Saturday, December 13, 2008

No Time To Do

I find that the older I get, the less time I seem to have.  A little over six years ago we moved to a new city, because I had changed jobs.  For two weeks we stayed in an apartment, while we waited for our house purchase to close.  During those two weeks I had no To-Do lists.  There was nothing to do around the apartment and I was up to my eyeballs in meetings with my new job, so I didn't have time to put together a To-Do list.  It was wonderful!  My time was mine, without the guilt of feeling obliged to do something.

Now I rate a day as successful or satisfactory or fulfilling or whatever, by how many items I check off my To-Do list.  I start each day, even my day off work, by creating a list of items to accomplish.  If I don't check off many items, I go to bed dissatisfied.  If I play hooky and don't make a list, I feel guilty.  My mantra for years has been "being, not doing", but I'm a hypocrite, because I measure my life, by the things I do.

I never seem to have time, because I am always either engaged in doing something, or feeling guilty because I'm not doing something.  I know that my lists are far too long, but I don't want to give anything up.  And, then I complain.

I know that there is this big trend towards simplifying our lives, but I don't want a simpler life, just one where I don't feel guilty about those things that I have assigned myself to do and haven't gotten to.  I think that simplicity comes, not from eliminating items on the list, as much as it comes from being patient about the ones, that you just can't get to, yet.

Yesterday, I finishing rebuilding a travel guitar that I had made 8 years ago.  She has never played very well, and I knew that I would have to do some major work on her - her name is Gabriella ("Gaby").  I have felt guilty for years, for not getting around to fixing Gaby.  I finally had the time these past three weeks and now she is done and tomorrow she makes her debut at church - I'm playing Hey Jude on her.  I realized as I was working on Gaby, now was finally the time that I could give to rebuilding her.  My problem wasn't the 8 year gap, nor was it the time I took to rebuild her.  The problem was feeling obliged and guilty during those 8 years, rather then just accepting that it wasn't yet the time to work on her.

So, my next To-Do item, is to relax and not get all hung up about the massive list of things I have yet to get to.  Their day will come.  Now, where is that list ;-)

2 comments:

S.B. said...

I am definitely your daughter! I live by lists, and am stressed by lists, and the mood i go to bed in depends greatly on my lists.

runoutofnames said...

My apologies!
Dad