My five-year-old spotted her name at the top of my to-do list this week. She wanted to know what it meant, and I explained to her that it was there so I would make sure to play with her.
After she left the room, I had an earth-shaking “what is wrong with this picture” moment. My family should NOT be an item on my to-do list, ready to be checked off.
Putting family on list is not a good idea
After my initial awakening, the humor of the situation caught me. I could see my to-do list: Play with daughter, 15 minutes; Done. Talk to spouse about day, 5 minutes; Done. Pet cats two minutes per; Done. The thought of regimenting and fragmenting my time made me seem like a robot.
Luckily, my daughter is too young to understand the implications of her being on the list. If she were not on the list, would it mean she would be ignored? Not likely. But at the same time, there have been evenings when the amount of items on my to-do list has caused me to do proximity things: “color at your desk while mommy finishes this web update.”
The fact is, I don’t want my daughter’s memories of me to be tied to my computer.
Limiting my todo so that I have time
What I need to do is calibrate my to-do list so that I have free time just about every evening, that I can devote to strengthening my family relationships. Time to decompress, time to relax and enjoy the important people in my life.
I suspect that it will include some rough times as I wean myself off my computer in the evenings, but at the same time, it will pay back rewards many times over.
Is your family on your to-do list?
Photo by Darwin Bell