Rather than resolving to do more, consider less. I’m heading into that phase of my yearly cycle- when I fret when I think that I haven’t done anything useful and then am propelled into activity. My self-imposed spring frenzy is rooted in growing up on a daily farm in southeastern Massachusetts in the middle of an agricultural belt where I was surrounded by friends and neighbors that got things done in a visible manner. There was a fruit and vegetable farm on one side of our farm and a giant multistory chicken house next door. This is time of year when I pruned trees, dug outdoors, worked in greenhouses transplanting thousands of seedlings, burned brush and weeds around the edges of fields, planted seeds in the tremendous whoosh of activity that propels farm families back into their 100 hour a week work schedule.
I’ve learned to handling this type of imprinted mental program. One of the best techniques is to let the feelings of responsibility well up and play out, and not necessarily responded to in a knee jerk manner. I am so far behind with outdoor work, carpentry projects here and at our camp 10 miles away that it could be a 100 hour a week deal for me to ever clean up the list over the summer.
And take a plunge into list making? I learned this in college- make up a detailed list in my little notebook of all the unfinished things that I had that were popping up throughout the day and even disrupting sleep at night. I got good at to do lists, but now I do better with another sort of list.
The done list is simply taking look back on my day ( or my morning) and jotting down what really did happen,
which often stuns me, as I am able to easily full a notebook page on some of the days where I felt that I was moping and slugging along. I sometime am able to trace a pattern of progress or setbacks that I can reflect on and consider in a different manner.
This NY Times column inspired me to write this post- maybe you will be inspired to reframe the incessant doing and live in a manner where Being is good enough.