Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Just Relax

We had a fantastic long weekend.

Our original plans to go camping fell by the wayside.

We've been too busy.  Too busy to get the trailer ready.  Too busy to make reservations. Too busy to get ourselves ready.

And so we decided to abort the May Long camping plan.

Instead, we found rest and refreshing.

We made an impromptu trip to Saskatoon and ate well, relaxed well and shopped in all sorts of fun spots.

The next evening, we were invited out for supper and had the best night with close friends - laughing, sharing life, spontaneous dancing, sitting by the fire and far too much really good food.

While "life" required me to go to work yesterday, it was okay but today I sit at home again, facing my to-do list.

I've wanted to talk about my to-do list for awhile.  I was going to quietly brag talk about my efficiency.  But I couldn't quite compose a post without it sounding like a commercial.  And so, this list thing of mine has stayed quietly in my head.

I think it's pretty safe to say that I'm a bit of a geek.  Or maybe I should say "Geek" (with a capitol G).  I like lists.  I like making lists and I like crossing things off lists.

Last September I felt like our household needed major help so that we could live with a little less stress when it comes to home responsibilities.  I've tried checklists before but nothing ever stayed successful for more than a month.

Determined to be fully committed to improving my presence at home, I developed a very simple system.  No computer downloads, no online prompts or helps.

Just a simple notebook with a few categories to fill in and live by each week.

Left page - my weekly shopping list
Right page (top) - my weekly menu plan, for 5 days only, leaving the weekends free for spontaneity and/or leftovers.  Menu ideas for school and work lunches.  Menu plans strictly dictate the weekly shopping list.
Right page (bottom) - my weekly to-do list

Pages are pre-dated all the way through 2015.  If there's something that I know I need to do 2 weeks from now, I write it in on that page and forget about it until then.  It's on paper, out of my head.  Win win.

This system is WORKING!

Our grocery expenses are cheaper.  My stress level for cooking has lightened.  Boys are agreeable to weekly meal projections and often add in requests.  My to-do list gets mastered.  Consistently.

There's only ONE. SMALL. PROBLEM.

I'm sick of being told what to do.

Ha ha.

That sounds kind of funny.

But I have noticed a lack of spontaneity and an upswing of the "need" to be list conquering.  Feels kind of "yucky".  Feels like I've taken this organizational project a bit farther than it was meant to be taken.  Granted, it could be "May" talking - you know the month with all of the calendar squares filled to overflowing and the time of year when school schedules start to really suck.  ;)

So I sat down this morning and addressed (Mr./Mrs.) "To Do" in writing, to let him/her know how I feel.

Mind numbing lists.
At the start, they were the key to my sanity.
Truthfully, they still are.
But, once in awhile, these crazy
"to-do" "to-buy" "to consider" lists
Drive me a little bit crazy.
Like I'm a slave to them.
those words, directives, demands
own me
boss me
possess me
My responsible brain
my creative brain even
leans on these words
and submits to their requests
without question
I think that's the point.
But they've been so possessive.
When do I get to live a day
with random spontaneity
Cooking from the freezer without forethought?
I'm taking this far too seriously
Taking life far too seriously
Yet trying so hard to cope
with some measure of grace
with the demands shoved in my face
This isn't what I wanted...
coping methods developed to manage
too many expectations
Being stretched - it's good
Overly taut, like a rubber band -
Not so much
So many things to wrestle with
My family, friends, my job, volunteer responsibilities
Give Give Give
How I sincerely love to do that
But this isn't necessarily
that I want to leave behind...
....a notebook full of lists
neatly crossed off when complete
Not everything that begs for attention
Can be crossed off a list
The growing boys
Teenage bodies of
emotion-laced striving
succeeding and struggling
...you don't cross them off the to-do list as
"done" "complete"
The words on the list fade, their importance fades
when teenaged stories - happy and sad - beg to be spoken
Yet these to-do lists are
mostly about them
- their lives -
- their needs -
Their appetites for food -
physical food
emotional food
mental food
Once in awhile - I get lost
I get overloaded
I get thrown against the wall
Figuratively speaking, of course
The words on these lists crawl off the page
and slither up my body
Threatening to strangle me
Request by request
So maybe, for this week, I'll leave the page fairly blank
As white as possible, really.
Can I stop trying to be so smart
and just start to relax?
I'm trying so hard to get ahead of myself
To own this crazy household
That I've become its' slave
instead of its' master
So,  I've put a pause on it
See ya.
I'll be back
I DO need you.
I WILL jot a few things down
But, Mr./Mrs. To-Do
We are temporarily breaking up