Things I Need To Add To My To-Do List

I have a to-do list of things that I do around the house to keep things organized, clean, and somewhat clutter free.  I have tasks broken down on a monthly basis, with some tasks set to perform monthly (e.g. re-organizing the pantry shelves to group all of our canned goods in like types and make sure the ones set to expire first are in the front), quarterly (cleaning out under sinks and making sure there are no leaks), semi-annually (cleaning and treating the leather couches), or even annually (replacing the filter in the furnace humidifier).

It occurred to me that I should add some other tasks.  These tasks might have nothing to do with the house or cleaning or clutter or anything those lines.  These tasks would simply relate back to one thing:

Happiness.

Sometimes, I find that I get so focused in taking care of things on the list that I don’t take time to do some simple things, which are probably more important.  Too often, it’s so easy to get caught up in making sure things are clean and organized that I might overlook some of these simple things:

Petting My Cats

My wife doesn’t get this one because she’s not really a cat person, and both of our cats were mine before we got married, and are pretty much my cats alone.  They both love to lay on my lap and simply purr.  They’ll usually sniff out when I’m sitting down for something like watching TV or making a phone call, but it’d be nice to give them some dedicated time, especially since they are both old (one just turned 17 and the other will be 13 in July) so who knows how long they have left.

Play With My Kids

It’s awesome that kids love to play so much, and so awesome that sometimes you forget how wonderful it is to play with them.  My three year old (soon to be four in just 3 weeks!) will sometimes ask me specifically to play with him, and if I’m in the middle of something or planning on doing something, it’s easy to tell him that I’m busy or that I can try later, but I’ve been trying to catch myself and give the time.  The last thing I ever want is for my kids to hear the song ‘Cats In the Cradle’ later in life and think, ‘That’s my dad.’.

Call A Friend

Ten years ago, I was single, as were most of my friends, and many of us were located geographically close, so we saw each other all the time.  Even if we didn’t, the fact that most of us were living the bachelor life meant that phone calls were pretty frequent.  We stayed in touch all the time.  Fast forward ten years, and most of us are married, have kids, have a house, and have taken on more in our career.  We’d all be considered pretty successful, but we’ve all noticeably drifted apart.  We cherish the times that we do spend together, and when I do get together with a friend, the inevitable conclusion is reached that ‘We really need to spend more time together, this is great’ only to promptly go back to our lives and have time pass.

Spend Time With A Loved One

Do I spend enough time with my wife?  With my parents?  With people that, though you haven’t drifted part, that you know are so important that you don’t want to take the time you spend for granted or make it routine.  Maybe turning this into a date night, or a dinner with one set of our parents, or my wife’s sister, would be a good thing.

Time For Myself

I grew up an only child, and on top of that I was more the loner type when I grew up.  As such, I got used to spending time alone, and I actually find myself still needing that from time to time.  Having a few hours of alone time resets me and actually makes my interactions with my loved ones better.  It’s easy to scratch that off the list, but I think in the end, it’s important enough to track.

Give Thanks

If you read between the lines from everything I’ve said, it’s pretty easy to see that I’ve got a lot to be thankful.   I have a wonderful wife, kids, parents, family, and friends.  I have a house that has a lot of great things.  It’s easy to get so caught up in what you have to do that you forget to stop and take time to realize how good you have it, and thank God for providing so well.

Now, it’d be nice to think that these things come automatically, and while I like to think that I have the personality to do all of these things without having to be reminded, I figure that a reminder never hurts.

Readers, how do you remember to keep a balance of how you spend your time, making sure to spend time with the things that are really important?

18 thoughts on “Things I Need To Add To My To-Do List”

  1. Wow, great list. I’ve been thinking these same things lately. It is so easy to get caught up in the end result and forget to enjoy the journey. Thanks for writing them down. Now, I just need to implement them myself.

  2. It is refreshing to hear of those tasks in life that you do not for the money, but for the building of relationships. It is good to point them out on occasion and make a point of building them into your dad to day routine.

  3. I find that spending time petting our cats is so rewarding (for both of us!). It’s relaxing, plus they love the attention. Believe it or not, my cat Lyla gets quite testy when I don’t give her enough of my time.

    • I would suppose that not getting attention works the same for animals as it does for humans.

  4. Nice list. My cats are not the kind that will wait around for you to decide to pet them. They’re quite proactive about getting the attention that they want.

  5. Great list and one that I need to steal a few things from. 😉 I can totally relate to spending more time playing with the kids. Our oldest will be six this year and I hate to admit that I am all too guilty of using the “I’m busy” line with them. Granted, they pretty much would be happy if I played with them all day, but there is much room for balance.

  6. I don’t know if I need to put it on a list, but I need to take a break every so often. I get caught up in the project and forget about time. I am making a conscious effort to limit my time on projects.

    • Maybe if you have a list of items within your project, add a couple of points to ‘Take a break’ or something along those lines. Sounds like it could help.

  7. Awesome List!! I remember reading somewhere that playing with pets is a good stress reliever. We never had pets as a kid but, like you, my husband loves cats and when I met him he had a female cat that is now around 12. A few years ago we adopted a male kitten and we spend a lot of time with them.

    I love all of your other points as well. It is interesting how as adults we drift away from the friends we had when we were young and single. Just recently my husband reconnected with a buddy that he hadn’t heard from in 10 years and they are enjoying catching up again.

    • It’s so easy to say you want to get/keep in touch, but as you get older, it seems harder to do.

  8. One of my weak spots is learning to turn off, shut down and take time out for myself each day. I’ve been working on that but for the most part my days are pretty structured. I hope that I keep remembering to worry more about the things that add value to my life while balancing my days. Thanks for sharing this.

  9. What a great list! It made me think how I should put a few of these things on my to-do list. I often get so busy I don’t have time to call a friend or family member or give my cats (or my husband for that matter) the attention they want. And time for myself? I rarely get that!

  10. I’m certainly guilty of using the “I’m busy” line and need to remember that my daughter isn’t going to want to play forever. Great list. It’s very easy to get caught up in all the things we have to get done and then miss out on the really important things.

  11. Giving thanks should be the first one I should add to my list. With all the blessings coming my way everyday, I should also give thanks for all that is coming.

  12. Time for myself is one of the ones that I need to work on. I just need to learn how to unwind and enjoy some of the simpler things in life. There are miles of walking trails in my city and I am probably going to start utilizing them in the near future.

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