Since I was going to be out of town for a couple of weeks I left my husband a to-do list - not a long one but there were a few "vital" things on it. Like 1) Put the leftover brisket in the freezer, 2) throw out the leftover lasagna, etc. You'd have done the same thing, right? Left a list I mean? When I got home he had very carefully done every single thing on the list. However, there was one thing he hadn't done that seemed critical to me and when I asked why his answer was, "You wanted me to do that? It wasn't on the list!" Now this particular thing I thought he should have done isn't important (though for heaven's sake any woman would have done it!) but the list is important.
Every few days I make myself a list of things I need to do. On Tuesdays it's generally a pretty long list because that's the day I am a chaplain at the local hospital and after leaving there I do all the errands I can squeeze into the day. It reads like this: 1) allergy shot, 2) post office, 3) Walgreens, 4) Kroger, 5) Hobby Lobby, 6) WalMart, 7) Manicure, 8) Library.....in some order not necessarily this one. And out beside each one I have another list which includes what I'm supposed to do there or buy there. And I try to put them in order of location so I don't waste gas but that depends on whether or not I have to buy cold items at WalMart and what the temperature is so they won't ruin. I know...obsessive compulsive disorder screaming here!
Even on days I'm at home I'll have a list.....thank you notes or get well cards to send, labels to print for a quilt I'm working on, phone calls I need to make, a closet I need to clean or magazines I need to go through. I'm continuously working from a list.
And routine...I could go on for days about routine! Every single day that I'm at home I get up, get a glass of chai tea latte, go back to bed to read my Bible and do my morning devotion, get up and make the bed, straighten up the bedroom, clean the kitchen, shower and dress, etc. In order. I allow myself until 9:30 to read blogs but then it's time to either start whatever deep cleaning or whatever sewing I plan to do that day.
But here's the question - if I'm continually working my life from a list or staying in my routine, where's the room for spontaneity (that's a very hard word to spell!). How much am I missing by working from a list? I'm looking outside this morning and it's the most gorgeous day I've ever seen. Not a cloud in the sky, a gentle breeze, the yard covered with falling leaves, the water sparkling, and I'm in the house doing laundry. Because it's Thursday.
So even though it's not the beginning of a new year I'm making a new resolution today. I'm going to add in between the lines of my lists lots of small moments to enjoy the gifts God has given me - I'm going to go for a walk or call an old friend or read a book or e-mail a grandchild or browse in an antique store. I'm going to break my routine and even though it's Thursday I'm going to plant some herbs or sit on a bench by the lake or take a drive in the country. But first I have to wait for this load of clothes to come out of the dryer so I can hang them up. :)
Seriously, I'm breaking up with my list (even though breaking up is hard to do). How about you...can you break up with your list?