Waking up early, the list of things to do is already spinning in my head…finish shopping (don’t forget a new kitchen garbage can, remember the lid broke yesterday), get the house picked up, wrap gifts….and the list spins on and on. But wait, I remind myself, this year is different. Remember? How can I slow down and enjoy these next few days without getting caught up in the typical ‘to dos’ that bog so many others down? What is it that matters? What are the desires I am trying to eliminate here? How can I identify them and then successfully eliminate them?
I guess if I tried a strategy (I’m just thinking out of the box here for a second) of listing the external desires and the internal desires that could be a good guide of what to focus on…ok, here it goes:
Pick up and clean house
Organize kids rooms
Get all the presents wrapped
Finish up shopping
Get the food for the next few days, including Sat. dinner
Slow down, don’t hurry so much
Be patient and kind
Love others through my words and actions
Appreciate all I have and the people in my life
So what is it that matters? What really is there ‘to do’? As I remember to focus on the internal desires, and not the external, somehow, magically even, the external things will get done. It is a focus on being rather than doing.
I can use the external doings as a platform to accomplish my true internal desires of being a better, kinder, more loving person. When I am shopping, can I use that as a time to focus on being patient and kind? When I am organizing the kids rooms with them can I show them love through my words and actions, rather than rushing them, shouting at them, or being frustrated by the mess? When I am wrapping gifts, can I thoughtfully remember each person and the reason I have bought the gift for them? Or am I doing it just to get it done? There is a big difference in each of these approaches, even though the task is the same. It is remembering what to focus on and what is important.
If I get my list of to-dos completed, every last item checked off, but I was angry with the store clerk, rushed in my wrapping, snappy with the kids, and unloving towards my spouse, what have I truly accomplished? Nothing.
Today, in all things I think I need to do, remember to focus on my true desires. This shift in being rather than doing will help me slow down, and focus on what truly matters most.