My To-Do List and Expectations



Raise your hand if you're a lover of lists.  Don't you adore crossing something off after you've accomplished it?  Me too.  However, in this current crazy season of my life, my to-do list has had to morph into something that matches my reality.

I fondly remember the days when all of my children took an afternoon rest, or at least a quiet time.  They do now, too, but the two little guys are on slightly different schedules so there's only an hour when they're both down.  I do rest for an hour or so, but I also need to capitalize on the sleeping babies and spend time helping the older kids with school.

What this means, practically, is that my to-do list has become sort of a running "extra projects" list rather than a day-to-day list, because the day-to-day just doesn't vary all that much.  I use this printable check list for the daily stuff. You can alter the fields for your own use.

Then I add and delete things from the ongoing to-do list as necessary.  Currently the list is:

1. Where are my jeans? (I have one pair in my current size and they're nowhere to be found)

2. Fill in names on family tree as far back as possible (This project could go on for years)

3. Paint-  girls’ accents (This one is particularly pathetic.  A friend is doing the painting for me.  All I have to do is buy the paint, but I haven't even done that yet)

4. Sew hammock and cabana pillows (I'm not a good seamstress.  I've put this off for months, but the hammocks are now on the back porch and I really can't ignore this any longer)

5. Hang shells from andy’s office (Too long an explanation)

6. 5yo Kindergarten doctor visit, 16yo tetnus booster (I know, it only takes a phone call...)

7. Find videos to send to Shane (ummm... find them... )

8. TOS reviews (Due June)

9. Christian’s Stocking to Sandy (all I have to do is send this to a friend but...)

And now a word about expectations.  Years ago, maybe when I had five children or fewer, I could look at this list and know it could be tackled in a week's time.  Now, however, the tyrrany of the urgent is where I spend most of my time, and so this list has become just an ongoing thing that continues to grow faster than it shrinks.  If I were to expect to finish the list in a more timely manner, I would be frustrated, angry, and ready to throw in the towel, perhaps blaming homeschooling or any other number of things to which God has called me at the moment (like two babies, 14 months apart).

One thing I can say God has taught me over the last year is to make my expectations match my reality.  Actually, more than that, I have no expectations. I don't expect time to myself, time to complete projects, family members who remember my birthday, dinner to come out well, perfect kids, or my haircut to be stunning.  As a result, when any of those things do work out, I am utterly surprised and delighted!

How can you change your expectations to meet your current reality?