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Another Year Goes By

Lit Birthday Candles

I woke up this morning at 4:30 a.m. realizing it's my birthday today. A thought immediately occurred to me. Fifty-four years ago, I did not exist. There's a thought. Yesterday at the Piscataquis Writers Alliance meeting, the five-minute writing challenge was to write about how you have affected someone else's life. I drew a blank. How sad is that? I ended up writing about how I have provided a loving home for pets we have adopted from shelters over the years. Yes, I do feel good about that. But in all honesty, those rescued dogs have bettered my life probably even more so. I can't imagine life without them. But seriously, is that all I've got? God, I hope my life has affected others in positive ways... even though nothing in particular springs to mind. The thing is, I don't wake up every day thinking about how I can positively influence others. Should I be doing that?

When I wake up, my mind goes over a massive list of tasks and projects that are on my ever-growing to-do list. Items on my lists are like the Coronavirus virus. Address one, and fifty-three more emerge. But it's not just that. I also think about all the things on my list that I can't believe are STILL on my list because I keep shifting them to the bottom of the pile for some reason or another. It's not because they're particularly difficult, or even because they're of lesser importance. They just seem to be destined to never be completed. Maybe a new organizing app exists out there that will help? I'm not convinced. Sometimes I find myself adding projects to my husband's "Honey-do" lists just so I don't have to focus on my own. He's not particularly fond of those lists, especially when I remind him that my list is five times as long. If I'm honest, I have always been a little jealous of the fact that his list of self-imposed projects seems empty. A concept totally foreign to me. Is it another case of me biting off more than I can chew? Perhaps.

Occasionally I try to imagine what it would feel like to be able to draw that figurative line of completion through my lengthy list of daily tasks. Is it even possible for me to go to sleep one night, knowing that everything on my list has been completed? When I'm dead, maybe. Although I can't be certain of that either. Here's what I know. As long as I have projects, I am alive. Alive is good, right?

A better way to look at this whole conundrum might be to diversify my focus. Perhaps if I focus less on personal projects, I'll have more time to make positive impacts on others. If everyone did the same, imagine what kind of world that would be. Baby steps, I tell myself. It's taken me over fifty years to get this far. I'll get there, if I could just cross a few things off my list.

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