I was away last weekend at a workshop on sleep and dreaming. It was interesting and left me with a lot to think about and take in. When I participate in a workshop or retreat, or when I’m out of my ‘normal routine’ even for a day or two, I always feel somewhat different when I return home. This is generally a good thing. The transition back into my life and space involves unpacking, washing clothes, catching up on email and sorting through the old fashioned mail. There is one thing that is always waiting for me on my desk. In fact, it’s there every morning.
Very likely you have one also, on your desk or counter top or computer or smart phone: the ‘to do list’. I always have at least one. Sometimes, when the load is heaviest and most complex, I will have several, sorted by category. Last summer I had one for business related chores, one for the tasks related to my father’s death and settling his affairs and one labeled personal. That was the ever-rotating list of household tasks, repairs, bills, grocery shopping, medical appointments and so on. Self-care was not on the list, btw.
Now this may seem tangential, but here is a question that was raised by the presenter at the sleep & dreaming workshop. I’m going to be chewing on this for a while and thought I would offer it to you… Take a look at your to do list and ask yourself: What are the verbs associated with the items on the list. I found it intriguing to consider: write, email, call, send, buy, clean, sort through, meet with, schedule… To tell you the truth, I’m not clear on the presenter’s reason for suggesting this, but its got me thinking about the doing that I do, or that I expect myself to do.
The next layer was a suggestion to think about the adverbs (the –ly words) that modify the verbs on the to do list. I’m not there yet, but I pass it along.