Not To Do but I Did

A few days or maybe weeks, shoot it might have been months ago, I read this brilliant idea somewhere on the internet.  When I remembered it today, I scoured the depths of the web to find the source so that I might credit them when I mentioned it only to find that dozens of folks were claiming it as their own intellectual property.  Go figure.  All I can say is that this seemingly brilliant idea was not mine.  The chances of a meaningful thought originating in this brain right now are not that great.  Unless you're looking to discuss something like, "Wouldn't it be weird if we did to adults what we do to babies?"  Like holding them and bouncing them and patting their butt to get them to go to sleep?  Or patting them on the back to make them burp?  Or, for lack of being able to locate a pacifier, sticking your finger in their mouth to get them to be quiet in public?  (Oh what's that you say?  You already saw a YouTube video about this?  See, even my newborn delirium wonderings aren't original.)

In the day and age of keeping up with the Joneses "Best Of" snapshots of lives from Pinterest and Facebook, it's easy to let the To Do list get a little overwhelming.  I have a lot of mandatory tasks each day, things like "Keep the kids alive" and "Try to teach the 1st, 3rd, and 6th grader something so we can call it a school day."  I never bother to write them on a list, but it may surprise you to know that those simple tasks take a significant chunk of time to accomplish.  The things that do make the list are my loftier goals, like "Reorganize the entire house from top to bottom" and "Fold Mt. Sheppard of laundry so that I can see even one square foot of my laundry room floor."  Somehow at the end of the day, I find that I have very few checkable items completed.

What in the world did I do all day!?!

That's where the brilliant idea from the internet suggested that instead of making a To Do list at the beginning of the day that leaves you feeling unfulfilled and anxious at the end of the day, make a "Did It" list at the end of the day that leaves you feeling satisfied by all of the things you didn't even realize you did that day.

I've meant to implement this for a long time, seeing as how my To Do lists lately result in nothing but frustration.  I can't imagine why.

Just kidding.  I know exactly why.

Here's my first go at a "Did It" list.  I think it's going to be super fulfilling.

Things I Did
1.  Ended up with as many shoes and kids as I started with after departing the Chick-Fil-A playground.
2.  Had a conversation with my 22 month old that did not involve any shrieking, by either party.
3.  Completed a worldview lesson that led to an interesting conversation about how my children would describe me to someone that went a little something like this:
Me:  If you had to describe my physical attributes to someone, what would you tell them?
Ben: You have a lot of kids.
Me: I'm not sure that's a physical attribute.  Although, sometimes it does feel as though you're attached to me.
Sarah:  You have freckles.
Me:  I do?  That's my predominant trait?
Abby: have moles.
Ben:  You have hair.
Abby:  You have big feet.
Ben:  No!  I have big feet.
Me:  So, you would tell people I have a lot of kids, moles, and smaller feet than Ben?
Abby:  You have brown hair.
Leah:  And brown eyes.
Abby:  You look a lot different since you had Hannah.
Me:  I sure hope so.
Sarah:  You like striped pants.
Me:  I'm the girl in the striped pajamas.
Abby: You have pretty teeth.
Ben:  You're a vampire!  In Pre-K everyone used to say if you have pointy teeth, you're a vampire.
Me: She didn't say I have pointy teeth, she said I have pretty teeth.
Ben:  I know. I said you have pointy teeth.
4.  Cared so much about my kids that it brought me to tears around 8pm.
5.  Refrained from losing my patience until about 9pm.
6.  Let my first and only "yell" fly around 10pm.
7.  Fed a baby approximately a dozen times.  Or at least it felt like it.
8.  Wiped up about half a gallon of regurgitated milk.
9.  Showered.  Twice.
10.  Washed a load of clothes without forgetting about them in the washer.
11.  Polished off a chocolate cake.
12.  Thought long and hard about exercising.
13.  Danced to Mariah Carey-esque music in my kitchen after the kids were in bed.
14.  Counted that as exercise.
15.  Tricked the kids into learning about Henry Hudson at dinnertime.
16.  Practiced skip counting 7's with Abby while driving around town.  (Unexpected benefit, Leah has them down now too.  Her favorite is 49.)
17.  Resisted the urge to swing through the Dunkin' Donuts drive thru for an afternoon pick-me-up.
18.  Removed a splinter from a kid's butt.  (Don't even ask.)
19.  Laughed with and at my kids.
20.  Finished this blog post.

Definitely ought to do that more often.  You should totally try it.


Sharon said...

What a great idea!!

So far today I've:

1. Gotten up.
2. Made my chai tea latte.
3. Brushed my hair - (teeth are momentarily arriving on this list!)
4. Done some blog reading/commenting.
5. Laughed heartily at my friend Jennie's particular way of looking at life!!

XO to all the Sheps - big and small!

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