I realized recently that the items on my to-do list usher a lot of stress my way. Not only is there no end to them--as items get crossed off more inevitably are added--but I always second-guess whether or not I've chosen to tackle the "right thing."
"Am I doing the right thing for this moment?" I ask myself--as if there is a secret formula or magic button that will unlock my productivity, hopes, and dreams.
After all, if I choose to tackle one task something else remains undone. And mamas do not exactly have unlimited reserves of time, do we?
Because of the generational speed in which we live, we make an extraordinarily large number of choices each and every day. Researchers have found that decision-making, beyond a low threshold, is stressful for humans.
Without even noticing we make hundreds of decisions daily, and with each one, from the toothpaste we chose at the store to the dinner we make in the evening, we can have the nagging thought "Did I make the right choice?"
But I've come to believe that is the wrong question to ask. Instead of looking for the elusive "right" thing (which doesn't really exist by the way), try asking this instead:
"Is what I'm doing now a blessing for me and my family?"
The beauty of this new question is that there are multiple "right" answers. Some of them could be:
- folding the laundry
- playing on the floor with your kids and leaving the laundry in the pile
- taking a nap (this can totally bless your family--a tired mama is no good for anyone!)
- making dinner
- ordering dinner out tonight
- cleaning the house
- getting up early to work or have quiet time
- sleeping in because you really need the rest
There are tons of ways we can use our time to bless our families. I'm sick of my to-do list bossing me around, weary of my mind trying to find the "one perfect thing" to do.
If we consistently make baby steps of progress in a good direction, we'll find over time that we've gotten exactly where we wanted to go, and multiple paths can lead us there.
"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."
~ Helen Keller