I’ve been pushing these out of my mind lately.
You know what they are. The Big Important Things you need to do. The things that seem terrifying.
And the longer you go without doing them, the more terrifying and difficult they seem.
Take, for instance, the dishes (not a Big Important Thing, but serves as a good example).
Since this is pandemic time, and we’re all at home together, we have four people eating three main meals a day and two smaller snacks. That generates a lot of dishes.
Say I were to leave them piling up in the sink and on the counters until the end of the day. By the time evening rolls around, the number of dishes in the kitchen is overwhelming.
There are now more dishes that I will ever possibly be able to do! The pressure!! The stress!! I naturally have a breakdown.
However, if we start the day by one of us popping all the breakfast things in the dishwasher right after brekkie, another tidying the lunch things away, quickly sweeping the snack dishes in in the afternoon…
Then, by dinner time, the kitchen is tidy and ready to be cooked in, and the dishes after dinner aren’t so crushingly overwhelming.
In Reality, Though…
While we all know that the Big Important Things aren’t that difficult to do, they, like the dishes, accumulate and seem to take on an aura of impossibility.
For me, it’s financial things. Doing taxes, financial planning, etc. It’s not that it’s hard, but it’s something I do not easily grasp and must take a little more time to think through.
And so, I often push them aside until (like when we eventually run out of dishes to eat off of) I’m forced to deal with them.
(Now that’s not to say we’re not taking care of things. We are.)
Grow Into Boogeymen
Though these are things that can be fairly easily dealt with, because I keep putting them off, they seem to get more and more Big, and more and more Important.
That’s when I wake up to pee at 3am and suddenly it pops into my head that I haven’t looked into whether I can continue to contribute to social security in Switzerland while living in the United States, and OH MY GOD I NEED TO DO THAT, and what about looking into that investment we were thinking about, and have we saved enough for a down payment on a house, and OH GOD WILL THE BOYS WANT TO GO TO COLLEGE IN THE STATES HOW WILL WE EVER AFFORD THAT and I should be looking for a job but I’m stuck home with the boys and do I need to have that mole looked at?
But it’s 3am and it’s simply NOT THE RIGHT TIME.
This is where the Big Important Things become boogeymen.
When Day Breaks
But the funny thing is, that (after eventually drifting off to sleep), in the morning I wake up and I have entirely forgotten about these things.
Because the requirements of every day life take priority. And that to-do list of Big Important Things continues to grow.
Occasionally, I’ll take a scythe to it, and like the Grim Reaper will mow down the terrifying Big Important Things on my list and try to reset to zero.
And that’s the trick! The thing is to do one, just ONE of those terrifying things on your to-do list.
When you do that one, you quickly realize that it wasn’t that hard to do after all. And that gives you courage to move ahead with the rest.
Like washing up the dishes, it’s getting started that’s the hard part. Once you get rolling, it’s like they do themselves.
So let’s get rolling!
What are your Big Important Things you’re putting off? How can you get started on just one of them today?