Life Without a Checklist

If you know me very well, you probably know that I am often classified as type-A, verging on OCD, very list oriented. I love to know what is expected of me, to perform to my utmost, to achieve success, and to cross things off my to-do list. As a child, I even wrote down my daily to-do lists with a schedule down to the minute. That’s right. At nine years old, I was scheduling my days like a corporate CEO. I don’t know why or where that tendency came from. But there it is.

College life suited me well. Being told before classes even started what books I needed was fantastic. Getting a syllabus for the whole semester on the very first day of class was like opening a gift. I always kept ahead of the game. No last-minute late night cramming sessions unless it was completely and totally unavoidable. I was never honestly surprised by good grades; not because I thought I was super smart or overly clever, but because I knew that I was planning and following through. Organizational skills and a dedication to checking things off my list was serving me well.

And then life happened. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree and got married seven days later. While I was working as a medical secretary and piano teacher part time, I quickly headed down the avenue to motherhood ~ my son Gabriel being due on my first wedding anniversary.

The whirlwind of married life, motherhood, homemaking, and housekeeping has never slowed down ~ in fact, as you probably well know, it never will. Life doesn’t slow down, and I find it doesn’t even seem to maintain speed. It picks up momentum as we go along, and before we know it, we will be realizing we have to turn off the cruise control because our exit to heaven seems to be glinting down there on the horizon, and I just don’t feel like I am done with the here & now.

The checklist continues to grow.
But I hardly have time to keep an eye on the checklist now.
And if the truth be told, I don’t even think my life is conducive to crossing things off a checklist anymore!!

Have you ever tried to be finished with the laundry? the ironing? the dishes? the meals? the housecleaning? the diapers? the bums to wipe? the boo-boos to bandage? the books to read? the times tables to repeat? the pudgy bodies to snuggle? the situps to crunch? the bills to pay?
Not to mention the music to play, the photos to take, the scrapbooks to make, the things to sew and craft, the gifts to buy and wrap and give, the coffee dates to have, the friendships to pursue, the little souls to nurture, the people to prioritize?

It never actually finishes.
None of it.
I can’t ever actually check anything off.
As soon as I do, it gets put back right on at the end of the list again.

So how do I live my life without a checklist?
How do I love living in a rinse&repeat career?
How do I learn to encourage myself when I don’t have quarterly school grades or managers giving me yearly reviews?

Stay tuned. I have more thoughts coming.
But for today, maybe I will just go ahead and check “blog something” off my to-do list!

One Reply to “Life Without a Checklist”

  1. Gosh, you’re SO much like me when it comes to being very list oriented and such. I still remember how organized I was at a young age and I LOVED making schedules for each day- down to 15 minute slots usually. I kept that up until my late teen years… and then after graduation, I wasn’t as strict about it… Life has changed and things aren’t the same for me as they once were. I am still very organized in certain areas of my life (I love calendars!) but not as OCD in other areas of my life. I had to learn to relax so that I could survive these past few years. Ha! =D

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