I ran across a “Honey Do” list the other day. As I pulled it from the catchall drawer in the kitchen, I tried to remember when I had jotted down the things on it. Only two items had a line drawn through them. Had I needed to find it, a search would have been fruitless and I shook my head. How I complicate my life by keeping so much stuff. There was no reason to have kept it and no reason to keep it now. It was a year old, and should have been tossed out months ago when it was removed from the refrigerator door.
Before trashing it, I looked over the list. It was written as a reminder for my husband of the general maintenance chores around the house that required his strong hands and know-how.
Paying closer attention to it, I realized that even though two things had lines drawn through them, check the filters on the furnace and replace the burned out light bulb, others had also been attended to. The cobwebs in high places at the front entry had been removed. The windows had been cleaned and the shrubbery in the back yard had been pruned.
There was an item on the list that still remains undone. Putting up a bar in the laundry room to hang clothes on seemed important at the time. But a year has passed and I made do with a hook over the door. It seemed important at the time, but now it has slipped into one of those, “when we get around to it” categories.
I said to myself, “It seems pointless to make a list at all.” But the act has become a way of life for me. The Honey Do lists, the grocery lists, the tasks lists, gift lists and wish lists have provided a means of keeping myself on track, and rendered some kind of order to my comings and goings. The act of writing things down has helped me remember to do something or to pick up certain things from the store even when I couldn’t find a list after making it.
I have asked myself many questions during these weeks of America’s tragedy, including do I and should I continue to make lists. Countless times during these last days I have wished that I could just wake up to find that all that has happened was just a bad dream. With all the uncertainties of what tomorrow will bring, I am uncertain as to what to put on any of my lists, and I have even had some guilt about making a list at all. Not knowing what the world will be like tomorrow, what can my expectations be?
Being a creature of habit, it is not likely that I will give up making lists. But I must be realistic and accept that they will surely be different than they have been.
It came to me that there was a list that needed to be written, one that would keep me on track as I rearrange my priorities. Thus was born this new list.
Smile. I have given myself permission to smile and am taking the liberty to encourage others to do likewise.
Learn to do with less. Don’t be concerned with multiplying my possessions, but engage in investigating the value of what I already have.
Appreciate. One of man’s greatest feats was going to the moon and back, but man’s finest achievement will be the simple act of walking across the street to meet the neighbors.
Treat every day like a special occasion. Use the good china, visit places I love and display the American flag instead of keeping it in a box in the garage.
Remove from my vocabulary “Someday soon” and replace it with “Today I will”…write the letter, call a friend and volunteer.
Seek to help others establish their sense of purpose.
Be patient. Tolerate the inconveniences that, like stepping stones, will lead to permanent improvements.
Multiply the times I tell my family I love them.
Do not delay. Add laughter to every day, find joy in every hour and be grateful for every minute.
Increase knowledge. Read more.
Spend more time with family and friends.
Take time to take walks and enjoy the beauty of them. They exercise the body and massage the mind.
Pray grateful prayers.
A year from now, this list will still be on the refrigerator door.