Wednesday, August 29, 2012


image from cathdew

When my kids go back to school, I try to ramp up to my "back-in-gear" mentality. This year, I even made a list of things I needed/wanted to do in these first couple of days when my kids would be out of the house all day.

The List


I had grand ambitions that I set specifically with Monday and Tuesday in mind.
  1. Sort mail and organize my grandmother's papers -- or at least set up some file folders so I'd have a good system going forward.
  2. Clean my closet, which has become an unfortunate mess and a general dumping ground for those things with which I don't want to deal.
  3. Write several book reviews and blog posts.
  4. Write some thank you notes.
  5. Clean out bathroom drawers and closet.
When Monday ended, I felt as if I had gotten nothing done. What happened to all those empty hours? Tuesday those hours before lunch did stretch out, but I also felt unmotivated, yet not motivated to do things like sit and read either, so I was unproductive and uptight.

What really happened?


When I thought about it (unmotivated Tuesday morning hours aside), I realized that I had not really done "nothing." Much of what I did took time and mental energy, yet was not measured by bags of clutter that I could give or throw away. Instead of taking clutter out of my house, I put love into the hearts of those around me.

Is this nothing?

This is the way I spent some of those "non-productive" hours on Monday and Tuesday:
  1. calling a friend and catching up
  2. sitting and watching a movie with Mimi for an hour
  3. walking the dog and connecting with neighbors
  4. beating the school-supply rush, which meant heading straight to the store as soon as Amanda got home Monday
  5. sitting with my children while they did their homework to help and encourage
  6. taking Amanda to the orthodontist (which took 3 times longer than it should have) 
  7. talking to another friend
  8. preparing dinner for my family

I still have time this week to "get things done," but today I need to go to the store; I'll see Mimi; I'll probably be sitting at the table helping with homework again; I'll walk the dog; I have lunch dates I want to schedule, and I'm going to. I'm probably going to feel like I've done "nothing."

Though my closets may not be clean and I can't cross these items off my list, I'm going to try to remember that people aren't "nothing." They are something -- something big.

1 comment:

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

YES! It's important to give ourselves credit for all those things that take focus, mental or emotional energy, etc. They are not "nothing," even when they feel like it compared to our to-do lists. Good post!