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Getting It All Done October 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.

I used to worry about not “getting it all done.”

I wondered how I would ever reach the bottom of my bucket list.  Every time I crossed an item off, two more things took its place.

Such is the nature of desire. As soon as one itch is scratched, a new itch arises.

These days, I realize that if I’m satisfied with the life I’m living (as a whole), there is little reason to get caught up in regret about people I didn’t meet, books I didn’t read (or write), conversations I didn’t have, foods I didn’t taste, pounds I didn’t lose, movies I didn’t watch, or places I didn’t see.

Now I’m free to enjoy the journey as each moment unfolds into the next without worrying about how much time I have left.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For a somewhat contrary view:  Getting Fierce GOALFEST (with prizes!) (Fat Bottom Fifties Get Fierce) * Walking Your Talk (Awakening To Awareness)



1. Val Boyko - October 6, 2014

Me too Nancy. I still find that “get it done” voice coming up when I am traveling somewhere or have a deadline …. usually of my own creation!
Enjoying each moment is the best part of the journey. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

It’s up to each of us to find the right balance (i.e., middle ground) between “doing” and “being.”

Once, on vacation in Maine, we spent 4 hours perched on a rock ledge 30+ feet above sea level watching the breaking waves, listening to the gulls, and sipping Bloody Mary’s. We reveled in just being alive. Bliss!

2. Jill Weatherholt - October 6, 2014

I feel the same, Nancy. I guess that’s what they call maturity. 🙂

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Or rationalization, lack of motivation, procrastination, idleness, laziness, sloth . . .

But what do those “go getters” know anyway?! 😛

3. Pix Under the Oaks - October 6, 2014

This is a good one this morning Nancy!

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Thanks, Pix! I find I still get things done when I allow myself to flow from task to task without “cracking the whip” . . . and I enjoy myself a whole lot more!

4. valleygrail - October 6, 2014

I think when we understand there are no guarantees on tomorrow, today really does take on a more vibrant meaning. And there are enough hours in the day to complete what’s needed; it’s just how we choose to use that time. I hope your day is wonderful!

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

The new mantra seems to be “do more or you’ll become less.” I don’t buy into that notion.

We don’t have to earn “merit badges” to be happy.

5. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - October 6, 2014

There is so much I want to do/accomplish, but you know, if I never do, I’m totally okay with that! I want to enjoy the journey, and not rush to and from!

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

That’s it, Kate! It’s not about sitting down in a full lotus under the Bodhi tree for all eternity and doing nothing. It’s about finding the right balance and choosing what to do NOW based on how we feel NOW without trying to map out our whole life in advance.

Because most of us do NOT know how long we have . . . so we better enjoy THIS moment in case it’s our last.

6. NancyTex - October 6, 2014

That’s a very peaceful way to live, NH. I’m striving to get there.

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

It began with the epiphany that my In Box would never be empty and I would never be able to “do it all.” Rather than being disappointed with that realization, I felt LIBERATED and at peace.

Now when someone says, “everyone has to read this book” (or see this movie or try this restaurant or watch this show or visit this exotic destination), I don’t buy it.

7. Silver in the Barn - October 6, 2014

I still get anxious about the books I haven’t read. Not anxious enough, evidently, to actually do anything about it like stop blogging for a while, yet still it niggles at me. The extra pounds? Oh, no worries there!! Ha!

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

I trust that the Universe will direct my attention to the books I need to read as and when I need to read them. So that’s one less list to maintain. Yay!

I do keep a casual list of “ideas to try” (if the spirit moves me). But I don’t bother much with self-imposed deadlines. I strive to go with the flow, remain awake and aware to possibilities as they arrive, and allow myself to “take my time” and enjoy life as this moment unfolds into the next. Aah . . . that’s better!

I keep one eye on the scale to avoid excess tonnage, but no longer stress about minor fluctuations.

Silver in the Barn - October 6, 2014

Is the other eye on a brownie? Just asking!!

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Yes! . . . well, actually, no . . . because I already ATE it! 😛

8. Shel Harrington - October 6, 2014

I can relate to banishing regrets, Nancy. To regret what we didn’t do seems unappreciative for what we DID do with the time – the good people met, conversations had, books read, celebrating wherever we are on life’s journey!

