Ever heard of a reverse To Do list?
It’s a list of achievements, things actually accomplished, rather than things yet-to-do. In acknowledgement that
progress is a line through a list, I once made a daily “Done” list and discovered something about my use of time: Much of what I did in a day was important, but intangible stuff that never makes it to any list of intentions.
In August, 2008, the day I decided to write my list of tasks after doing them, it looked like this:
- made Jello
- wrote “to do” list for son #5 (aged 14 — now deceased. )
- organized cereal containers
- washed dishes
- spent time on phone with faraway friend
- phoned Mother
- re-processed raspberry jam (who ever writes these failure fixes onto a daily list?)
- cleaned out purse (while on one of those long phone calls)
- cooked hard-boiled eggs
- made salad for 7
- chat with soon-to-be engaged daughter (aged 20) about wife’s role in marriage
- wiped away mold on vapour barrier in living room ceiling (seriously? I did this? Sigh. The joys of Live-while-you-Renovate.)
- mended shirt for son #4 (aged 17)
- watered outdoor flower pots (involving lugging heavy watering cans full of rain-water)
- read three stories to son#6 (aged 11 – with Down syndrome)
- chat with son #2 (aged 24)
I highly recommend the exercise! On a day when I felt I’d gotten nothing done, I found my time had been spent on God’s most precious creation — people!
I’ve been remembering my lofty 2017 goals/resolutions and feeling a little disappointed that I didn’t achieve what I’d hoped this year. But I thought of the Done list of years gone by and decided I’d try the same exercise for the year.
- painted sewing room walls and a $10 thrift store chandelier
- painted an ugly laminate desk to become a sewing desk (I love its corner layout for easily switching from sewing machine to serger.)
- re-painted the upstairs guest room — the initial colour was just too gray for my liking. Monsieur kindly shortened the stem of a candlestick lamp for the bedsideAs you can see, I finally finished a scrap quilt, in memory of our son Paul.
- Throughout the year, I read 27 books, 13 of which were non-fiction, which puts me in the “Avid Reader” category of the Reading Challenge I did.
- In January, I finished the memoir about Paul and it was published in fall. Pall of Silence is available at http://www.eleanorbertinauthor.com or Amazon. A portion of the proceeds from the book will go to Wycliffe Bible Translators in honour of Paul’s interest in languages.
- Although I had hoped to complete a novel this year, I didn’t. But I did get to the 75% mark on Unbound, the companion novel to Lifelines (also available on my website).
- Over the summer, I tore down an eyesore — an old shed that disturbed the view from the house. (Just to pretty things up, I had to throw in a shot of the flowers that will grow in the compost found under the old shed.)
- I wanted a luggage rack, but decided I might be able to make something of this cedar chest from my mother.
- And in between, a little sewing — doll dresses for granddaughters and four pillowcase dresses for Christmas shoeboxes made from a perfectly good curtain I found in the landfill site.
This doesn’t begin to quantify the growth as I’ve learned more about God and His amazing grace to me every day of the year.
So perhaps I can be content that 2017 was a year of accomplishment after all. Try writing your own “Done” list. It’s super-encouraging! Here’s to a lovely 2018 to all you readers!