I find it amazing how humans can get along because of the differences in our general makeup.
At one time in my life I did make lists of things to do and things that I might want to do, and things that I should do but may not, and then a list of all my lists. I received such joy in scratching out those things I had accomplished. The down side was when I looked at the things I hadn’t accomplished and couldn’t believe I still had pages of items to do!
My habit was broken (somewhat painfully I might add) when I took off for a year to travel and ‘be’. My husband asked me to spend the year ‘letting things happen rather than making things happen’. I assured him that would not be a problem and I could ‘drift’ comfortably.
I was wrong. There was nothing comfortable or easy about letting things just happen. It was a challenge to float through life, not making plans about where we would be each night, where we would eat each day, what we would do…oh my, I lost control!
I had never thought about how much planning I did and how safe and secure I felt thinking I had some control. The transition took a long time, and I can’t say it was always fun, but the rewards were marvelous. I began to listen to myself, ‘feeling’ my way through situations rather than just plowing forward with a preset goal in mind.
Some would say this is not a good way to live. Who are we if we don’t have goals, a road map for our lives, clearly defined objectives? I learned the value of taking time to put an ear to my inner longings and follow the paths that are far more satisfying and exciting than if I had planned every step of the way.
I concede that there are times when I miss the thrill I received when in my list-making days I would do something that wasn’t on the list. I would immediately put it on the list just so I could scratch it off! Such a sense of accomplishment!
But overall, I like the tension that is created when I let go of the outcome and live in the moment. That’s much easier when you turn your cell phone off, unplug the computer, and find a log to crawl under so as not to be disturbed by every day living!
Of course, I wouldn’t get half as much done, but that begs the question: Did it really need to get done in the first place?
Are you a list maker? What would your life be like if you didn’t make lists?