Get it Done, Diva!

I had grand visions for the night. 

I would fold and put away the clean laundry that had been
sitting in a basket for a better part of the week, I would catch up on reading blog
posts, and work on my book outline.  I
would shampoo my carpets and clean the bathtub that had been taken over by soap
scum.  I would take care of the bills and
return every unreturned email sitting in my inbox, some of which dated back to

C. was taking my kids for the night, all three, a gesture
which was both brave and generous. When I called her a few weeks back, bitching
about not having a minute to get things done, she understood, and offered the
sleepover as a solution.

I don’t know about you, but I have lists, not one, but many.
There is my weekly calendar and my daily to do list and the things I want to
get to in the next month and other things I want to get to in the next
year.  There are my lists that are organized
by subject, such as shopping lists and lists of potential blog posts, a to-do
list to get me ready for my business trip next weekend.

Here are what my lists look like:  

2012-10-21 09.27.55

I sometimes interrupt a meditation to throw something on a
list, even though that kind of defeats the purpose of meditation. Yet I’m
afraid I’ll forget what needed to be done before I finish…and that the world
will fall apart because of it.  

I have lists in the car and lists on the kitchen counter and
lists by my laptop.

Not only do I have lists, but I like to get things

Ok, let’s be honest.

I just plain get off on getting things done.

I thrive on the sense of accomplishment I get when I can strike
things off a list.

Not to mention, there is a sense of security in “getting
things done,” which, of course, my root chakra greatly appreciates.

When I get home from C.’s, I hop on the computer.  My goal for the next few hours is to write my
blog posts for the week, edit articles for my freelance job, and clean.  

I sat at my laptop, with the time to get things done that I
had been coveting, and all I could do was stare at the screen in a state of

The prior week was a bear. Due to parent/teacher conferences,
we were “off schedule.”  I threw my kids
at babysitters to get through three early dismissals, and more babysitters to
get to their conferences, and yet another babysitter to get to a 7 a.m.
breakfast meeting for work. One night, sans sitter, I threw the kids in the
back of the yoga studio to teach a Fight Club class, after the dude’s
soccer game and school and their having to be at a sitter at 7 that morning.

I try to cough out two blog posts, but my writing is off. It’s
not sincere.  And if it’s not sincere, I
can’t post it, because that totally defeats the purpose of my blog. 

It’s not sincere, because I’m tired, and what I really need
to do instead of writing blog posts and editing magazines and shampooing carpets
and folding laundry is sleep – because I have been lacking in that department
for quite a while.

I shut off my computer and go upstairs to bed.

Part of my journey about being less rigid is to
accept the things that don’t get done and revise these lists.  Because given my situation as a single mom,
working 3 part time jobs to keep us going, I need to drill down to the essentials.

One of my favorite newly discovered bloggers, Justine at A
Half Baked Life
(have you met her? She is just fabulous!)  left me a comment last week about balance and
how our balance will constantly shift because life is constantly shifting. 

The balance will never be perfect.

I may never get to the bottom of my lists.  

Which leads to my contemplation for the week:

What are my essentials
and what are the non-essentials?

What can I move from
the “essential” column to the “non-essential” column without feeling like my
world will fall apart?

And even more importantly:

Can I get over
feeling like the world will fall apart if I don’t clean my carpets?


Namaste Divas! 



Get it Done, Diva! — 36 Comments

  1. I am learning to let go. I think I overset goals for myself and then find myself anxious because I can’t complete them all – which just makes me sad and less me, but more of an automaton getting lists done without enjoying the view and remembering to breathe along the way!

  2. I’m a total list girl, and frankly I need to be. I love your message here though – be kind to yourself. While we make all of these crazy lists, we need to be flexible too. Life happens. We get tired. We get cranky. We get distracted.
    And your comment around the carpets … I feel yah. I just got my cleaned about two weeks ago. They were driving me nuts. Even if I cleaned the house, those carpets would be staring back at me and laughing. I need to get wood floors! Ha!

  3. You know that nobody loves a list more than me! Over the summer I changed my list format to a 30 day plan. I have a running list of things to get done. But I only schedule one a day for the upcoming 30 days. And I get that one thing done because you can make time for one thing no matter how tired or busy. Sometimes I swap today’s task for another days because it just feels right or sometimes it happens that I can dig into the list and do a few more, great. I am flexible but I still feel like I am accomplishing the things I need to get done and I know that I will get to the rest of the things or maybe I will realize that some things just don’t need to get done after all!

