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To Do...To Be...

Updated: May 15, 2022

On my weekend days, I always struggle with the To-Do List versus the things I wish I could be undertaking instead. I would much rather take a bike ride than pay the bills. Kayaking sounds much more fun that cleaning out the garage.

Yet I struggle. The bills HAVE to get paid, and the garage is somewhat dangerous to navigate with all the clutter from transitioning from winter to spring.

So how do I discern what to focus on? God created us to be human be-ings, not human do-ings. That means that it is okay to just BE for a while; to sit on the porch and enjoy the rich smells of the lilac bush and fresh cut grass. To have a leisurely lunch with a friend; to take my dog for a long walk on the many trails around.

Still, those many items on the To-Do List still need to get done, and they cannot be ignored. What I have decided to do is create a To-Be list that sits alongside the To-Do List. Here are some things on my list:

Be less of a procrastinator

Be more proactive

Be a more focused listener

Be in the moment

Be intentional about self-care, healthy eating and exercised

Be content in my own skin

Be open to new people and unexpected opportunities

As I look over the list, I realize that if I focus on my To-Be List, then I will likely be more effective with the To-Do List. For example, when I leave the bills to last minute, I am stressed as I seek to meet the deadlines. When I let the mail pile up instead of recycling the junk mail right away, I have to sit and go through the stack and weed out the important stuff.

When I get something out of the garage, I must put it away right when I am done so the clutter is minimal. As I seek to be a more focused listener, then I am likely in the moment better when I am with friends, colleagues and parishioners. The outings for kayaking or bike riding are essential if I am to exercise more intentionally.

Now that the list is made, what’s next? You see, I have been down this road before and have fallen short of my intentions. In order to have greater success this time, I have shared my list with a few friends so that they may hold me accountable to my desire for a more fulfilling life.