The other day, someone who knows me very well, asked me,
“What if you didn’t write a list?”
It made me think beyond my initial answer of how I’d remember the list in my head as writing things down helps me remember. The truth is, while I’d still remember most of what I had for my to-do list (or grocery, goals, etc. list), it’d be okay. I remember the important parts of life, the crucial things that need to be done, and still usually the small stuff that I’d like to get done but will be okay if it happens at a later time. The question helped me clarify that – I will be fine without a list. It’s an organizational tool but nothing to get hung up on – a help but not a need.
Listing is prioritizing things into needs and wants, whether it’s on a mental or physical list, and occasionally letting wants happen (as long as they don’t interfere with the needs). I’m very lucky to not be in a crisis situation where everything on my list must truly get done to keep my life moving ahead. I’m also usually a very productive person – more than I give myself credit. And as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’m trying to carve out more of the time for “wants” or things that nurture me, the self-care or self-compassion side of life. I’m trying to give myself more of a break. I sense a lot of other people out there are hard on themselves and always striving to be more, to be better, and sometimes we just need to step back to realize we’ll be okay as we already are.
I’ve switched to writing a list for the week, which has helped me recognize a lot of the small stuff that I can let go until another time. I’m also very excited to try not writing a list for this upcoming week. While I have an ongoing list of ideas and to-dos that is always around my mind, I’m going to give myself a true break and not write it down. There’s no deadline, although a lot is likely to be done. I’m taking a break from my typical routines to give myself a vacation – yes, a literal one, but also a vacation from my usual habits. It’s my quest to relax and truly pass up the worries of the day-to-day happenings.
And, of course, to have a little fun and be creative.
Sometimes a quest starts with a simple question. What’s a question that someone asked you that helped you view your own habits differently?