  4. Another great one, and sincere in my opinion! There’s nothing more satisfying that crossing things off a list. I have dozens. I just nailed in one of those white boards in front of my desk because I thought writing lists in big black (erasable) marker would make me more efficient, but really, not so much. My mind is always buzzing, especially now with writing, so I totally feel you on this. But you’re right. Sometimes you have to listen to yourself and what your body is telling you, especially if you want to be get something done the right way and not just to check it off a list. This is something I tried to do last week by forcing myself to shut everything down by a certain time so that I could be in bed to get at least 6hrs of sleep. No easy feat, but so necessary for me to be able to tackle my lists with energy. I try to tell myself that I am control of what I’m doing so its okay to shuffle things around to make time for the essentials. Note that I said, “I try” so it’s still a work in progress!

  5. Yes to lists and to getting off on checking things off them! And a bigger, fuller, juicier yes to letting go! For me, letting go is the hardest thing to “accomplish!” Sitting through the feelings of the world ending because I don’t get something accomplished is harder than pushing myself mercilessly. And oh so much more worthwhile! I also had some time to myself this weekend. I had plans and more plans to accomplish many of the same things you described (sans the carpet – too big an undertaking for me!). You know that saying “my eyes are bigger than my stomach?” I have that same issue with free time. I think I should get everything I haven’t completed all week/month/year done and more. I ended up watching bad tv and going to bed. Best evening I’ve had in a long time! 😉 Here’s to more letting go (and ultimately more joy!). Rock on, my diva friend! You’re the best!

  6. We created a month by month house-to-do list because I felt like we were never getting to any of the projects we wanted to complete. The house was barely getting cleaned, let alone me redoing the grout. That list still sits on the fridge untouched because I have to decide what is more important, spending a weekend visiting the pumpkin patch with the kids or pulling the weeds in the garden. I want it all, but I have to decide what those essentials really are. I can live with crappy grout, but I can’t live without my family outings.

  7. My carpets are so gross. So gross. SO as long as yours are awful, you can just pretend like you’re keeping my company. My husband is our list lover. I’m much more disorganized mentally, though I’m much more organized physically.

  8. I am always trying to accept the fact that a little mildew in the corner of my shower does not make a failure (even admitting it hurts a little, however). I’ve been “turning off” more and more lately. Shifting my priorities a bit. It’s not easy, but my lists are long…very long. If I can’t disconnect I get overwhelmed. It will get done…eventually.

  9. I love lists, and I have lots of them. My problem is that I get so many things on my lists that I don’t know where to start. And then I just end up doing a few unfinished things here and there with nothing accomplished. I’ve recently been working on having one list in front of me with 3 things that I absolutely have to get done. If I get those done, I’m good. The other stuff will just have to wait. It’s a start…

  10. I *love* to-do lists. But my carpets? Are ALWAYS dirty. Because life happens. Like my mother moving in. Who then managed to lose her temporary crown on one of her teeth tonight. And honestly, there’s a lot of stuff on my list that is just not going to get done right now.
    I’m going to write a post soon about a mantra we used in class the other night … calling the three elements Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Durga. My teacher said in yoga we always start with the death, the letting go, of Durga … because then we can find what sustains us, the “abundant wealth” of consciousness. That letting go? is SO hard to do. We get so attached to the things we think are important.
    And wow, thank you for the compliment! I feel like I haven’t been posting anything terribly fabulous lately, so I will have to make a more concerted effort to live up to the praise! 🙂 (wait, what was that about letting go? *grin*)

  11. I love lists too. They make me feel calm when things get crazy – I guess a false sense of control and security? For example, just looking at the picture of your lists put a smile on my face. In high school, my best friend would make fun of me for my to-do lists. But lately, I’ve been having trouble getting a handle on my lists. Not just getting the things done – because that seems impossible these days – but just getting a handle on how to organize my lists. And, as I’m getting older and clearly my memory is slipping, I rely on my lists more and more.

  12. I love lists. But I try to have a “must do” and then a regular to-do list. The must do’s take priority and I really want/need to get all that done. The other list are things that it would be nice to get done and do need done, but aren’t as immediate.

  13. Lists, I’d be lost without them! That being said, there is much that languishes at the bottom only to eventually dry up and fall off like the leaves of autumn.
    Good contemplation, and often a hard question to answer. Hope you are gaining insight! Remember to take even a few minutes each morning to breathe, pray and relax, even if you have to hide in the bathroom to do so. 🙂

  14. I am so impressed that you allowed yourself to watch bad TV! I have not watched TV in years – because it feels too much like a “guilty pleasure” that I am not entitled to – I know you can relate, to the guilt thing given you had kept your weekend to yourself a secret!

  15. I just love the little gems you leave in my comment thread – and I just got chills when I read about death/letting go. It’s so darn true! That’s what the “creating space” is all about – right? Making room for the abundance!
    I need to practice more mantra with my students – that has kind of fell to the wayside!
    I hope your mom’s dental emergency has been solved…and PS – You need to do nothing to be fabulous except be you. xo

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