I remember telling my girlfriends that I wouldn’t mind becoming a housewife one day. You know, take care of the house, cook delicious food everyday, watch over my future kids, attend all the teacher-parent meetings, and watch over the kids’ basket ball games (or my future daughter’s ballet class). You’d probably think that since I don’t have kids, I’d have all the time in the world. I thought so too, but oh I was wrong! I thought I’d enjoy being a housewife, but to be honest with you, I don’t. Well, at least not right now.
I find myself being more busy than I was when I had a full-time job. Just to be clear, I didn’t quit my full-time job to be a housewife! I had valid reasons that had nothing to do with this. So when I quit my job, I felt good at the beginning. I slept in until 10am and stayed home the entire day watching Bridget Jones’ Diary (guilty pleasure) or other movies that Timon doesn’t want to watch with me. However, I quickly felt that I wasted a lot of time, especially in the morning, and was really unhappy with myself. I then decided to make a schedule for myself: wake up at 7am everyday (which became 8am), do devotions for one hour, work on Style in White until lunch time, cook, clean the house, run errands, and so on. My to-do list was getting longer and longer, and you know what happened? Yes, you guessed it right.
I became overwhelmed. And the only person to be blamed is me, myself, and I (Beyonce’s song playing in the background while I’m typing these words). When I haven’t checked off all the things I have to do for the day, my mind wouldn’t rest at night. I’d stay up really late, sometimes until 2am, to complete all my tasks, and the next morning I’d wake up around 10am (back to the bad routine!) feeling terribly unproductive. I also felt useless. I had to let it all out on Timon a couple of times (poor husband!) before I decided to discipline myself better, use the time that I have to do something awesome, not just for myself, but also for the people in my life.
One important thing that I learned from my mentor Leslie Passerino is that we’re sometimes too caught up with our to-do list. Instead, we should think of making a to-be list. And she’s right! By looking at my to-do list, I’ve realized that a lot of the stuff that I wrote don’t produce any outcome that can benefit me and/or others. It’s there, because it’s there. I added this and that so that it looks like I’m super busy and important. But it’s not about how many tasks I can complete in a day that makes me important! I should rather think of doing things that can make me a better person.
Wait! I think I know what’s possibly going through your mind right now. You’re probably thinking: is this applicable to work? I think it is. Think of it this way. Your boss is giving you a huge list of things to do. Instead of thinking about accomplishing these tasks because that’s your job, think of it as completing them in a timely manner for the purpose of helping yourself improve your organizational skills and become better at prioritizing. I consider myself a very organized person, but even then, I think I can always improve in whatever I think I’m good at. Leslie explains this whole to-be list concept really well on her blog. If you read and understand French, I highly recommend you to take a few minutes to read about this subject. It’s going to challenge you to think differently about the way you live your life.
If you were to create a to-be list today, what would you you write?
Anna Lou Chen