The Weekend I Left the To-Do List at Home (and Why You Should, Too!) by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
There’s so much to do. There’s always so.much.to.do. With the kids, dogs, work, laundry, students, writing, and five email accounts, I swear my to-do list never gets any shorter. This past week was especially full, as my kids returned to school. As my parent friends know, the beginning of the school year is especially hectic. And yet I am on my way out of town, the to-do list unfinished.
My friend and colleague Renee and I are flying to Chicago to meet with the 30Seconds team; celebrate the birthdays of two special friends and colleagues, Elisa All Schmitz and Donna Lynn John; and spend some time with other remarkable women. We’ll chat over dinner, do some meditation and journaling, and take a lakeside yoga class.
This was Renee’s first week of school, too, as she just started her first year in a new teaching position. Her to-do list is plenty long as well. And yet off we go! A few years ago I may not have made this choice, but right now I feel like this is exactly what I need and I’m so glad I’m doing it.
It’s taken me a while to get here, to realize that the to-do list can wait, the kids can spend a couple nights without me, and that I deserve a chance to slow down, recharge my batteries and focus on myself. I’ve learned that self-care comes in many different forms and isn’t selfish. Moreover, when I take care of myself I am more productive and better able to care for others.
From my vantage point, self-care looks like a weekend in Chicago with women who inspire me. What does it look like for you?