Moving Beyond Checking Things Off Lists

I love checking things off lists. The act of it alone brings me joy: pencil to the paper, line drawn through the task, and a checkmark for added oomph. Sometimes I put a smiley face after I'm done. Sometimes I even put long, droopy animal ears on the smiley face to make it seem less like the smiley face drawing of another smiley face/list-checking aficionado.

But I see that the checking things off lists is not the thing I want to be working toward or necessarily focused on. Or that's what they say anyhow. I suppose they're right. Life would be somewhat aimless and pointless and joyless if it was all just the fleeting joy of checking things off lists.

So, rather than focus on the list, I focus on the constructs of my life that would produce a list: the daily chores, the writing, the freelance, the animals, the mind that seems to wander and demand the physical act of writing something down on paper so I have a decent shot at not forgetting.

I focus on the efficiency. I focus on the excellence. I focus on the right set of circumstances that contribute the mightiest amount of joy: sweaty ballcap on to protect my face from the sun; the pups at my side licking the salt and earth stains from my knees; aching muscles and a back that seems to want to give out but stays around like it knows I'd be heartbroken without it; Jessica near, tending gracefully, in her own lanky sweetness, to the horses; and a mind on full wander mode, as it passes from silly words that make me giggle to the contented slither of the earthworm at my feet.

And I then I try and focus on applying all of it to my writing, and my relationship with Jessica, and my relationship with my family, and my relationship with all of it.

It's exhausting. But worth it.

Thanks for reading.


I am the "Checking Things Off Lists" Ninja!

I am the "Checking Things Off Lists" Ninja!