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 Writer. Doodler. Tea Drinker. Wife. Auntie.
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Mom and Dad Were Right: To-Do Lists...

The older I get, the more I remember bits of advice my parents gave me that I dismissed with a scoff, only to loop back years later and humbly think, “Yup, they were spot on!” I’ve devoted a little section in my blog where I will periodically share a story that illustrates that while my parents don’t know everything…they sure know a lot. And while their advice may not hold true for everyone, I find that it often did for me (and isn’t that what they secretly wanted, in their heartest of parent hearts?)

Sometimes I feel like my mind is a TV screen, my thoughts are the channels, and a happy toddler is pressing the remote and changing the channels. Very Fast. As a result, I’ve found the best thing to do to stay organized is to maintain a “to do” list. it is the one thing that keeps me on track. I write down everything – even the tiny details – to tame the thoughts in my head as they whirl about.

Ahhh, my list. It’s like a fuzzy security blanket.

The other day, looking contentedly over my list at work, I stopped in horror.

Mom was right.

(Isn’t it funny how the channel of your mind always stays put when an uncomfy thought steps up?)

In my mind’s eye, I left my little cubby at work and was transported for a moment to the days of childhood, when anytime I told my Mom something I needed, her command was “write it on the list.”

This meant I had to stop whatever vital project I was involved in (no doubt something like reading Baby Sitter’s Club books), and locate my Mom’s latest to do list in the kitchen (typically on the fridge with a magnet). Then, next to my Mom’s pretty writing, I would quickly scrawl out whatever it was I needed, ranging anywhere from scheduling a haircut to new shoes laces.

I thought my Mom was out of control (and my Dad too, because he sided with her on writing everything down.) A busy girl like myself, with many vital interests and an intense social life didn’t have time to add to Mom’s to do list. But I certainly had some time to roll my eyes first and ponder the following: Isn’t that what memory is for? And doesn’t writing it down actually use up time you could be using to do other precious stuff – like (sarcasm here) perhaps the thing you noted?

I was incorrigible. I’m not sure how or why my Mom put up with my theatrics.

But as I’ve gotten older, and my world has expanded greatly to include more people, events, work, chores, groceries, etc…that list is my shining light, my tiny director, my compass of sorts. To do lists are genius, brilliant, and a staple to keeping my sanity.

No wonder my parents kept one. No wonder they encouraged me to do the same.

Yup, Mom, Dad, you were right.

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