However, I recently noticed my list making taking a troubling turn. A significant part of my day was spent making or keeping lists. In addition to the lists mentioned above, there was my “gratitude journal.” After reading Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance, I’d been listing five things for which I was grateful each day. In an effort to be more efficient (what am I DOing all day?), every now and then I kept a log of my activities to see where all my time went. Since I was also trying to lose weight, and I read that successful “losers” kept track of what they ate, I kept a food log several days a week.
Then I picked up Your Money or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. In one of their exercises to help “transform my relationship with money,” I started keeping track of every penny I spent. (I spent a lot on paper and pens. Hmm.)
And I realized that I was spending so much time recording everything I thought, did, ate and spent, that I hardly had time to think, do, eat or spend.
What was going on? Was I having a mid-life crisis? At the very least I was having a bad attack of self-improvement-itis. I was trying to improve my appearance and health and trying to handle money in a responsible and thoughtful way. I wanted to be more efficient, more creative and I hoped to find a deeper spirituality. I seemed to be trying to remake my whole life all at once!
I couldn’t go on this way. Frankly, I was tired. (I am woman, hear me snore.) It was time to accept myself for who I am. So I gave up all my lists, cold-turkey. (Is there a 12-step program for compulsive list makers?) Maybe eventually I’ll return to one, or some of them. But not all at the same time. For now, I’ll take it one day at a time. I’ll let go of my need to be perfect and concentrate on my need to Be.
Scout knows how to Be.
“No amount of self-improvement will make up for a lack of self-acceptance.”