March 24, 2011

My Not-To-Do List

I just finished a book by Shauna Niequest this winter called Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way. There is so much in this book that I could relate to and share, but the parts that my mind always wanders back to are these:
"This winter, I got the kind of tired that you can't recover form, almost like something gets altered on a cellular level, and you begin to fantasize about what it would be like to just not be tired anymore. You don't fantasize about money or men or the Italian Riviera. All you daydream about is not feeling exhausted, about neck muscles that don't throb, about a mind that isn't fogged every single day."
I know exactly what that is. I felt as though she were reading my thoughts. And as I read the next few pages, I couldn't help but feel as if she were speaking directly to me.
"It's fundamental to my understanding of myself for me to be the strong one, the capable one, the busy one, the one who can bail you out, not make a fuss, bring a meal, add a few more things to the list."
"DO EVERYTHING BETTER [is] a super-charged triple threat, capturing in three words the mania of modern life, the anti-spirit, anti-spiritual, soul-shriveling garbage that infects and compromises our lives."
Double gulp.
"She said it's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What's hard, she said, is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about . . . . Deciding what I wanted wasn't that hard. But deciding what I'm willing to give up for those things is like yoga for your superego, stretching and pushing and ultimately healing that nasty little person inside of you who exists only for what people think."
I think instead of making to-do lists, it might be time for me to start making "things-not-to-do lists." I just don't even know where to begin.


rachel said...

I just read that book recently as well! Have you read Cold Tangerines? I liked that one better.

ann said...

just added it to my wishlist. thanks.