10 December 2012

A new view

This image doesn't have anything to do with today being overcast or our region's longing for rain.  It is grey outside and precipitation would be welcome.  There's no need to illustrate or to elaborate on that.

The reason I'm showing off these dark clouds is that they're descriptive of how I am feeling.  I know ... yikes for poor Tal.  Realizing I was somewhat less than cheery, I did manage not to act out.  Fortunately.  And, I was able to ascertain the reason for my interior storminess.  Turns out my normal Sunday evening list-making for the coming week, rather than helping me feel organized and ready, sent me into a state. 

I know I've written about it before, the dotting of "i's" and the crossing of "t's."  I neither have to defend that tendency nor to be dismissive of it.  Attention to detail is a good thing.  But, maybe not always. 

From my years of list-making I know I don't sort very well and have a way of giving pretty equal weight to every task on the list.  And, I seem to put everything on the list that I might ever want to do no matter how long-term, along with the everyday things that keep our household running.  Prioritizing?  I know what it means, but I'm not good at its practice. 

Beyond those bad habits, however, there's another problem, a much more critical one, I think.  I really like getting things done.  Yes.  But, the truth is I dot "i's" and cross "t's" mostly out of fear.  I am afraid that if I don't take care of all the details someone somewhere's going to say something to me about it.  Or, worse yet, they'll say something to someone else about it.  So, I work myself into a dither.  Talk about ludicrous and a waste of precious time. 

How different it would be to act out of love.  There's a commercial being run this season that has charmed me.  I can tell it's a good one because I don't remember what its an ad for ...  The main character seems to be obsessing over everything from how far the coffee table is from the most comfortable chair to the height of the flowers for the center of the dinner table.  She's a bright whirling bundle of activity.

The twist comes when her event gets started.  Come to find out she's not running scared or sorry she's having people in.  An elderly man sits down in that comfortable chair and wearily lifts his feet to the coffee table that's just in the right place.  At dinner time our hostess looks across the table and receives a beatific smile from a tiny little lady who can actually see over the flower arrangement.

Yes, the main character wanted everything to be just right.  But, she wasn't put out or scared or inconvenienced.  Every task in advance of that event was an act of love.

Maybe I need to rethink my list.  While some of the tasks can go and never be missed, most of them can probably stay right there.  What really needs some serious "surgerizing," though, is my outlook, my attitude. 

Why do I do what I do?  Because I have to?  Because I'm afraid of what someone else is going to think or say?  Or, can I make what I do  -- even the most mundane task on the list -- an expression of love? 

If I dare say yes to that impossible question, I'm going to have to be intentional about changing my ways.  Not an easy prospect by any stretch. 

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