I have a little black book I call “Book of Magnificent Possibilities,” but it’s really devolved into my “Book of Dreaded To-Do’s.” It’s full of the “Call the insurance company about the higher car rate,” “Make appointment with eye doctor,” “Pick up socks at WalMart” — that sort of thing. There’s also the “Organize my life,” “Organize Liberty’s life,” and “Figure out how to get more quality sleep” items that are not so much tasks, but full-fledged long term projects.
Over the years I’ve used tiny calendars, 5 x 8 in. Daytimers, and 8 1/2 by 11 in. Franklin-Covey planners: two-page a day, lots of dividers for different types of to-do lists, complete with pencil case and outside zipper! Calendars and planners have definitely been my toys of choice. Now I just have a family calendar on the kitchen counter, plus my little black book of to-do lists.
Well, just before my birthday on Sept. 29th, I lost that little black book. I NEVER lose my to-do lists or calendars. I’ve lost my driver’s license once, but never my planners! (Sometimes I can be disgustingly efficient —- but for a coping mechanism in life, this has at least been a useful one!) I searched everywhere, called every place I’d been in the past week. Nothing.
Now, you know how much I love analyzing dreams. When unusual life circumstances take hold, I’ve also looked at those life events as though they were dreams, and wondered if there might be any messages I’m trying to tell myself. So, if you dreamed that you’d lost all of your to-do lists, what might that mean for you???
Uh, duh! For months I’ve been aching for more time to write, paint, read — all those depth-dimension activities that don’t pay any bills nor get the “to-do’s” done. Unfortunately, there’s a part of me that labels those depth-dimension activities as selfish and time-wasting, as a shallow businessman might label art as a waste of time and public resources, and look with derision upon those “creative types.” I’d been unconsciously prioritizing going to the dollar store to get those little dish scrubbies that have handles, over bringing into form some inner vision of compassion and wisdom seeking. (Those 40% off coupons from Michael’s Craft Stores could be the death of me unless I smarten up!)
As much as I’ve worked to detoxify my psyche from judgements that are just plain wrong, we are all saturated in our cultural values and generations of “thou shalt not” messages. I’d like to hope that by the time I’m an old woman I’ll be “my own man”, to use a metaphor that in fact makes a woman invisible, but likely I’ll be separating the poison from the treasure all of my life. I know that one of the most important things we can do in our human lives is to create more consciousness and develop more inner freedom. This allows us to nurture love and liberty in all those within our reach. In my wiser moments I know that the best way to do that is to engage in all those depth dimension activities.
If I’d only dreamed that I’d lost my to-do lists rather than actually doing so in “real” awake life, I might not have pondered this for the days that I have. (The book did show up a week later.)
LOSE THE TO-DO LISTS, Cat!! Spend, no, INVEST what time you can into the things that might really last, the things that are really worthy of what little time you may have to do them. Even 10 minutes within the midst of other worthy commitments is something that can help create a richer, deeper, more compassionate world.
So. What has YOUR life been telling you lately?