18 May 2011


"It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, 'What are we busy about?'"
 Henry David Thoreau

I admit it: I am an agenda-loving kind of gal.  I like to know what my day will consist of even before  I sweep aside the bed covers or plant my pink painted toenails on the carpet.  I theorize that this must be a direct result of my twelve years as an educator.  Teachers become the ultimate time-keepers.  We plan, we budget, we assess, we adjust, we monitor.  We are the hyper-vigilant clock watchers and the conductor of each educational journey.  The agenda must be sound!

Lately, however, I have begun to questions my priorities.  Oh, not in the classroom, but outside of that chronometrical institution.  The rest of my day is sometimes alarmingly disorganized! And when  I find myself faced with far too many unchecked items on my To-Do list, I begin to make bad decisions, such as:

"I don't have time to exercise today- I need to get this laundry done."

"I should return my best friend's call, but I really have to clean out the refrigerator and then vacuum the living room."

"I'd really like to write for pleasure today but I should be grading these papers and working on next year's curriculum instead."

"I don't have time to cook something decent for dinner, so I'll have this microwavable something-or-other that probably has too much sodium and too many calories."

See what I mean?  These are some piss-poor priorities and I'm calling myself out on them.  When did I become such a slave to my household chores and protracted work assignments?  Did I really just put off calling my best friend?  Is there no room on my all-important To-Do list for a little exercise and a healthy home-cooked dinner?  Something is rotten in the state of Denmark California, my friends.  This can continue no longer.  Thoreau was right--it isn't enough to be busy.  Any blockhead can be busy.  I want my minutes to count for something, to be meaningful, to send me to sleep with a smile and a sense of satisfaction. 

Did I laugh today? 
Did I make some one else laugh? 
Was I a good friend? 
Did I treat myself right today? 
Did I do something fulfilling? 

This is how my To-Do list should read.  This is an agenda to be proud of -worthy of gold stars and smiley faces.  And tomorrow, when my feet hit the floor, I will already be excited to execute my tasks and tally-up my accomplishments.  I will be busy about the things that matter and mindful of the things that don't.

Many smiles,

Today's Gratitude List:
  • flash-mob at the faculty meeting- such fun!
  • salmon
  • sunshine peeping through the rain clouds
  • may flowers


  1. We have very similar backgrounds. 10 years of teaching made planning my forte and I am an obsessive list maker. But I really like what you've written here about the kinds of lists I should be making. Thank you for helping me see what's really important today x

  2. You saw a flash mob? I'm so jealous! It's hard to see through all our daily jobs to the important things underneath. A timely reminder, thank you.

  3. Hi Niki! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Glad you like the Assorted Creams.

    I was (and still am to a certain degree) a list maker. I find it hard to actually find the time to write the list these days with kids so it all goes in the old 'memory bank' and that tends to shut down sometimes. Thanks for the reminder to prioritise the important things!



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