Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The To Do List

I got a lot of things done today. I like that. I walk around with at least a couple of to-do lists (I always manage to have more than one going) in handy reach at all times and spend more effort than is anywhere like useful re-writing them. I feel this great sense of accomplishment when I cross off a multitude of things (which, of course, will require a re-write of the list so that it stays neat and organized), but oddly enough the lists never seem to get any shorter. This is the round of life, right? Getting things done, discovering more things to do, getting more things done, finding a whole host of new items for the list, etc. ad infinitum.

But I wonder if all this to-do listing is really a good thing. I feel noticeably better about myself on days when I get a lot done; is the value of my being really to be found in the number of items I cross off a list each day? Is this truly what is important in my life? My actions, speaking annoyingly louder than my words, would seem to say so; the wiser part of me knows that can never be right.

My son told me the other day that I never play with him. On the way home from the park, no less. My first thought was to dismiss this as severe hyperbole on his part - I am always taking him somewhere fun. But then I began to wonder, do I actually play with him? Do I actually give him the attention that he needs, or do I just always see to it that he is entertained? I am with him a great deal of the time, but am I present for him?

I think I need to re-write my to-do list and put "Remember to be present with the people I love" at the very top. And then keep re-writing it every day of my life.

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