I’m the type of person that always has a list. I am anxious, an over-thinker, a nail-biter, so for me, a list is a tangible way for me to organize my stream of thoughts and make it accessible. It feels good to cross things off the list, especially since these lists are usually made up of things that are your day-to-day run of the mill types of tasks such as “taking out the trash” (we have forgotten three weeks in a row and our recycling bin is taking over our kitchen) or fun things like “make New Years Eve crowns out of metallic silver pipe cleaners.” The things on these lists are not important. My life will not be negatively impacted if I don’t complete the tasks highlighted. I can crumple up the list and throw it away if I want. Nobody will notice if these things don’t get done simply because they do not matter.
However, once the holiday buzz is over and people start evaluating their lives in the past year and for the upcoming year, these lists turn into Lists with a capital L. Suddenly these goals have weight. In the past, I have made bucket lists, illustrating thirty things I want to do before I turn thirty. I have set goals and resolutions, much like the rest of us, touching upon weight loss, financial success, my career (if you could call it that), and my activity level (turns out couching is not a sport.) When faced with analyzing, over-thinking, and judging the quality and quantity of the past year, as well as planning the year ahead of me, my anxiety is the only spark that is ignited. To me, reflecting on goals is not inspiring, it is just a reminder that I am not where I want to be. Yet.
After looking over many years of past resolutions, goals, and challenges, it is hard not to feel like a failure. I am still overweight, I still make less than $30k a year, I still don’t feel like my talents, skills, or college degree are being used to their full extent. Talk about crippling blow to the self-esteem. ~*Welcome to 2014! You are nowhere near where you thought you would be a year ago! *~
But the thing about it is, even if I didn’t accomplish the Things (with a capital T) on my lofty Lists that are always penned on or around January 1st, I accomplished things. I got out of bed every day. I made delicious dinners for my boyfriend, even if I left the dishes in the sink for longer than anyone should. I took on new challenges in my job that will look good on my resume, and hopefully land me a job that will someday pay the bills more efficiently. But the point is, I am paying my bills. I am living my life. I did enough. I am enough.
This year, I decided not to set any resolutions. I did not make a List. For me, the day-to-day struggle to find meaning in this world is enough. While there are lots of things I would love to do, for me, writing an exhausting list of creatively-worded goals to inspire me doesn’t work. Motivation is tricky to find on the hardest of days (such as in the middle of this crippling cold snowstorm that is hovering over New England), and sometimes it is more effective to make the little lists, with the lower-case L.
Today my list includes taking a shower, making my bed, and facing the 6 degree wall of cold outside of my door to clean off my car. Who knows what will happen next. But you know what? Even if nothing else does, I will have accomplished some things. I am enough.