I get that including a post about doing too much seems counterintuitive to include before a list of accomplishments for the week, but just hear me out.
I am a list maker and item checker-off-er extraordinaire. Completing a task and making that checkmark and the accompanying feeling of accomplishments is my crack. (Perhaps this is why I was so attracted to project management. A role completely based on a giant list of tasks that you get to report on each week? Yes. Heaven.)
However, as with most aspects of life, there is a duality — a ying to the yang — of being a habitual list maker. For me, the flip side includes often feeling overwhelmed and pressured to complete the self-assigned tasks. And, nothing quells the exuberance caused by making that check mark quite like looking past that item and seeing a seemingly never-ending number of others you know you can’t possibly complete today (or, ever). *sigh*
When that list extends to infinity and beyond, two paths emerge for me. One, best case, I rearrange and prioritize — filing some items away for later, tackling a few small tasks quickly so I can check them off and, sometimes, deleting an item or two that may have seemed like a great idea at some point but no longer fall into that category.
Worst-case scenario? I completely shut down. I’m talking full mental, emotional, physical and social detachment. I crawl into bed or turn on the TV or stare blankly at my computer.
Fortunately, the first scenario is my typical M.O. Unfortunately, the latter has been taking place more often as of late.
With that being said, I had every intention to begin round two of whole30 this week. Just a month after completing the inaugural challenge, I found myself starting to slip back into some of my old habits (skipping breakfast, eating out too often, etc.), and I wanted to squelch these before they once again became part of my daily routine. I started out strong, but by mid-week, I began feeling the onset of the aforementioned shutdown. Between work and the Voice and the upcoming holidays and wanting to spend time with friends and finding time to work out and read and write and checking off all of those damn to-dos, adhering to a super strict eating plan was threatening to put me over the edge.
So, I completed a lengthy self-evaluation and decided that this time isn’t the right time to tackle whole30 again. I struggled with this decision as I felt like it meant I was taking the easy way out and quitting something that was a bit challenging. And, a part of me can’t let that go.
However, I’ve been dealing with some undesirable feelings lately that have been verging on full-on anxiety attacks and multiple days where it takes a lot of effort just to leave my house, so when I really took time to evaluate my current situation, doing what it takes to have another whole30 check mark was not going to have the positive effect I desired.
In parallel with the whole30 decision, I also spent some time this week reflecting on list making and determining the purpose it has in my life. What I concluded is that while I will lists will probably always have a place in my life, I do not want a check mark or two to bear as much weight in regards to how I feel about my day when my head hits the pillow.
How will I make this desire a reality? By making a list, of course (see item #2).
- Creating balance between doing and being.
- Not being too hard on myself for being a list maker and accepting this is who I am. Loving and appreciating that part of me.
- Taking time to pause and enjoy feelings related to completing a task or list instead of rushing past to the next.
- Being realistic.
- Being mindful as I complete the tasks.
- Taking time to evaluate each task and determine its value before simply adding it to the list.
- Including enjoyable activities + time for myself among the list items.
- Finding acceptance and peace in the spaces between doing.
- Using lists to help organize and get things done but not validating my day, week, month and life by checkmarks.
- Taking time to just be.
While I will again admit the previous paragraphs may be ill-suited to preface a list of accomplishments, I truly enjoy the time I spend each week reflecting and creating this post. Plus, it’s great practice in appreciating check marks and forgiving myself for not completing each item I had set out to last Sunday. It’s a work in progress — such is life.
week in review
attended wedding in Morrison
purchased tinctures + herbs to help with my blues
spent lots of time outdoors
time reflecting on list making
began whole30 round two
quit whole30 round two
many happy hours + dinners with friends
manis + shopping with one of my besties
received thoughtful gift from one of my besties
spent time talking to mom (need to do this more often)
spent time promoting Denver VOICE’s “Raise Your Glass, Raise Your Voice” fundraiser
finished “Still Life and Breadcrumbs”
began Wally Lamb’s “We Are Water”
happy hour/de-stressing with coworkers
posted: week in review
journaled (a lot)
many late nights at work + lots of hours worked
attempted to purchase Damien Rice tickets (sold out. boo.)
spend time outdoors
visit my favorite store to get a head start on holiday shopping + cards
grocery shopping + cook for the week + make-ahead breakfasts
attend adoption celebration for two wonderful new parents
visit my favorite neighborhood spot to pick up Voice auction donation + peruse books
continue to promote Voice fundraiser
move my body