In March, I lamented to my husband, “you can’t imagine the amount of things I think of doing each day and then have to let go of.” What is weird—and that I also told him then—is that many of those ideas only occur to me on that day and are not really that important. Very often, these are not life priorities—they are just things that pop up and catch my attention and I think, “I could do that!” So, things like blog carnivals at interesting and popular blogs (I could write an entry–I have tons of ideas regarding that theme!), legislative alerts from worthy causes (I should write a letter and help with this!), interesting articles and posts (I could read that, it would only take a minute!), contests to enter (I’d like to win that, I should enter!), volunteer roles (wow! Sounds so interesting, I’d love to do it!), trainings or conferences to attend (I should register!), neat homeschooling projects (hey, maybe next time the baby sleeps, I can start this with the kids!), a new book that catches my eye (I should order that!), great recipes (I could make that for dinner!) good quotes to share on Facebook, I could write an article about this!, or about that!, someone has a question I could answer, here’s a neat article (I want to share this with others!), ooh! More free books to put onto my Kindle, art ideas, journal entries, etc., etc. It never stops! And, these are usually in addition to my ongoing projects, ideas, commitments, responsibilities, laundry, meal preparation, things other people want from me and so forth. Oh, and did anyone comment on my Facebook status? ;-D
Sometimes I think I just like and care about TOO MANY things. All of these things splinter my attention in a million ways however, and also leave me with a persistent sensation of, “well, I didn’t get everything done today.” I continue to try to make sure to unsubscribe from email lists and blog subscriptions to cut down on this immediacy sensation that a constant influx of new information and ideas promotes. As I told my husband, “if I didn’t get that newsletter, or click on that article, or open that email, I would never have known about all those things I could have gotten done today.” Plus, there is always a new batch tomorrow! And, then I get a little depressed thinking why the rush to get things done and to finish? So I can die with a clear to-do list?! Come on!
Though actually, this is different than having “too many things to do”—because many of the things are new each day—it is part of managing the information flow into my life, I think. Some time ago I read this free book from Zen Habits and it was very helpful in its recommendations of how to sort through all of the clamor and focusing, but I think I’ve let go of those zen habits again in the last couple of months and need to try to re-read the book (but, OOPS, I’ve just turned that into another to-do!). I worked very hard before Alaina was born to trim away the extraneous so that I could focus intensively on her, but new and interesting things, ideas, and opportunities continue to emerge to take the place of what I trimmed away.
I want to remember my conditions of enoughness and to also make a new priorities/goals sheet so that when the baby naps, I know what’s at the top, rather than getting distracted. When each day ends, I continue to find I feel as if I have somehow failed. And, that I have let someone, some thing, or myself down.
When I was originally planning to share these thoughts so many months ago, I also remembered a poem I wrote when my first son was a toddler. I don’t have a toddler now…two kids and a baby instead…but the feeling of ideas building, cresting, and falling away is still familiar and my closing thought still a good reminder!
I cannot shake the feeling
That my life does not look
The way I want it to.
Each day, new big ideas build in me
And crest in a wave of vision
That finally breaks upon the shore
Of daily life with a toddler.
Bound by the demands of everyday
Instead of grand and bold.
You’ll See It When You Believe It
Do I believe it?
Is this my journey?
To watch the death of ego.
Be here now.
Is it possible that where I am
And what I’m doing
Is exactly where I’m supposed to be?
And, then I remembered this quote from The Life Organizer by Jennifer Louden:
“Would a weight lift off my shoulders if I realized that it’s normal to feel pulled between choices, that it’s normal to want to do more than I have time or energy for, and that it’s normal to have to choose between two equally wonderful things, that it’s actually a sign I’m a fascinating, amazing person?”
That’s right. I’m a fascinating and amazing person. And, so are these three:
Choose wisely, Molly dear. Choose wisely!
I always say that I want to live well and wisely my one wild and precious life and to me that means making conscious decisions every day to pull my actions into alignment with my values. It is an ongoing process. I live in a rich and fascinating world. I can do it!
I too feel torn like that. I have been somewhat media free in December and it has been lovely! So freeing. 🙂
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I know what you mean. I’ve tried to make peace with the idea that it never gets all done. Especially the constant idea stream fed to us daily via e-mail, twitter, etc. I’ve got 3000 e-mails right now. 90% won’t even get read but hopefully I’ll get to the important ones.
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