huge chunks. I also know that life flows more smoothly for everyone in my life when I can find what I need when I need it. That goes for the kids as well.

I guess I really am feeling good about where I am headed, and I know I am on a path of change for the better. I just want to be able to sit down at the end of the day satisfied that I have done enough, instead of feeling like I should or could have done more.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.   ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Smart guy.


  1. You decide what "enough" is, right? Or is there someone else who does that?

    I like the direction you are going, and I applaud it! If you cross off enough of those little things, you will have time for more of those BIG things, and give more days to those BIG projects. I should send you pictures of my closet. It took me 5 hours Saturday, but it is clean/organized and looks spacious again. A list helps me remember all those little things so I don't trip over them throughout the day. When I have 10 minutes and can look and see that I need to tighten the towel bar in the guest bath... oh yeah, it gets done more quickly.

    The only thing I noticed missing from your accomplishments was Tanya time. Like... when I got home from driving the kids hither and yon and they went to bed, I sat myself down with a glass of wine and watched The Notebook for the 12,000th time. :D There have to be those moments too!

    PS: YAY you!

  2. "Every day we complete many tasks, and yet we often see only those left undone. Stop to look at all you have accomplished...a meal prepared, a report finished, a phone call made, an issue resolved... When viewed from this perspective, our lives are filled with completed tasks!"... ah i LOVE this... good advice and a good reminder. I need to get back to completing one job (one room) well, instead of a million incomplete projects. :-) I love you T.

  3. I LOVE the to-do list idea! I, too, write a novel of things I need to do and then get overwhelmed. 1 or 2 a day- genius!!

    Yay you!