I am not sure if it is a recognised condition, but I definitely have a bad case of list-itis. Let me explain the symptoms.
You have at least one list which goes over more than two pages of looseleaf paper. You start your day, every day, by writing a list of the things you want to do. You sometimes look at your to do list and think that it is utterly impossible for you to get to the end of it, even if you lived until the age of 1000. You look at this huge list and begin to feel guilt for not having done half of it already (regardless of how silly it might seem) or even guilt for having taken time to do something else rather than attack the list with gusto. If you suffer from any or all of these symptoms, then you too suffer from list-itis.
On Tuesday, I had one of those pottering sort of days. I didn’t really have much on the day’s to do list, and frankly, after the rollercoaster week previously, I was feeling in much need of a day off. One thing I did do was look at the big list of jobs we compiled prior to moving into the new house, and I refined it. This list stretches over 3 pages, and it has everything on it. From painting the study walls to renewing the conservatory and the windows. Every last job we could do in the house. But a list of that size scared me. Me. The doyenne of the to do list. The Queen of the shopping list.
I caught myself, late on in the afternoon, thinking “I should have done THIS” or “Why didn’t I do THAT”. The reason is simple. I needed some time off. It wasn’t like I haven’t been productive, because I have. I baked rolls for lunches for a couple of days, I baked some cookies which I have wanted to do for ages, I took my Mum on a show shopping trip and managed to find myself some much needed replacement foot wear. I also compiled a list of recipes I want to try from my favourite website (see…. a list again!), chatted with my sister and a friend on various social media outlets, caught up with a forum I follow, cut some flowers for the Mother in Law and generally had fun. But my internal negative voice was telling me that I hadn’t done anything toward that BAL (Big Ass List) and that was a bad thing.
Nope. I can do it with a totally clear conscience. You know why? Because it is important that I let myself have time off I need it. I need to cut myself some slack. If I work myself into the ground and make myself ill, who is going to be there to look after my prospective child and my husband? If I want to take care of things, then I have to allow myself to take care of me. And if this means having a day or two out of a week to potter, or to just do my handicrafts, then so be it.
This year has so far, been a monster… in a very, very good way! But it has taken it out of us, it really has. We need some recovery time to face all the challenges that are going to come our way really soon.