I am a list maker. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes when you check things off a to-list, packing list, grocery list- you name it. This isn’t new for me but as I get older, and hopefully a bit wiser, I am wondering if this to-do mentality may actually be holding me back. Is it possible that in our ‘get more done in less time’ lives and society that we are missing key moments and opportunities to enjoy the lives we have? I learned this lesson this past year.
We are an artificial Christmas tree family. While sometimes I miss the smell of the real pine and the trip to the tree farm that I remember as a child, I have always appreciated the ease and beauty of our predicable, hassle free artificial tree. Unfortunately, our artificial tree is heavy and cumbersome- a two man carrying job. Last January when the New Year hit and it was time to bundle our tree up in the tree-bag and carry it down to the garage it became a daunting task.
I teased my husband for a good 4 weeks that THIS would be the weekend we would carry the tree down. January passed, February came, and then March and still the tree sat in our living room. I was frustrated at first. And then one day it hit me: who did it bother that the tree wasn’t moved? Only me. Only I had ‘move tree’ on my to-do-list and only I would feel a sense of accomplishment by getting it moved.
So, I decided to let it go. And I did, for a full year. We left that tree up for a full year. I realized that the time I saved not being annoyed or expecting perfection allowed me to loosen up on other areas in my life. The tree was symbolic of me ‘getting more done by doing less.’ I now make a point to sit with my kids and hear about their days after school instead of mopping the floor; I chose to chat with a friend on the phone instead of saying I’m too busy to talk; and most importantly I am now able to thoughtfully prioritize my list instead of internally expecting that I get it all get done. I’d rather be present than productive.
What is YOUR Christmas tree lesson? Is there something you’ve been holding on to that is causing frustration and maybe even resentment? What would happen if you let it go?
Is it possible that you could get MORE done by doing LESS because you’ll less encumbered by the little things thus allowing more room to enjoy the most important things? In the hustle and bustle of this holiday season it might be worth giving yourself a little grace, your list will still be there. ????
If you are interested in how EQUIP Counseling can support you and your family, hop over to equipcounseling.com