Ok, lists are for doing, are they not? I will write some highly practical lists too, as of course most of the friends I asked told me they did. One said she wrote narrow lists, with only one word on each line. Then the list was long, but quickly got shorter. I tend to group tasks, and make lists that are as wide as my paper. I start with every possible thing I can think of. To me it is immensely stressful if I feel I have a terrible workload ahead of me, which I do not know if it is possible to do. So I list everything, and then sort.
Of course some of the things are not really stressful, like yesterday I was to pick up a flower for a gift. I love spending time in a flower shop, talking to the florist, smelling the damp green air. Then I listed all the other stuff I had to do, and it just did not add up. Then it is time for a “list of now”, which is my way of saying, this can wait, this I can ask someone else to do, this I can do differently, and this I can do now. When life is running smoothly, these are also the tasks I have to do. Accordingly, I gave a gift that I had bought and wrapped earlier.
When life is tangled, and I do not really know which is the most important step, I cut some slack for myself. I remind myself that I do not know what I do not know, and allow myself to do as well as I can. Then it is time for another kind of “List of now”. Then it’s time for the list of things that I can do now, even if tomorrow or next year looms in darkness. Then it is time to see if something I can do now would make the times I am fearing easier. Then it is time to make a list of all the things that I do not know how to do, and give them a rest. Then I realize that I can at least do the laundry, clear out a drawer, bake some bread or go for a walk. It is not much, but it is something, it is useful, and the less chaos I am surrounded with, the more fresh bread I can smell and the more fit I am, the more I am able to clear my mind for what I really have to do. If not now.
In November I take part in the NaBloPoMo, in the BlogHer network. I post every day on “The Untangling Tens” what women do when life gets tangled. These are the ten tools that worked for those I have asked, what are yours?
All pictures in this blog are taken by me, Solveig Mjolsnes.