Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Cross It Off
There is something magical about crossing something off the never-ending to-do list. I absolutely love it! I have even been known to add an item to a to-do list or create a whole new list just to mark off the things I already accomplished for the day. Yes, I am neurotic that way. Today, I organized my pantry and kitchen cabinets, leaving me with a feeling of accomplishment. We did not have the nurse today so Sam hung out in the same room and slept off some tummy trouble and my mom had come over to visit with Sofie and although I should have been working on stuff for Jason.. I just needed to cross this off my list. It felt good. His stuff is on the list too and maybe with a more organized house, I will be better able to focus once I get to those tasks tomorrow.
As I worked on clearing out I thought about the families who were hit with the tornado storms this past week. We were blessed that all the family I have up there made it through in Tuscaloosa and north Alabama but my grandmother's good friend was killed and many homes were lost on the very street where my mother grew up. I thought about how blessed I am that my to-do for the day was to clear out the clutter of my pantry.. and not to clear through the rubble of a lost home. I pray for those families. It is sad that it takes a tragic event for us to look at our annoying list of to-dos as actually a sign of the things we are blessed with.. a home to clean, a job to do, a family that needs us, and the ability to accomplish what we need to in any given day.
I flashed back to memories of past hurricanes that hit our area over the years and how hard it was going through the homes of family and friends, their lives reduced to broken, soggy furniture and photos floating in the slush of muddy water. Ever since the first storm I experienced as a teen, I have appreciated that the objects of our lives hold little value and are easily taken away. I remember hearing my dad ask us to pack what would fit in one suitcase right before we tried to flee our home during hurricane Opal, only to find the roads crammed with traffic, and we had to resolve ourselves that we would be able to ride it out under the dining room table. I remember walking into my best friend's bedroom to a huge bouie that had floated in from the bay and although the house was virtually wiped of all furniture and prized possesions, her clothes still hung in the closets, half deep in mud. The images of this most recent set of storms just north of us has clearly left the same destructive path in it's wake. I pray they find new hope for rebuilding their lives. I have pulled some things from our pantry and am hoping the girls will appreciate an opportunity to donate them to one of the groups reaching out to those areas. I feel bad that this is such a small thing and that there is not more I can be doing right now. I feel bad that it felt so good to get things organized under my roof when so many are just hoping to have a roof over their heads this week.
Life is so unpredicatable and it is hard to see that at any moment any of us could be hanging on for dear life to whatever it is we hold precious. I think right now the weight holding me anchored in the storm is my little to-do list of unimportant projects that with time can be crossed off. It is reassuring that in times of uncertainty I can exert some control over that list... if I don't get bogged down in defeatism emotions from seeing the sheer volume of things that have been on there for what seems like forever.
I hope that Sam will reach all the long term goals I have for his life, as well as, finalizing some of the endless answer-seeking missions but in the meantime, he continues to tap away at a wide variety of more attainable "projects", each of which will build upon eachother and dramatically shape his future and overall growth. I will do my part to cross them off one at a time, always adding new ones in their place. That is the beauty of the endless to-do list.. there will always be something new to push us forward.