A “Bigger-Picture” To-Do List

Ok, so it’s been a while.  Life has a way of running away with you, doesn’t it?  The short-term goals you create for yourself sometimes fall to the wayside, forgotten or overwhelmed by the sheer largesse of day-to-day living.  Go to work, pay the bills, walk the dog, prepare and cook dinner, clean the living space, buy a car, switch insurance, research health insurance, consider health instructor insurance, get sick, refrain from exercise and overexertion in the attempt to get healthy, go to work, walk the dog, do it all over and over again every day.

Is anybody else a little tired too?

Lucky for us, most of these daily tasks of living are completely within our capabilities to get done, and get done well.  There exists a sense of deep satisfaction from setting your concentration to each task, even the mundane ones like cleaning or paying the bills.  Still, knowing that I’ve been anything but lazy or forgetful, and that I’m in a steady point of my life with challenges no more extreme than overcoming a common cold in the foreseeable future, I can’t help but feel that I’m letting the more important, bigger-picture to-do list of my life gather dust in the corner while I apply myself to the menial tasks of the every day.

Of what does this “bigger-picture” to-do list consist?  Perhaps writing and publishing it to the public sphere will inspire me to dedicate more of my time to actually getting it done (fingers crossed!):

  1.  I want to write a novel.  Every damned November, I get the email reminders from NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to keep up with my daily word quotas, to join local writing groups, to stay on target for writing a little bit each day for the entire month.  How many years ago did I sign up to do this?  Um… three.  How many novels have I written?  Um…
  2. I want to write an album.  I’ve been away from my piano for far too long.  My dear friend and collaborating composer has been awaiting new lyrics and song ideas since, well… summertime?  I used to write a new song at least once every few months, if not more than that when inspiration is particularly potent.  Lately?  Ask my dusty keyboard keys.
  3. I want to be educated and receive certification as a health and nutrition coach.  This last one is a newly-germinated goal, a dream that has been slowly evolving over the past couple years into a recently full-fledged aspiration.  I have dedicated this last year to establishing myself as a trained yoga instructor, and feel galvanized toward taking the next step on my journey into health and fitness leadership.  I’ve never felt closer to finding balance in a person-to-career sense of self – is it right around the corner?

There are other goals I had tried to set myself toward this month:  clean eating, more meditating, leading my first yoga workshop.  I haven’t given up on those goals either, but I’m not going to beat myself up for falling short of the mark some days.  When other things come up, like getting sick or a car breaking down, you do what is necessary to address the present moment you find yourself in.  You breathe, take action, and move forward with patience and grace (ok, so you try to do it with patience and grace – it’s a practice, right?).

Sometimes the life you live gets in the way of the life you would like to live – but that doesn’t mean you give up!  Acknowledge what you have accomplished (because you HAVE accomplished something!), recognize what you would still like to achieve (because you CAN still achieve it!), and, one by one, take the steps necessary to realize your dreams.  It may be cheesy, but it’s true:  the beauty lies in the journey there, not the destination.  And though I’m not where I had hoped to be quite yet, I’m enjoying the getting there.

Do you have a “bigger-picture” to-do list?  Whether you share it with me in the comments here or not, I do encourage you to write one, to share with friends or simply to keep for yourself – it’s a wonderful way to rejuvenate yourself and realign your goals before the end of the year.  Good luck, fellow dream-weaver!

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