I’ve been thinking about lists and how they reflect priorities. I suspect I’m not alone in having lots of to do lists on the go (some make it to paper, and some are just in my head!), and my mood at the end of each day is often related to how much or little of these have been ticked off.
Today, for example… a low score on domestic tasks. Mainly just clearing up in the kitchen, and a bit of tidying up which was partially undone by Tiddler. Suburban dad has done better on his list of DIY tasks. He has been putting up shelves all over the place, which should help us in the war against clutter. Of course, his success is partly the reason why I’ve done so little, as I was mainly keeping the children busy and out of his way.
Then there are the lists of regular and occasional activities to be fitted in – Saturdays are full of those – and there is quite a sense of accomplishment in looking back over the day and seeing how much we have done. Today has included Dramabuds, Football, a Christian Aid coffee morning, a church fair, Choir, Ballet and other bits and pieces such as making hair appointments for the children, browsing in a charity shop, and for me a lot of walking between the various activities (over two hours, but a lot of it was at Rabbit’s walking pace so not as impressive as it sounds!)
In all the busy-ness of life, it is easy to forget that there are things that are more important even than all the worthwhile things above. Maybe I need a new checklist…
- Have I played with my children today?
- Have I read to them, listened to them read or looked at a book with them?
- Have I listened – really listened – to what they have to say?
- Have I looked in to their eyes and given them my full attention?
- Have I told them I love them? praised them? said that I enjoyed something we did together?
Today, I think I have done just about all of them, but not necessarily each thing on the list with each child. It’s challenging with four, but not impossible. So today, all in all, has been a good day… but I think I can do better. I think I need to judge the success of each day less on the other lists and more on this one.