I distinctly remember, after about my third move, she told me she was going to start writing my address and number in pencil because they always changed in six months or so. We both still laugh at that. Sometimes our contact only happens when I move and I'm calling to give her my new info. Other times we talk a couple of times a month and still other times we will talk a couple of days a week. It just depends on life and where we are.
But this is one of those friendships that you know, no matter what or why, when the phone rings and it is Kaylene on the other side, I am always delighted to hear from her. This was the case not long ago. I think I called her - I don't rightly remember. We've both called each other over the last month or so and I forget which call this particular conversation came from. But I suppose that doesn't matter.
We were talking, that's what matters. :) ANYHOW. Kaylene is a wonderful mother of, what I may safely describe now as, a brood of children. And I adore her for it. She is real and honest and works hard and has bad days and sometimes falls short of what she hopes for the day and is hard on herself and.....well. She's like the rest of you - a good parent who works much harder than is fair and is rewarded much less than she deserves.
So when she told me about her new way of keeping her list, I had to borrow it. I love the sense of accomplishment and enjoyment it allows this very hard-working mom to enjoy without guilt.
Here is her marvelous answer to a mother's never ending list of things to do.
She told me about how frustrated she was with her list. There was always more to accomplish on it than she could get done in a single day and it never left her time for any sort of break or down time. When she did take time to relax, she always felt the guilt and pressure of her list weighing down on her and what should have been a time of recuperation became a time of judgement and condemnation. So she decided to do her list differently.
Now, when she begins her day, her paper is blank. As she works, she writes what she has accomplished. When she reaches ten things, it is then time for her to enjoy some leisure time. She has accomplished all ten things on her list and thus can enjoy her relaxation without guilt or pressure. Genius, isn't it?! She calls it her "Ta Da!" list. I think it is marvelous. So much so, that I wanted to share it with all of you. For certainly no family or parents work harder than those who have full-time care of a special needs child.
So get a little pocket sized notebook. Number your ten things, and then write down your list as you have accomplished it. The interesting thing that both Kaylene and I have discovered is that we are both so excited to write something down on our list that we get to work much sooner and with much more gusto. Because the list is one of accomplishment and has a reward at the end of it, it is a positive experience that makes me feel better about myself rather than condemning me. I used to feel like a worthless wretch when, after working hard all day, my list still had things that were needing to be accomplished and were added to tomorrow's list....it was exhausting, draining, frustrating, and depressing. NOW? I feel so great about myself and usually cycle through my list twice in a day. I accomplish my ten things. I take some time to do whatever, and then I feel so energized, I go and accomplish ten more things and then relax through the evening.
You will find that you accomplish more throughout your day, enjoy your downtime more, and feel better about yourself. It is lovely. Go ahead. Give yourself permission to enjoy those breaks you so richly deserve. THANK YOU Kaylene...I know I enjoy my breaks so much more and I no longer feel guilty in doing so. *singing* "TA DA!"
Now, in Kaylene's words: