Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Done-list

My kitchen looking close to spotless. Please note that this actually happened.

So, as I might have mentioned a time or two, I've been feeling frustrated a lot lately. Frustrated that I'm not getting the things done that I need to or want to. Frustrated that keeping up with the day-to-day stuff doesn't allow me enough time or energy to move beyond the basics. And especially frustrated that on the one hand my body is telling me that I need to prepare and get ready for this baby, while on the other hand it hurts and gets tired and is getting too big to accomplish the things that feel so necessary.

Do you ever feel like the simple act of walking into a room in your house presents you with a checklist of things that require your attention, time and energy? And every where you go, that list just keeps getting longer and longer. Sigh.

Anyway, what has been really getting to me is the idea that not making it through my to-do list makes me feel bad. Guilty and inadequate bad. Like I'm not doing my job, which makes me feel like I'm letting down my family. Guilt guilt guilt.

Then, on Monday, I had a bit of an epiphany: What if I started keeping track of the things I have accomplished in a day rather than the things I haven't? What if I kept a done-list instead of a to-do list? At the very least, I could do both. So this week, I have at least mentally noted the things I have managed to do instead of simply adding to my to-do list. Want to see?

Monday

  • Weeded and watered the garden 
  • Called Amazon and convinced them to replace a book that was missing 40 pages.
  • Cleaned the kitchen (Remember this?)
  •  Did the dishes (handwashables and all)
  • Helped my Mama book plane tickets for Christmas (Yay! Yay! Yay!)
  • Washed and folded and put away a load of laundry
  • Made our bed (hey, it doesn't happen that often!)
Tuesday
  • Cleaned the downstairs bathroom
  • Washed, folded and put away more laundry
  • Put hall closet back together
  • More dishes
  • Made the bed
  • Ordered a few birthday presents for Nick
  • Took care of a sick Espen all day long. 
  • Made it to my doctor's appointment on time (everything is looking great!)
Wednesday
  • Shopping trip to Target
  • Put away laundry x2
  • Ironed Espen's tiny church clothes ("Today is church? I want to go to church! Please!")
  • Cooked dinner and lunch (pretty unusual for us to eat two hot meals)
  • Made the bed (three days in a row!)
And in between these things I have managed to read my book, do a Halloween craft project with Espen (we are both still covered in glitter), and keep everyone clean, dressed, fed and rested. So even if my to-do list is long (and getting longer), it turns out that I do in fact actually spend my days being somewhat useful. And, honestly, it was kind of an eyeopener to note how much stuff I actually accomplish in a day, but don't count as productive because it's the everyday stuff. 

If you're feeling like you're not getting much done, maybe take a minute or two to sit down and make a list of all the things you actually have done, and I promise you'll feel much better. 

5 comments:

  1. This is brilliant! I should try it - I would probably feel so much more accomplished. And can you post about the Halloween craft? I am always looking for art type things for Landon. The other day I bought him a coloring book that came with markers (which he hasn't ever had before) and he has spent FOREVER coloring - he thinks they are so awesome. So please share!!! And I'm impressed - you have such a short time left - that is a lot done!

    ~Ari

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  2. Much better than a to do list!

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  3. You are such an inspiration! I constantly feel as though I am running in circles, putting out fires and yet--nothing to show for it. Thank you for making me take a minute to realize I can be useful. My kids have survived so far, so...that's something, right??

    Miss ya! Let's get together sometime. :)

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  4. You are doing a great job... Soon soon to be mum of two.....

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  5. Hi! I saw your blog on The Weed and this is my second time visiting. I just had my second baby in July and I gotta say, your done-list looks a lot better than mine ever did during that pregnancy (if my kitchen looked that good it was because my husband cleaned it). And I'm starting to think every pregnant woman understands the feeling of fighting with your body's inability to do the things you want to do and the frustration and guilt that ensues. I certainly felt that way every single day (still do sometimes. But it does help a lot having energy again and just feeling better in general). It sounds to me like you're doing great so don't let it get you down and don't let any make you feel like you should be doing more, especially a man. They have no idea what we go through to bring their children into this world and have no right to complain about anything you do or don't do!

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