What is at the top of your “To Do” List today?
I am a list maker. This helps me get shit done. Keeps me accountable. And, let’s be honest, to remind me of the things I can easily forget. I am proud to say, I am old school. I actually write my “to do” list with a pen on a calendar that is as big as a book. In addition I have a small white board I keep on my fridge in plain-as-day sight. This board gets wiped clean every day so that all I see is what needs to happen. One. Day. At. A. Time.
The daily list includes appointments, meetings, kids’ sport activities, what I am making for dinner, deadlines I must meet. I am honest with myself. This isn’t an imaginary list as if I had all the time, money, energy and magical powers in the world. One day at a tme, keeps it real and keeps me present.
My favorite part of the list is the part where I write out “how” I want to “be”. Yesterday’s list, right at the very top, contained the first bullet point “love”. When I looked at the list and all throughout the day when I thought of what needed to “get done”, I reminded myself that “love” was the top priority. That translated into loving myself through the thoughts I allowed to take up space in my brain, the foods I prepared for myself to eat, the activities and words I embraced. It also included the way I interacted with my family, friends, clients, strangers. Love. Simply love through word and deed. Whether a kind gesture or genuine smile.
At day end, I made every appointment, my kids got to where they needed to be and I showed up to myself and the Universe with a simple intention to love. The word was inspired by the previous day’s events of being hard on myself, negative and harboring feelings of hopelessness. Love turned that around. Today’s list has a different bullet point at the very top right before bullet point #2, “Post Blog”. #1, is “Be Present.” Sure this is something I aim to practice every day, but it is the thing I wanted to ground myself in today.
I have six other things on the list with it now being barely noon, I may or may not get to, but I have already attended to the thing at the top of the list. Walking home from our daily morning walk my dog and I were invited to tea nearing the end of our walk. I couldn’t help but notice the lavendar house and lovely garden. I saw a woman on the deck and hollered up to her, remarking on her beautiful place.
Turns out we know each other. I know her by first name and as the sweet woman who walks her dog, Oliver. We have been walking by each other for years on our dog strolls. I never knew where she lived.
“Come up for tea.” I didn’t hesitate.
She asked me to pick my cup as she had just made a pot of tea. I chose the red one. Sitting on her deck, basking in the moring sun, connecting on many levels, she told me I was the first person who accepted her offer to tea as they walked up the very steep hill past her home. She had lived there nearly five years.
“No one has time”, she told me.
I had time. I made the time. Sure I had a full list at home on my fridge, but here in the sunshine I was checking off the item at the top, #Be Present. More important than washing my daughter’s softball socks or getting to Costco. Smelly socks won’t kill her and we can always have toast. No one died from eating toast for dinner, either. But being present is filling my cup to overflowing this Friday. When the kids come home to dirty socks and an empty fridge they won’t even notice. They will notice the happy mama greeting them at the door. Being present is the key that unlocks the door to happiness. The secret weapon to holding a full cup.
Look at that I nearly have item #2 Post Blog checked off, too. What is important at the end of the day is not what you were able to check off the list, rather that you stayed in line with your main focus of the day. One. Day. At. A. Time. And when your main focus is being present, everything can else takes a detour when a stanger calls you to tea. (P.S. I am redoing my list but keeping #1 and #2 checked off. Less is More.) Cheers!
Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for men and women in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is Friday June 3rd in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you, one spot available as of today! Is it for you?? firstname.lastname@example.org or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.