The to-do lists are thick today. I’ve got all the tasks I have to accomplish scribbled out on scraps and hastily typed out in apps on my phone. Meal prep, work out plans, rehearsal schedules, work dates, household chores, they’re all floating around in my head, trying to find a time to be inserted into my life.
It’s easy to give all your attention to what you need to do and never think about who you want to be.
We’ve got the order of living backwards. We plan out our schedules, our to-do lists, our tasks and the order of operation. We dream and set goals for where we’re headed, but when was the last time we thought about who we would become along the way?
Who do you want to be? It’s an imperative question to ask yourself, and you’ve got to ask it before you decide what to make for dinner, what you’ll wear to work, when to go to the gym, and how to organize your day.
I’ve got all the items on my agenda strung up in a line. They’re jammed side by side, pressing up hard against me. The quantity is overwhelming and my brain starts spinning a little at all the things. So I drop some, I push some to tomorrow or next week, I decide some will not be finished with the precision I intended. By the time I crawl into bed tonight their urgency will have faded and the only thing that will remain is who I was as I walked through the day.
Kind. Compassionate. Gentle spoken. Self controlled. Light hearted. Hard Working. Forgiving. Honest. These are the things I want to become.
Humor. Warmth. Generosity. Presence. Truth. Grace. These are the things I want to offer.
I can do a million things and I can go a thousand different places, but if I’m not who I wanted to become when I arrive there, the journey wasn’t worth my time.
It’s the middle of the day in the middle of the week. There’s a pile of dirty dishes in the sink and a stack of undone projects on the desk. I expected to have more done by now, I wanted to feel more accomplished. I’m crabby and feeling the wear of this self-imposed urgency on my heart. And for a second I decide to take out my planner to see how I can somehow finagle this day to still produce all I thought it could. But instead, unexpectedly, blessedly, I don’t open it to my to-do list. I turn a page. Its empty, whiteness invites me. It feels like a welcomed reprieve to all the frenzy. I stare at it for a minute and then take out a pen.
TO BECOME: I write these words, sweeping across the top of the page.
Underneath I write a new list. I know I’ve got to do the dishes, I know there’s taxes to be filed, words to be written, and children to be cared for. I remember the meals to be made, lessons to be taught, and music to be learned. I’m all too familiar with my to-do list. But who will I be as I go about the tasks, as I finish the projects, as I turn off the lights on another day? Who do I want to become? Who do you want to become?