February 24, 2012 § 25 Comments
The other day as I sat staring down at my long scratchy to-do list, I suddenly saw it transform before my eyes, distinctly and unmistakeably, into a lamprey, writhing on the page and viciously sucking all the life out of my day. Gruesome. And, I knew at once that the image was completely accurate. I’ve been living off of my to-do list lately. Actually, it is more like I have been possessed by my to-do list, a drone under its command.
The list consists of winding pages of the endless tasks that ought to be taken care of in between the meetings and duties that create rows of blocks in my calendar, like the bricks of a parapet. The fact of the matter is, there are things that must get done, and better to list them out than try to keep them sorted and ordered in my poor, addled brain. But, lately I’ve let the list get to me. The magnitude of it, and my brain-numbed reliance on it, have left me feeling empty. It takes over my mind even during the moments I’m trying to let go and recharge. And that’s where the trouble comes from.
When I wake up, I feel that brief wondrous moment of expansiveness that the morning brings. Here is the day! It is filled with possibility! For two seconds. Then the list comes thundering down on my head. It shutters and boards up anything that looks remotely like possibility and replaces them with a sense of floundering and stress. Feelings that don’t get you anywhere.