Thursday, June 26, 2014

The To-Do List

One of my goals for this year -- something very clearly delineated on my to-do list -- was to blog regularly.  By "regularly," I mean more than once per year.  Like weekly.  Or at least once each month.  Judging by the date of my last post, I've failed spectacularly.

I've been fretting about this failure and a number of other uncompleted tasks* that have been languishing on my to-do list.  But then I came across this quote from author Seanan McGuire:

I will never finish the list.  The list is an endless road stretching off into the ever-moving future.  But the list is a guide and a map and a benediction, and nothing makes me happier than knowing that it's always growing.  I'll reach the end when I die.

Whoa.  Yes.   Reading this, I felt absolved.  Not totally absolved, because there are things on my list that need doing.  But the list is a guide, and a map.  And it is endless.  Having a list, and adding and subtracting and adding more to it, means that I'm living life.  The list shows me what I've accomplished and where I'm going.  If I look carefully, it tells me what's important and what's really not.
The quote is now pasted on inside cover of my day planner/notebook, a gentle reminder before I turn the page that the to-do list is a guide, not a contract.  It is a map, with routes that I can choose to follow, or not.  It is a benediction, and confirmation that there is a life ahead of me. 

*This morning I completed a task that's been on my to-do list for 3 1/2 years.   Philosophical musings aside, crossing this sucker off the list felt good