Every day I have a laundry list of things to get done and I’m not very good at remembering to do them.
If I REALLY need to accomplish something I send myself an email with the task written in the subject line and then I don’t let myself open it until it’s done. I HATE unread emails in my inbox, and I’ll keep checking and rechecking that unread email all day, so I don’t forget to do it. Sending myself an email is an almost fail safe way for me to remember really important tasks, but if I used it for all my to-do list items, it would lose its efficacy.
I’ve tried the reminder app that comes with my iPhone, I’ve used ToDoist, I’ve even dabbled in the Bullet Journal that Mel blogged about, but I can’t seem to make a habit of any of them. I don’t remember to write down what I have to do and then I don’t remember to check it when I finally have time to do things. If the item is not part of my regularly scheduled programming, there is a good chance I’m not going to remember to do it.
That’s all fine and good, until my to-do list starts piling up and toppling over. When the days march by and the list of what I needs to get done only grows, I start to feel panicky. Right now, my to-do list is feeling unmanageable and I’m realizing I need a new system.
So I opened up my Reminder App to start using it again, and found that almost every task that had been left unchecked months before was still relevant. I still need to schedule my daughter’s swim lessons, and take a bag of clothes to the consignment store and take another bag to the Young Families Resource Center and I need to update my budget and schedule an appointment with the plumber. Some of these have been done, multiple times, since I last wrote them in my to-do lists. Some are still outstanding from months ago, when I first wrote them down.
My life, at this point, is just an endless cycle. The number of the year on the calendar changes, the ages of myself and my children change, but most of what happens, day to day, is pretty much the same. My to-do list gets written, crossed off and rewritten and most of the items are the same.
On the way to work I was thinking about this too, as I watched the same scenery pass by for what I calculated was the 2nd or 3rd THOUSANDTH time. How many more times will drive down that particular stretch of freeway before I die? How many more times will I park my car in my school’s parking lot and trudge into my classroom and teach the same curriculum to the same aged students? There is no reason to think any of that will ever change, and knowing that I might have such a clear view of such a huge chunk of my future is kind of suffocating.
And then I remember that I’ll be lucky if that is what my future looks like, if I’m blessed with monotony instead of tragedy, because so many alternatives to that cut and paste future are so much worse.
I’ve written about this many times before, the realization that all the big milestones in my life are behind me, that my future feels like it’s less about me and more about my children, that my time to grow and change is done.
Sometimes I toy with the idea of making some monumental change to my life. I’ve rolled the idea over in my mind so much that it has worn smooth and unassuming. I don’t think I’ve legitimately considered making any real changes in a long time; I just go through the motions of wondering what if, of daydreaming of what could be. Even my aspirations are recycled.
I’m not quite sure how to wrap this up in a box with meaningful written on the side, or how to tie a shiny bow of well written around the top. It’s just something I was thinking about today.
Do your to-do lists change? How about your aspirations?