Image: Outtake from Seed Harvesting / Excerpt from Wikipedia
I know I’m not alone when I say that my to do list never shrinks. One item gets checked off, 5 more get added on. A part of me likes this – I enjoy being busy all the time and always having an upcoming project to plan and complete. It gives me something to do, goals to reach, lessons to learn. But what I’m having a hard time learning is how to focus on what I have done rather than what I have left to do. And I often pile so much on my plate that physically cannot get done in the time I’ve allotted, yet I demand it to be so anyway.
I often subject my Type B husband to this. “Okay tonight we make dinner, clean the kitchen, paint the baseboards, build and install the electric box cover, vacuum, and clean out the closet for clothes to bring to the thrift shop. Oh and I have to blog so you can go grocery shopping at that time.”
What a nightmare I can be.
I get really down on myself and frustrated that I’m not working on something every single available minute, and how far behind I’m falling when I choose to peruse pinterest rather than do the dishes. I’m constantly failing to remind myself of what I have done – the items I checked off and the goals I have achieved. Whenever I fall into my frenzied “I have so much to do!”, my husband is constantly there to remind me: “Sure, but look at how much you’ve done”.
Is it the curse of the Type A personality? Are we really unable to enjoy our past and current accomplishments, only to look ahead at the next target? I suppose that’s a personality trait that can make people so successful. If you’re constantly looking ahead then you’re constantly striving to reach that goal and go onto the next one. But where’s the room for celebration? Shouldn’t we be taking the time to soak in that blissful moment of “ahhh yes, I did that.” instead of “okay that’s done what’s next?”.
I’m still learning how to recognize and enjoy my accomplishments without feeling the guilt or stress of what’s left on the to do list. This may be a life long lesson, but it’s one worth working toward. After all, if you can’t enjoy what you’ve done and where you’ve been, how can you possibly ever feel a sense of accomplishment? And isn’t that sense of accomplishment and pride vital to being proud in ones work?
As I first mentioned, I know I’m not alone in this Type A personality curse. But I’m sure some of you have handled it much better than I.
How do you handle the weight of the looming to do list
and take pride in what you’ve achieved?