This is a simple notion that has kept me from despair, anxiety, and entire bags of potato chips time and time again:
Keep Moving Toward.
If you’re like me and have a “To Do” list the size of Webster’s, then you also know the despair and frustration that comes on those days when you don’t mark a single thing off it.
Last week, I had one of those days. I didn’t cross off a single item, I did, however, attend Monkey Class at the zoo(!) cooked dinner for the family, cleaned the refried beans with the fuzzy green stuff on top out of the refrigerator (this required a heroic effort), injected the diabetic cat, wrote Thank You notes for the five bucks my Uncle sent, paid the mortgage, managed the life insurance policy, while filling out forms from the DMV describing last week’s fender bender, worked out, read books to my daughter, played babies with my daughter, AND made “lovely artwork” with the same daughter. But since those life things usually don’t qualify for the To Do list, I didn’t get to cross anything off.
In the past, I may have felt unproductive, guilty even. But, since I’ve employed the Keep Moving Toward philosophy, I’m less concerned about how much I get done and more aware of what I am doing. In other words, there is nothing unproductive about monkey camp.
Like most of you, I have several goals – things I’d like to achieve in my life. I’d like to raise a healthy, happy, contributing individual. I’d like to publish my book. I’d like to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I’d like to continue growing and supporting my husband and my marriage. I want the people in my life to know I love them. And when I look back at what I did actually get done today, I can see clearly, that everything I did got me closer to one of those goals.
Some days it feels like I’m moving in slow motion. Often, I’m just taking baby steps. And on the days when I’m feeling stuck in the sludge of life, it helps me to remember, I’m Moving Toward just the same.
Monkey camp (can I just say I’m so happy that we have opposable thumbs – and all you monkeys out there should be glad too) is, I believe, part of raising a happy, healthy kid. Helping with the life insurance took some stress off my husband, which took some stress off our marriage which goes a long ways toward supporting my relationship. See how this works?
Thing is, you don’t have to walk on the moon to make a big difference. You don’t even have to cross an item off your To Do list to take a step closer to your goals. You can move slow, and take a lot of baby steps and still Keep Moving Toward what you want most. So, instead of feeling bad for what you didn’t do, become more aware of what you are doing. Make sure you’re spending most of your time Moving Toward and you’ll get to where you want to go just the same.
And, it doesn’t hurt to rework the To Do list a bit. I’ve added the upcoming Penguin Camp to mine. After all, it is sooo satisfying to cross something off.