I never considered myself a rebellious person. In fact, as far as memory serves me I was a pretty compliant child. But now as a thirty-four-year old woman I find myself bristling at people telling me what to do. If you have suggestions or advice, fine! You have a story or opinion to share? I’ll listen. But do NOT tell me what to do! I want room to think for myself!
I also used to be on top of things. I’m not a Type A kind of person. I admire them. However, I am not one of them. But I always thought I could hold my own…until I had kids. (Rabbit trail here: but what is it about giving birth that erodes short-term memory and infuses forgetfulness? Personally, I think the hormones and sleep deprivation are mostly to blame. Who knows?!!?) All I know is that I have become scatter-brained and I must write things down and put appointments DIRECTLY into my little calendar on the cell phone and set the alarm or I will not remember.
So with the combination of a developed independent streak and my random thoughts that evaporate in a second, I have a dilemma. My to-do list is never complete and it leaves me with such guilt and burden! I don’t like telling myself what to do! (I don’t even like following a recipe to a “t”.) However, due to my increasing forgetfulness I need a system! I need tools to help me remember and keep commitments. So what’s a semi-rebellious random-thinking girl to do?
It’s all in perspective. I turned my constricting To-Do list into a Could-Do list, as in if-I-have-an-extra 10-minutes-these-are some-things-I-could-do list. I’ve found room to breathe and the help I need in doing those exact things I once despised: making lists, budgets, and schedules. Now I see these plans more as guidelines…boundaries. It helps me sort out what is essential and what is not. Let me know where the boundaries (need-to’s) are and then give me freedom to maneuver and flex as I go. Oh, what a freeing concept for me!
I used to think I had to have everything under control, scheduled, organized, in a planner and follow the plan to the letter. If you’re wired that way, thank the Lord for people like you! I can’t do it. However, maybe like me you need room to be creative and spontaneous but also need some boundaries to keep you moving in the right direction. Here’s my advice (because I don’t want to tell you what to do): you can look at options that work for others and that might be a good fit for you…but think of them only as guidelines!
What systems work for you? Leave a comment and share with us!