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Exactly! I think we add more stress to our days and create less joy when we focus exclusively on reaching a pre-determined destination rather than enjoying the lovely detours along the way.

One of my favorite quotes: “A good traveler has no set plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

9. Three Well Beings - October 6, 2014

I much prefer your perspective here, Nancy. I begin to feel a tightness in my chest when I think about all the “unmet expectations” I can so easily place on myself, and that brings stress I can’t afford to nurse. I think to be content with what is in front of us each day, is truly sweet relief. I remind others “you’re not a machine” and sometimes need to hear that myself. 🙂 Have a great week..somehow I know you will. This was what I needed to read this Monday morning!

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Stress is harmful even when it’s self-imposed and self-created. Stepping back from our To Do Lists long enough to take a deep breath restores our calm peaceful center.

We can get things done AND enjoy ourselves in the process.

10. Fat-Bottom-Fifties Get Fierce - October 6, 2014

Love the post, Nancy! Not sure if we are actually contrary in spirit – but your “kick back” versus our “get going” vibe today was a fun contrast! I think you nailed it when you said “if I’m satisfied with the life I’m living there’s no reason to get caught up with regret . . . ” The flip side is if there are things one isn’t satisfied with (extra poundage that slows me down in my case!) if one doesn’t do something to change the status quo they are headed toward unavoidable regrets.

Thanks for linking to us!

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Yes! That’s exactly it! By not adding non-essential “busy work” to our To Do Lists, we shed the extraneous “shoulds” and see more clearly what we DO need to focus on.

And HEALTH should always be at the top of the list. Without it, everything else is more of a struggle.

Thanks for your tenacity in posting a comment.

11. Fat-Bottom-Fifties Get Fierce - October 6, 2014

I’ve tried to leave a message a couple of times but it’s not taking it – hopefully it’s coming to you elsewhere.

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

I found your messages in the Spam folder. Thanks for e-mailing me to let me know there was a problem. You should be good to go now.

12. suzicate - October 6, 2014

Great way to look at it. I’ll never have enough time to do it all. My priority at the “moment” is where I’m at!

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Just as some people are afraid to be alone with their thoughts, others are afraid to allow themselves any “down time” (for fear they’ll turn into a blob of Play*Doh).

I still do stuff, but I go with the flow rather than fighting against the current. By way of example, I had two boxes of letters from my father and grandfather sitting in my “In Box” for months before I felt the time was right to tackle them. After sorting through my dad’s letters, I decided to take a break from the past to focus on the present.

A few weeks ago, the time felt right to dive into my grandfather’s letters. So I did. And now those letters are sorted, summarized, and stored in a three-ring binder.

What I didn’t do during the process (that I used to do) is impose imaginary deadlines on myself ~ that would have added stress and subtracted joy. Instead, I just let the project flow, stopping and starting depending on what else needed doing (or being).

13. Eric Tonningsen - October 6, 2014

In fairness and clarification of my post (that you link) I’ll first acknowledge that you and I are often of like mind when it come to how you and I choose to be and live our lives.

This said, the intent of my post was to acknowledge that there are many people who choose to live their lives differently. And these people seek and employ life strategies that include structure, guidance, and prompts that enable them to live action-oriented lives. For it is through action that they fulfill their dreams and goals.

Further, the post intentionally highlighted a couple of drawbacks that inhibit people from living whatever lifestyle they choose. It is the very distractions mentioned therein that hinder more liberating ‘being.’

Reference to people who are ‘talkers’ resonates, especially with those who find themselves putting off actions that may or would support their personal dreams/goals. To infer their aspirations and how they choose to experience and enjoy life are any less rich than the choices you and I make, seems to me, a bit indifferent.

Ergo, and in defense of many people, I stand by the “somewhat contrary view.” It works for them. 🙂

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Exactly! If it works, it works. That’s why I linked to your post and to Shel’s post ~ some people need the structure of goals and lists to get things done. Others benefit when they go with the flow and enjoy the lovely little detours and distractions.

