Melisa Carr-Ashkenazi
I'm not saying anything, I'm just saying....

The To Do list: A daily dilemma

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I need a plan… Not just a long term plan, which I keep vaguely floating around in my head of the next five years, but the daily game plan that I tell myself the night before and again when I wake up in the morning.

Now for some reason, that as of yet, I can’t seem to figure out. I wake up feeling behind the eight-ball, anxious and concerned I haven’t … Prepped enough the night before, remembered everything that’s in the morning schedule, or even enough time to release my bladder, change my contacts (as I’m blind as a bat) and get the morning drip on. How long could that actually be – 10 minutes tops! It’s coffee and the bathroom!

And yet I wonder how it happens that I constantly feel behind in life?  The minute I wake up I am running scenarios in my head about what I can actually accomplish and how much time and energy am I eating up by doing so?

Now that sounds like a lousy way to calculate my day but when I think about it… Dirty clothes will forever be haunting me from behind the laundry room door and the clean ones are like the blob taking over my 2-meter table on a daily basis that gets tamed back for family dinner with a toddler and 5-year-old. Oh, that’s only on “real dinner” days.

Yes, I know, it’s only laundry, yadda yadda yadda… But the truth is, that it is just one of the many never-ending tasks that eat up our precious time, “time”  that should be one the “Top 3 Most Important Things For Life List”.  This amongst all the other rote tasks we are enslaved to keep on doing for our very existence.

So, I divide and conquer,  half house stuff and half work stuff.  It sounds so simple and easy, just make a list with some of this and some of that, “no problem” I’m thinking, I can do all that, after all, it’s only a couple of house chores and time on my computer working for “real”, right?

Oh, contraire my friend!

As I am sitting here writing this time is slipping away and before I know it I will again be in a mad dash to accomplish X amount of things before my boys get home.

Say like… what’s for dinner? Ooh ooh I know, nothing that needs defrosting as it is too late in the day for any real defrosting to take place. Leftovers? Nope ate that for lunch. Moving along, I’ll figure it out later.

My point is that there are so many little tasks in life that are necessary to keep life going that I rarely feel accomplished for the days’ goals and constantly increase the task list, instead of smartly scaling it down (impossible I say).

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up feeling refreshed with a clear path for the day, plenty of time to accomplish those things that are important and feel satisfied at the end of the day… Oh I know I would, but it just isn’t going to happen. At best I will have the laundry machines continuously working and the kitchen sink + the dishwasher on constant twice a day turn around.

What is most important though, that always drives me to the brink of tears… The really important time I should be spending with my kids. I don’t mean that they are in the house while I’m on the computer or whipping something up in the kitchen to eat, no, consciously spending time with them.  If  I manage a good schedule plan I have activities set up for them on the days we aren’t schlepping to hugim.

On the good days, I remember what’s most important – my boys’ smiles and their laughter in my home. On good days I’m the active parent and not the physically present but mentally somewhere else, like scrambling to make dinner or wash that Judo outfit just before it’s needed.

Yeah, I wish I had it more together… I even tell my Hubby that once I start running again, I’ll have more time and energy and of course that will make me more organized which of course will make me have more time… If it ever does happen I sure hope I don’t spend it prepping for life while it’s passing me right by.

At the end of the day, if my kids are happy and still think I’m a great mom, a loving parent, it should be enough. I want it to be enough, yet I still manage to run the ongoing list of stuff I didn’t accomplish through my brain, ensuring a sense of defeat and failure for the day.  How does the human mind manage to undo all the solid strides one takes in a day?

I don’t have a good answer. But as Dory would say,

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”


About the Author
Melisa is from New York City and lives in Israel with her husband and two boys. Sometimes she's a full-time homemaker, and sometimes a full-time career woman. Melisa's passion and curiosity lead her on many paths in life. She holds an A.A.S. in Criminal Justice, a B.A in American Studies and an M.A. in Education, all from the S.U.N.Y. Currently, it’s her passion for writing.
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