He (Rabbi Tarfon) used to say: It is not your duty to finish the work, neither are you at liberty to neglect it.Pirkei Avos 2:16
Today I had planned to go out on my biweekly shopping trip. I’m doing my best to keep my shopping (and, indeed, all my going out of the house) to the bare minimum, and I find it an enjoyable, if unfortunate, challenge to see if I can really make it a full two weeks without having to run to the store (I almost can, I’ve had to restock milk for the baby. Plus, I don’t have teenagers, and my kids barely eat, so that makes it more possible).
But last night, instead of making my menu plan and shopping list, I chose to go to sleep. It was the right call, but it means that this morning I woke up already stressed out.
My internal dialogue went something like this: And I have to do this, and I have to do that, and this is today, and did the kids do that, and the laundry is backed up and the sinks are full of dirty dishes and I saw a couple ants on the (dirty) floor of the kitchen and and and and
I took a deep breath. I made myself a coffee. I said brachos. I wrote in my journal.
After centering myself, I was able to remember my current mantra: whatever.
It’s okay if my plan for this week needs to be adjusted. It’s okay if I go shopping tomorrow instead of today. It’s okay if my menu plan isn’t made yet.
I’m going to make a list of things I need to do, and one thing at a time, they will get done.
How do you manage your to-do list, especially when it’s impossibly long?