mental health

Where life queue and bucket lists shall meet

The life queue

Everyday and every morning I make a to-do list. These lists usually consist of things I need to get done in the more immediate future, namely that day. There are oftentimes some aspirational items on my list as well. I place said items on my daily to-do lists to remind me of what I am striving for at the end of the day. I also have longer term items, such as plan my son’s birthday trip to remind me things come up quickly in life. I know I have to keep the eye on the ball (multiple balls, that is) at all times. I keep my old to-do lists (which I write on yellow pad paper) for a while so that I can go back and keep refreshing my lists. I walk around with pockets filled with yellow pieces of paper. Oddly, they keep me moving forward and grounded.

I started off this year with the motivation to write two books. Then life and crazy work demands continued to happen. Cortisol levels spiked and I had to hit the treadmill even harder. I write notes while on the treadmill. However, that to-do item of “chapter outline” continues to make a guest-star appearance on every list I have written this past year.

Now, while I maintain a daily, weekly, and monthly to-do list, I also have a bucket list of sorts. Well, not really. Bucket lists, all the rage since a movie thusly named was released in 2007. Bucket lists where you write out all the things you hope to do before you die seem a bit morbid to me. They also seem a bit antithetical to living.

Putting something in a bucket doesn’t seem that inspiring to me. I put a broom and a mop in a bucket. I have used buckets to capture drips. I have buckets under the kitchen sink in case I ever need one to scoop out a flood or small overflow. I put an umbrella in a bucket by the door. Only taking out the umbrella when needed; otherwise it stands forgotten therein. Why would I want to put my life goals and aspirations in a bucket list?

By placing my goals on my daily to-do lists I keep them present in my everyday life. Yes, many of those larger goals end up at the back of the queue. Yet, they are there for me to see and fleetingly process. Today, my to-do lists consists of:

Submit expense report (tedious and should get done today)
Hold four meetings (not as many as usual)
Finish writing up media analysis
Work on twitter powerpoint for conference
Send out agenda for tomorrow’s teleconference (that I will have to take while walking from one meeting to another)
Buy gummy vitamins
Buy birthday gifts for my niece
Plan Australia day trip (awesomely fun, hope I get it done between meetings)
Write up offer letter
Organization book chapter outline (aspirational)
Write up bank of blogs
Plan my son’s birthday trip
Read next chapter in book on starting up my own business (aspirational)
Watch recorded shows to bring down the viewing queue
Workout on treadmill

Before heading into the office I will grab my new favorite drink; that being a caramel macchiato. Sugar and caffeine make me happy and productive. Perhaps my hands shake a bit but I surely get to check off items from my to-do list.

One day soon that book chapter outline item will get a check mark next to it on my daily to-do list. No waiting till the end. Instead it will be part of my everyday waking conscious until it is done. Onwards to the next set of items.



Other Word Press Thoughts

Its mayur


11 replies »

  1. OMG, Mimi. I feel like I just got off the proverbial (literally) treadmill after reading your “to-do” list. Are you sure you have the same amount of hours in your day as I do in mine, or were you given a gift of 30 hours in your day when you were born? I don’t believe in “bucket lists” either. Makes no sense. Well done again. Enjoyed reading your post – even the paragraphs above your “to-do” list! :-)

  2. Life does get so hectic that to-do lists become almost essential for many and then, even if one writes a list other things happen out of the blue and I, for one, forget about the list only to get back to it in the pm hoping nothing important slipped behind… So, as life has taught me, I’ve started extracting THE most important items from the day list and write them in abbreviated form on top of my hand – between the thumb and index finger! Gosh, I hope I don’t get to use some toxic pens :D Now Mimi, I also don’t believe in “bucket list” because I think that defines the future too much, so I say to myself: I’ll just go along and if what happens doesn’t agree I’ll ditch it :D – but, thinking about mortality I have done one thing recently that might fit into “the bucket list”: I actually went to a local cemetery I like here in Sydney and purchased a burial plot for myself! Oh Lord, what a great exercise I thought, after feeling truly odd and uneasy beforehand. Now, unless I fall into the unknown from an airplane or something I know where people can find me after the “bucket list time” expires. Some think: what on odd thing to do! To me, if I had a Bucket list this would be one of the top items on it.

    • I like putting the top things on the hand. I like the idea and image of “the hand” guiding the day. Wow..that is a tough purchase..its great that you got past the unease. I think I am not mentally ready for that yet. I do like your take on the bucket list :-) hope you are having a lovely day

      • Yes I know the “unease” at considering where the remains shall remain after “the bucket” tips over – took me a couple of years :) Having a fab day, thank you

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