breaking out the to-do list, again

So, I have a confession to make. About two months ago, I stepped outside of my life comfort zone and ditched my to-do list. I read books and watched TV and did all the more stressful things that come with the “work” of writing and blogging when I felt like it.

And this path, this willy nilly approach was really working for me. I mean, it was really working for me. I felt like I had so much time without my to-do list nearby to tell me, or to remind me of all the things that I should worry about, and, thus, act upon.

Life was good.

Until it wasn’t.

At 29, I am learning that there’s a reason why I like lists and structure and habits. I think it’s hardwired for me. I need these things because when my life gets super busy, rather than taking a deep breath and steering my ship with ease, I panic.

I was in panic mode yesterday. There’s so much that I’m starting right now– a novel, more writing tasks, more studying, more reading– so I have a lot on my plate. Oh, and did I mention I’m a mom to two under three? In panic mode, I just panic and become paralyzed, unable to do anything, I realized, but eat crackers and stare nervously into space. It’s sad. But this is my problem.

And this is where to-do lists come in handy. In writing the one that reminded me to come here and write, I immediately felt a sense of relief. I needed this.

I needed to see it all and begin the work of doing it. Thank you, to-do list! You’re amazing!

STOP.

I think I’ve asked this before, but maybe not. Do you have a to-do list? How do you stop from panicking when you have a million things on your plate?

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