waiting to be done

April 8, 2014

I often find myself caught in the thought pattern below:

“When I just finish X, Y, and Z, I’ll let myself relax and enjoy.”

I often write out a list for the day, and find it hard to relax and enjoy anything worthwhile before every box is checked off.  Except THEY NEVER ARE.
Even with help.  A lot of help.
Even on maternity leave with a lot of help!
New boxes crop up, unexpected things happen, or I start allowing my mind to wander to other “essential” projects, like organizing my closet or weeding through Annabel’s toy collection.  Updating the blog, or making photobooks. Truly, the list is bottomless.  
When I inevitably do stray from productive tasks, I often resort to doing mindless things (like checking email or reading mind-numbing social media) because these things don’t feel like a “real” leisure activity or break.  They’re just filling in the gaps while I’m “waiting to be done.” But those minutes do add up.
I am beginning to accept that the clean slate I often spend time and mental energy waiting for is never going to appear.  And that’s ok; or at least it has to be.  Because the check boxes — AND the spaces between them — are life.  Time is marching on whether I’m ready or not. 
I don’t think the answer is to give up checkboxes; I still love them so.  But realizing that “done” is never going to happen and therefore is not something to  wait for is essential for enjoying these moments.  And life.
currently sitting on the couch, unshowered, with Cameron sleeping on my chest and zero to-do items checked off.  And loving it.

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