Throw out 50 thoughts #2 – I have a %*&# load to do

IMG_0476We have a box of table topics we open up at dinner. Each card has a different question. Some are mundane. Some are offbeat. They launch some pretty interesting conversations. Last night’s question was “are you too busy or not busy enough?” We all gave the same answer. I wonder why they even put that question in the box.

My husband challenged the dude’s answer. “Are you really so busy?” The dude gave him the look. “No really. Are you that busy? You have time with friends, you have time to text, you have time to shoot hoops. You aren’t desperately stressed, staying up all night working, or under the gun. Yes, you’re busy, but it’s nothing you can’t manage.”

The dude wasn’t pleased. While they bickered about whether my son was too busy or not, I thought about what my husband said.

When people ask me how I am, I generally say, “Good. Busy, but good.” Truth is, most of the time, I feel overwhelmed and constantly behind. But am I really that busy?

My hubby and I talked about it afterwards. Actually, I talked, he listened. Even the words came out in a rush, like I had to talk as fast as I could, otherwise I’d run out of time. It was something like, “I’m at loose ends because the dude doesn’t really need me anymore, but I will never finish the novel at this rate and I should be writing new material, but nothing is coming to me, and the house is a mess, and I hate cooking dinner, and the laundry is never finished and the cat had a fur ball today and maybe I should meditate because my mind won’t sit still in one place, and I haven’t signed the dude up for behind-the-wheel driving yet, I guess I’ll do that tomorrow, and what if I can never find anything to write about ever again? I have too much %*&# to do, but if I could get it done, then I could think straight.”

I took a deep breath. I needed to. He said, “Is all that %*&# ever done?”

He’s right. There is always more to do. Rather than being a really depressing thought, which it easily could have been, it was sort of freeing.

When I was young, the summer days stretched out forever. I didn’t have to accomplish anything, yet each morning was filled with the day’s potential energy. Playing is never “done.” There is always more to do, but I don’t think I ever had panic attacks as a child over how much sandbox playtime I got if I spent another fifteen minutes bike riding.

Granted, laundry is not as fun as playing on the swing set, but I have to wonder how much energy I waste with a constant-overload mindset. What do I gain by telling myself that I have too much to do? If I’m always thinking about what I should be doing next, I am never really present where I am. It’s like eating while wondering what my next meal with be.

So, the thought I will throw out this week is that I have too much to do. I have just enough to fill the hours available.

Each day has limitless potential. What will I fill it with?

What thought will you throw out this week?

Last week’s thrown-out thought – I am a writer

11 comments on “Throw out 50 thoughts #2 – I have a %*&# load to do

  1. Once again, you have hit the nail on the head. There is so much – so much to learn, so much to do, so much available. I work all day and have no idea what I did because there is always still so much.
    Hey, it is summer. Aren’t we supposed to be outside lathered in baby oil? (no, I haven’t done that in a million years – and even the few times I did it I shouldn’t have ((Irish skin)) but still the point is shouldn’t we be enjoying these days when we can go outside?)

    Are you familiar with the term “Artist date”?

    • I am, and it’s a good practice. My real to-do list today has 4 items that I really want to do. If I get to these 4, I’ll consider the day a success, and there is no reason why I shouldn’t. Anything else is gravy.

  2. Maggie Park says:

    Wow, thanks. I needed that mindset readjustment.

  3. Kris says:

    Hubby is a wise man

  4. Betsy says:

    I really enjoy your blog… You and I have things in common!!!!
    My thoughts are running a similar vein to yours this last few days, your mind runs and goes quickly just like mine, and I talk fast for the same reasons!
    So, my thought this week is the continuing of my thought last week. Its a concept from Shad Helmstetter’s book, “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself.” …… Yes, that is actually a Book!!!! So, in an effort to validate the things I do get done (since I KNOW NO ONE is lining up to do THAT ), and also giving my mind permission to focus on a few things and not feel guilty about not getting the ENTIRE list and then some done, I am telling myself about 50 times a day…..”I get things done on time, and I only plan to accomplish a REASONABLE number of things on a given day.” Amazingly enough, when I have done this before, after a few days of saying this to myself, I find that the important things are getting done and I feel more calm and not fussing over the tasks as I work on them, and I stop harrassing myself over the rest of the list that didnt get done ( or couldn’t have gotten done in A WEEK’S time anyway!!!) And as a bonus, i am really enjoying what I AM working on, being in the moment as you say. I am RARELY “in the moment”. I am always yesterday or next week, or five years ahead or 30 years behind……no wonder I have anxiety!
    I move around and don’t even know where I live!!!!!!
    Thanks for the smiles and laughs you give me each week! We all need more of those! When hou get a chance, check out my blogpost about Halloween 2012….remember to imagine it all i. Your head as you read… That should give you a good laugh!!!
    Happy day!!

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