The Checklist

 ChecklistIt’s hard for me to believe we are already almost seven days into 2017.   I had grand plans for this week after returning from our two week break.  Errands to do, writing to be done, house to be cleaned, photos to be organized.  I was going to start 2017 with a bang!  Check off this.  Check off that.  Pat myself on the back.  Check off some more.  But this week taught me that sometimes life has other plans that are more important than the checklist.  Not always big plans or life changers, just magical everyday moments.

On Monday night our flight home from visiting my parents was delayed and we didn’t get home until past midnight, 2 a.m. eastern time.  My red-eyed daughters were exhausted so I told them to sleep in the next day and that they could go in late to school.  And when they didn’t wake up on Tuesday until after 11:30 a.m., I told them “Why not just miss school today?”   Never mind that they’d already been out two weeks, they got caught up on sleep and we got one more day together.  It was wonderful. Nothing got checked off my list.

Wednesday my daughters went back to school and I missed them.  I had tea with two of my very best friends and we talked about how much we had to do but then continued to sit together some more and the hour I had planned to be there became two.  And then snow began to fall and I stayed a bit more.  It was wonderful.  Nothing got checked off my list.

Wednesday afternoon my girls came home to huge hugs (probably a bit smothering!) and as snow fell outside we joked that maybe the next day would be a snow day!  It was!  The call came in Thursday at 5:45 a.m. and I cheered, ran to my daughters rooms and turned off their alarm clocks before turning off my own.  We all slept in, spent the day together, picked out my youngest daughters new Guinea Pig (welcome to the family Hermione!) and later we snuggled and watched a movie together.  We completed the night with a family dinner when my husband got home and then played a few games.   It was wonderful.  Nothing got checked off my list.

And then today, a weather delay!  We all got an extra hour of sleep and the kids got to go into school late.  And despite the late start, I also got to spend some time today with another one of my dearest friends.  She had received some bad news this morning and chose to spend time with me to talk about it.  She was not expecting this news and we got to be together which was much more important to me than any checklist.   

The point of me sharing all this?  Because I was reminded this week that whatever plans we make, whatever New Year’s resolutions, whatever checklists…..sometimes everyday life prevents them from happening and what we do instead is much more important.  

So for me, for 2017, I am going to try to be better at noticing and embracing the everyday opportunities that I am so lucky to receive and to not be so hard on myself if the checklist isn’t always checked.  To realize that when it is not checked there is probably very good reason; because at the end of the day, if I have experienced love, family and friends I think that is the very best list that I could possibly check off.

Happy New Year, may your year be filled with unfinished checklists.

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