Eric Tonningsen - October 6, 2014

Thanks for clarifying. 🙂

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Vive la difference!

Variety is the spice of life. If everyone benefited from the same rule book, we’d only need one rule book. 😎

14. ericjbaker - October 6, 2014

I don’t relax very well and often feel the need to “do something.” I’ll probably always be that way, but I agree 100% that the “something” I choose never satisfies. By the time I hit a goal, I find it hollow and unsatisfying. Ah well. I’ll figure it out one day.

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Life would be pretty boring if our goal was to “not do.” But one reason that, say, a book fails to satisfy is that we’re wondering whether we would have liked one of countless other books better. The same goes for meals, movies, apparel, trips, etc.

By enjoying what is right in front of us, we avoid that tendency to worry about what might have been b/c we’re busy enjoying the what is.

15. 2e0mca - October 6, 2014

Half full or half empty? Either way is good because you need to feel that you have control over your work whilst still having work to do. But empty is bad – no work to do… and Full is bad too because there’s no one around to do the work! It’s important for employers and employees to understand this because getting an effective balance is good for both.

In the world of maintenance it’s a bit different – though lots of managers think they see dead wood they can cut 😦 You could have weeks of quiet times where you do have spare staff – then you have Shellshock… Suddenly you need all those staff and quite a few more that you can’t employ! Maintenance is so different to supply – just wish college graduate managers understood that!

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Work deadlines are another kettle of fish entirely. Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and meet those deadlines (unless we are willing to forgo the paycheck).

It’s self-imposed imaginary deadlines that I strive to avoid, especially when they add stress and detract from the joy of the moment.

2e0mca - October 6, 2014

Yepp – have to bite those bullets from time to time…Monday last week was one of those – doesn’t affect my paycheck but would affect my customers and I wouldn’t be happy about that 😉

Self imposed deadlines are an issue… dieting is one. Too many people set unobtainable targets. Especially with the pressures on people to meet what the fashionable appearance criteria are now 😦 Accepting that people are who they are and not how they look would be a good step forwards.

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Yes! Dieting is the worst. Far better to make small lifestyle changes to swap out bad eating choices for better ones.

When we focus on what we’re gaining (instead of what we’re losing), we tend to make better choices.

16. Yolanda M. - October 6, 2014

oh boy can I relate! SO much truth in this wonderful post and your subsequent comments Nancy. I find most people I know and work with are always ‘doing more’ and in the process actually ‘living less’ (hope that makes sense). Whatever happened to slow and steady progress and savouring moments??

nrhatch - October 6, 2014

Yes! There is so much external pressure to do more which can result (as you note) in living less IF we are constantly racing to complete some arbitrary deadline we’ve set for ourselves.

Remaining in the flow allows me to move in a chosen direction without exhausting myself by swimming against the current to “spawn.”

17. jannatwrites - October 7, 2014

How freeing to be able to let it go. I still struggle with being okay with not getting things done…I have to remind myself a lot that I’m doing the best I can 🙂

nrhatch - October 7, 2014

Flexibility allows us the freedom we need to go with the flow . . . and bend with the wind as it blows. We don’t stop getting things done, we just stop beating our head against the wall.

Keep reminding yourself that you’re doing the best you can.

18. diannegray - October 7, 2014

I’ve nearly killed myself trying to ‘get it all done’. No more, now I just do things when I feel like it and I’m a lot happier! 😀

nrhatch - October 8, 2014

Yes! And in the flow, I often find myself doing just the right thing at just the right time with synchronicity smoothing the path.

Example: on Monday I planned to go to the bank to deposit 2 checks. A rare occurrence. Most of our money travels OUT of not IN to that account. I didn’t feel like going, so I did something else. When the mail came at 2 pm . . . another check. Completely unexpected. A reimbursement from a doctor’s visit in 6/2012.

On Tuesday, I went to the bank and deposited 3 checks. :mrgreen:

19. livelytwist - October 8, 2014

“Such is the nature of desire. As soon as one itch is scratched, a new itch arises.”

Contentment, that ever elusive goal. When I’m thankful, I get closer.

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