I wrote a to do list the other morning. I felt pleased about that. I felt ambitious about everything I was going to get done. By two in the afternoon I sat down to mark off what I had got done. There were only two of the seven things done. For a moment I felt dumbfounded, confused by why when I was trying so hard to do things I would fail at getting anything done.
Then I started writing a second list. This is my list of things that were not on the to-do-list, but got done anyway.
- Mop up another puddle of cat pee.
- Re-install a graphics driver on the computer.
- Participate in online discussion (two comments only).
- Supervise kids while they play an online game.
- Comfort a child as he complains about feeling really bad.
- Pass paper notes to a child hiding inside a cardboard box.
- Read and take notes on a book that needs to be returned to the lender.
- Make lunch, serve it, wash the dishes and clean the kitchen.
- Read a book to a child.
- Help find craft supplies for the children.
Lesson of the day: to do lists are fine, but they are only half the story. If your to-do list isn’t done, write up the list of what you did do before you judge yourself a failure.