Friday, March 12, 2010

Crossing Things Off Lists...

Why is it so satisfying? I recently chatted with a friend about this phenomenon. At the time, I was lamenting the fact that I only got one or two things crossed off my "To Do" list, and how that made me feel like I hadn't gotten anything done. The thing is, I actually *had* done a lot that day-- only, most of it wasn't written down on a list of things I needed to do. It was more like stuff I just DO every day; clean the sink, put away dishes, do a load of laundry, tidy the living room, make the bed, play with Ethan, job search on the internet, etc. Why is it that those things don't seem to count, really, when you're adding up your accomplishments? In certain homes, these little things are actually big, huge chores that seem so overwhelming that they are never even tackled, or only under extreme duress. I used to work with someone who was a family mentor, and part of her job was to help families learn some of the basic tasks for keeping a home together. Things like how to clean a bathroom, grocery shopping, cooking, bill-paying, splitting up chores to share the workload, and so on. Sometimes it's easy to forget that many people have never learned these skills, or at least have never learned to value them.

Remembering that helps me feel better about putting simple things on my list like "Change sheets and flip mattress" or "Write birthday card." It's kind of funny, because when I started adding up all the little bits and pieces of my day, I started to wonder how I got all that done! And that's a much better feeling than when I was wondering how I could have gotten so little accomplished all day long. I'm better than I thought I was! :)

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