With my son home sick the past few days, I've lacked the time -- and motivation -- to pay attention to my to-do lists. (Cuddle with warm boy or work on tax prep...hmmm....) But now that he is back in school, and spring break is a little farther in past, I started thinking a bit about all the to-do lists I manage at one time.
There's the family calendar, the work calendar, my monthly plan-everything-at-once calendar, my idea journal (a list of projects I want to try), my project journal (a list of projects I'm in the middle of), the work-brainstorming-notebook (future things to do!), and even a little something I call "my ideal day." (And let me insert here, that deep down there is a little voice saying, "Are you sure you want to reveal that to the world at large? Really?)
One day when I was feeling a little frustrated -- you know the drill: rushing the kids out the door in the morning, wearing the same old-same old, too distracted to notice your own husband's new soul patch, eating two desserts after lunch, it's-almost-five-o'clock-and-I-still-don't-know-what-to-make-for-dinner -- I allowed myself a few minutes to imagine what my ideal day would be. I mean, the day I was having definitely wasn't the way I wanted to live my one precious life. I thought through one entire day, lingering on the details: I'd be wearing clothes I made myself, feeding my family healthy meals, kissing my children good night with intention, enjoying time spent with my husband. I then scribbled out my ideal day, from first thing in the morning to last thing at night, on one sheet of paper. I didn't spend time on an elaborate vision board or even use my best handwriting. And I kept my focus small: one day.
I wrote on purple paper that's easy to spot. I tucked it away and I really only read it when I need to renew my focus (like today). Thinking about my ideal day, committing my ideas to paper, has helped me think about those goals every day, and helped remind me, too, about how fleeting the phases of our life can be. I don't want to hurry, I want to savor.