I am a list girl.
I make ’em. I categorize ’em. I stick to ’em. I stress when they aren’t getting crossed off quickly enough. When I defer from them and accomplish something else, I add it to the list just so I can cross it off. When I begin tasks without a list and later make one, I always, always include everything I’ve already done so I can remind myself I haven’t wasted my time.
And just between you and me, sometimes, when I need a victory – a bit of motivation and feeling of accomplishment for having actually gotten something done other than referee pre-school fights – I add this to my list:
Make to-do list. It’s an automatic win.
…I just had a thought. I should add that to my lists, too. Referee pre-school fights. Another guaranteed success. And while I’m at it, I may as well include change a thousand diapers and feed bottomless pit children…
So at the start of this summer, when I usually make my long list of things to accomplish before school starts back up, I had a thought. I need to stop. The lists, while they just feel so good to cross off, seriously make me crazy when they sit, staring at me void of lines. A list of 27 items not crossed off is a list of 27 ways I’ve failed. 27 reasons to stress out – no, to panic – and start acting like a crazy woman because nothing else matters but those 27 stupid things. So, at the start of THIS summer, I decided to not make a list.
I decided that, then I made one anyway. It was 2 pages, 2 columns per page, typed in 12 point font. C’mon, what did you think? Addicts don’t often quit cold-turkey.
So yes, I made the list, but then I folded it up and set it aside. Available, but not in my face.
And then I made a new summer to do list:
- Live slowly
- Love deeply
- Laugh often.
Aaaand I stuck to it! Yay, ME!
Ok, so maybe I didn’t exactly live slowly, but I did attempt to live in the moment. I did live fully, enjoying the right now. And I loved and laughed. A lot.
What I didn’t do is write about it all. (Because I was living fully in the moment, remember?) So now I will attempt to summarize. Our 2012 summer and first few weeks of September:
- July: Play hard. Beach, berry-picking, VBS, play-dates, walks, bike rides, Edaleen Dairy, slip ‘n’ slide, campfires at Grandma & Grandpa’s, and lots more.
- August: Family. Long lost sisters! Cousins, cousins, and more cousins.
- September: Back to routine. School/work, ballet & tap, Kids’ Bible Class, new (and also awesome) babysitter.
Our family’s personal highlights:
- Annalise: Definitely not when she sprained her finger. Definitely moments spent playing with her long lost cousin, Ellia.
- Jacob: Definitely not riding the dragon roller coaster at the fair. (They let him off – sobbing – after one lap.) His summer favorite is a tie between: 1) Getting a new dog. (Dog loves him. He loves her. Best friends for life… which (hers) may not be long if Matt has something to say about it.) and 2) Playing at the park with the new love of his life, Julianne. Too bad she’s about 17 years older than him.
- Matt: Not sure he really had a summer. It was more like 2 full time jobs. But his highs were when we were around and he had time to be with us. Lows were when we spent a week in Nevada without him. 😦
- Me: Hmmm… How do I choose? What’s not to love about spending 8 weeks not working and enjoying every moment with people I love? I know, lame. But seriously the truth.
- Annalise went from a size 11 1/2 shoe to a size 13. And she is officially wearing clothing sizes that I remember wearing. Ack!
- Jacob didn’t learn his lesson and stuck a raisin waaayyyy up his nose. 24 hours of forced nose-blowing, pepper-induced sneezes, and flashlight shining up nostrils later, the long lost raising was recovered out of his crib.
- Matt shot 15 weddings and about 5,000 other shoots and spent every spare second of summer editing. If he wasn’t drinking all the coffee around here, I mighta thought he had fallen off the planet.
- I lost some weight before summer started. Good thing, because what once was lost now has been found. UGH. While I could blame my poor summer diet or seriously lacking summer exercise “routine,” I’d rather just blame my mom and sisters. Because really, I pretty much gain weight any time I am with them or when I stay at my mom’s. Clearly, it’s their fault.
- Izzy. She’s the new dog. a.k.a. “Dizzy.” She’s cute (part Yorkie), but I am embarrassed to admit that she is also part chihuahua. Just call me Paris Hilton. Yes, I do own doggie sweaters for her, but they were inherited with the mutt. A package deal. You can really start worrying if you see me carrying her in a bag. (She’d fit nicely in my current purse.) As my older sister says when she looks at her, “Yo quiero Taco Bell.”
- Minnie. She’s the new van. A mini-van. Love her. More than the new dog who may or may not have just peed on my couch.
- We *might* have alerted the staff in the polar bear section of the Point Defiance Zoo that there was a reindeer walking past our car in the parking lot. And the zoo staff *might* have gotten on the walkie-talkie to the keepers at the reindeer/bison exhibit to warn them of a potential escape. And that reindeer *might* have just turned out to be a regular old deer with velvety antlers. Who knew? (Not us, clearly.)
- While Jacob is great at spotting chewed gum on the ground in public locations (must be his closer proximity), only TWICE did he pick it up and chew it. But no worries… he put it back right where he found it both times.
- If you’re ever going to get pulled over for a driving a stolen vehicle, make sure you have several adults, 4 kids, and a dog with you, not to mention a trunk full of suitcases. You’ll look less suspicious. Oh, and make sure the vehicle isn’t actually stolen.
- Every minute of August was a notable. Lots of memory making with family. I am so grateful.
Thanks, Ann Voskamp. I feel better about #4 now.
To all, LOVES.