During the next few months, few of my weekends will be entirely free – my work requires weekend hours throughout the spring. I’ve tried to really take advantage of my weekends at home lately, intentionally making room for activities I treasure and which will become more scarce: relaxation and yoga, cooking and baking, marketing (which is what I call grocery shopping since it sounds much more elegant), garden planning. (Yes, I realize most of these sound like boring old-lady activities. I’m ok with that! They make me happy.)
Relatedly, my whole life, I have made vast and cumbersome to-do lists. My dad even teasingly calls me “list girl” (after he feigns disbelief) when I happen to mention on the phone with him that I have been up to list-making again. Making lists is certainly not a terrible behavior, but on my precious free time, I’d rather not spend lots of time first making lists then crossing off items. Too boring.
Enter new practice! The last two Friday nights, I have spent about an hour looking at the weekend ahead – both what I must do and what I would like to do – and created a colorful Wishing Page in my Red Notebook (using my markers).
(Red Notebook = Rally Notebook and miscellaneous journally-type thing. I don’t like the words diary or journal, so I call my notebooks by various other distinguishing mechanisms. My Red Notebook is shiny and textured and accompanied me to my first Rally in Portland, so it goes by both names. I love it.)
So, what I do is narrow down my activities to about 6 or 7 categories, then write them with markers on a page of the notebook. Sometimes I draw little pictures or embellish the writing so it’s fun and pretty. Then, under the category, I write a little bit about why I am excited to do the thing (even if it’s just to get it over with), how it’s related to taking care of me, and how I want to experience the thing.
Here’s an example:
“Playing in the Kitchen” [a.k.a. cooking/food prep for the work week]
Why excited: Yay for doing something I love and am good at and that will be a treat for my partner. My week will be so much easier when I just have to grab lunch from the fridge in the morning and not try to figure it out when I am tired and it’s still dark outside”
Taking care of me by: being a home for nourishment and demonstrating to myself that I am worth taking care of.
I want to experience: Softness. Generosity. Faith. Calm. Enoughness. Trust. Ease. Sweetness.
I don’t think I’ve fully taken advantage of what this practice can offer – I’d like to take a few minutes and look at the page and reflect on the activity before I start it, to help invite the qualities into the experience – but it has helped me so much to reframe my to-do list this way. The Wishing Page is softer, kinder, more playful.
No more “to-do”s! Fulfilling wishes instead.