My checklist has items on it I did not complete.
I have only checked off three. But I also policed the front and back yards for dog poo and then mowed the backyard inside of the fence. Neither of these was on my list. And did I mention I also trimmed the winter grass from around the blueberry bushes? This was not on the list, either.
What got all of this started was mulching the two front trees, the dogwoods, and the flower garden at the bottom of the fence.
These were all on the list. But they all were listed as part of spreading mulch, so I only got to check off one thing. If these were listed separately, I would get to check off three things. This would produce three times the positive endorphins. There are three dogwood trees and the attached kitty cemetery under one of the dogwood.
Oh, I just remembered I weeded and mulched around the four azalea bushes.
Having put down landscaping fabric a few years ago, weeding was relatively easy. The azalea plants have gotten huge. When I put them in, I set them so they would meet when they were mature. Let me tell you, they certainly meet now. Shoot, now I remember that before mulching the azaleas, I had cleaned up the fire circle at the top of the hill overlooking the lake. Not only did I weed eat inside and outside of the block circle, but I also added some dried wood to make starting the next fire easier.
All of this begs the question, why am I feeling like I did not do anything yesterday?
Was the list I made too daunting? Did I set myself up with a to-do list I could never complete? Now the list did include projects that I know I want to do. But instead of viewing the list as a roadmap of things to accomplish over the next few days off, I saw it as a personal challenge to do it all.
As the day was winding down, I had a chance to play board games on the deck with my wife and daughter.
Doing that was on my list, too. So, I did more of what was on the list than I give myself credit for. And then I turn around and beat myself up for not doing enough of the other things on the list. Bringing the riding mower and garden cart back to the shed, I saw my new tractor just sitting there waiting to be tested. After all, I had only used it a bit and really hadn’t tried out the backhoe.
Driving it down into the glade, I found a spot near the tree line to try out the backhoe.
My efforts were jerky at times, and not at all professional in appearance. I had put down the balancing arms and turned the seat to face the backhoe, I dropped the front loader bucket to the ground for extra stability. And then I fired up the tractor and gave digging a try. After a few minutes, I was making a hole. I did have to avoid large roots and putting the buckets of dirt in a pile was less than beautiful.
When I had excavated what I deemed to be enough dirt, I set all of the backhoe parts in the travel position.
Then I gave the bucket a try. My goal was to take the dirt I had just taken out of the hole and use the front loader bucket to fill the hole in. This too is nowhere near as easy as others make it look. But I eventually got the hang of it and moved the dirt back into the hole I had just dug.
While not on my list, learning how to use my new tractor safely was a priority.
And having reached a stopping point between things on my list, testing out the tractor seemed a logical thing to do. I want to be more confident in my operation of the tractor before I start some of the larger projects that I specifically bought the tractor to perform.
Why then can I not let go of the feeling that what I did yesterday was not enough?
I am carrying around guilt about what I did not do yesterday. In reality, I should be carrying around pride for all of the things I did accomplish. Holy cow, most people would have been pleased to have finished just one of the tasks I had on my list. They most assuredly would have taken reasonable breaks between activities if they took on more than one.
I couldn’t stop and enjoy the day because I had the darn list to complete.
But if I did all of these other things, was my list wrong? Should I have not put the more long-range projects on yesterday’s list? Or did I just not allow any room for additions or changes in the list? Maybe the list was too aggressive, too grand in scope.
Tallying up my actual accomplishments versus my list makes me feel inadequate and guilty.
Why didn’t I do more? What made me diverge from the list and go off and do these other things? Is it wrong to make a list and then only do part of it? I feel like I jumped around and went from job to job, using my list as a guide, not a rigid roadmap.
Perhaps my list was too specific and did not allow for any variations.
So, additional things showed up, I did them without consulting my list. And then, I felt and still feel guilty for doing them and not doing something else from this list. I feel as if I have done this most of my adult life, setting myself up to feel as if I underachieved.
Could this be my depression getting me to act out its ideas?
Or is it a control thing? I am good at getting people to do things I think are important. I prioritize certain actions, and present them in a way that others feel it’s my way alone. As much as I spout inclusion of everyone’s ideas, my actions say I am more comfortable with my own plans. Maybe this is why I feel guilty for not staying on task with my own list.
How can I control others if I cannot even control myself?
(Or, how can you love someone else if you can’t even love yourself?) My list yesterday was just another way of me controlling my actions. It was a way for me to focus my ideas on what needed to be done. And it set me up to crash and burn when I did not do everything on the list.