On Thursday after my delightful day of rest I came up with a list of “things I do” (inspiration from Shauna Niequist’s book Bittersweet). To give you a little picture of where she was headed, here’s an excerpt…
I love the illusion of being able to do it all, and I’m fascinated with people who seem to do that, who have challenging careers and beautiful homes and vibrant minds and well-tended abs. Throw in polite children and a garden, and I’m coming over for lessons. Out to lunch one day with my friend Denise, I asked her about it. Denise is a mother of four, and a grandmother, and she works and writes and cooks and travels–and–most important to me at the time–she seems settled in some fundamental way. There’s something she knows about herself that I didn’t know yet about myself, certainly.
And this is what Denise told me: 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..” (53-54)
And thus came her list of “things I do,” and “things I don’t do.” After a few days of contemplation, I think I’m ready to commit to my own list of “things I don’t do.” However, before I begin, I feel as though it’s necessary to echo some of Shauna’s “things I don’t do,” since some of hers mirrored my own things I just don’t do. Why reinvent the wheel?
Thanks Shauna, for getting me started.
I don’t garden. … I’ve been feeling like sort of a loser because I don’t garden. I have friends who garden, and they talk a lot about the spiritual implications of new life springing from the earth, the deep communion with God that they experience as they lovingly tend to their herbs and flowers. But I’m going to have to miss out on all that, because for now, no gardening.
I don’t do major home improvement projects (AMEN!) or scour flea markets and antique shops for the perfect home accessories. No expectation for perfect housekeeping, either–I try to clean countertops and no horrible smells, but beyond that, it’s pretty rough. At our house, “home improvement” involves clearing off the coffee table every few days and loading and unloading the dishwasher.
I don’t make my bed in the morning, standing on the adolescent belief that there’s no sense in doing something you’re just going to undo at the end of the day.
Scrapbooking and photo album making are both on that list, too.
I don’t spend time with people who routinely make me feel less than I am, or who spend most of their time talking about what’s wrong with everyone else and what’s wrong with the world. Instead, I want to spend time talking about what we can do about what’s wrong.
AHEM. My turn.
I don’t know the art of being “hostess.” I try, seriously-I try, but there’s something “natural” about it that I haven’t mastered yet. I don’t know what that is, and maybe that’s the problem-that I’m even trying at all, but regardless, for now, people will just have to come on over and not judge. My house is open (except for Thursday), just don’t anticipate cherry pie on the kitchen table. I care about you, and I love you, it’s just that I would rather spend time talking to you than wondering what you want to eat or drink. My fridge is “come one, come all,” so this is your invitation to be my guest at our house.
I don’t shave every day. Sorry if that’s way too personal, but seriously, there’s only so much time. I also don’t care about my nails… I’m going to bite them, anyhow.
I don’t do well with “small talk.” I am getting better, really, but most of the time-I am guilty of wanting to jump into the main dish before even getting a sip of water.
Sometimes I always want to know the heart of a person before I even know why their hair is the way it is, what football team they root for, or why they have a Southern draw but live in Indianapolis, etc. If I have ever tried to start a conversation with you about any of those things, it was probably horrifically awkward. Just a guess, right?
I’ll quote another friend in ministry on this–I don’t fight about stupid stuff or stuff I can’t know. I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or anything else. That’s not to say I don’t like conversation, I do enjoy conversations with people that can teach me something new and converse about things that matter. It’s just that I want to be intentional with my time, and fighting about things we can’t know seems wasteful.
Alright, that’s it for now. What’s on your list of dos/don’ts?