A blog from 2017 that still rings true today. In the midst of a pandemic, it is time for me to focus on my list and remember that I am not alone during this very lonely time. Who is on your list?
I remember being in junior high and making a list. A list of all the people I thought didn’t like me. The ones that cringed and mocked me outwardly when I walked into a room and the quiet ones who I thought were shooting daggers at me when I wasn’t looking. And although I wrote that list what seems like a million years ago, I still remember who was on it and WHY they were placed there. And throughout my adult years, I feel like I have added to it and subtracted from it at different times but “the list” has always been a part of my life. A part of me.
The list has served many purposes. It has reared its ugly head at my lowest points. It has provided me with proof, validation and some sort of strange comfort when I feel that I am a total screw up. It has been with me through thick and thin and thick again. And unfortunately, it has often been the goggles I use to view the world and my relationships and my place in each of them. It has meant that for so many days, TOO many days, I have focused on the people that are toxic to my self esteem and self worth trying to convince them that I’m not so bad. Even worse, it has made me ignore the ones that have my back no matter what. The ones that make me smile, that make my heart pitter patter and the ones who do not judge me, which to me is the epitome of love. The list has me putting effort into people that I shouldn’t be. Quite honestly, it’s time for the list to go. This week I got the most beautiful reminder of that.
My BFF knows me all too well. And although she knows nothing about “THE list” mentioned above, she knows I am a list maker. This week, she sent me the most thoughtful gift… “The 52 Lists Project:A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration”. The timing could not have been better.
Now, not only am I an unapologetic list maker by nature, I am also a rule follower. So, when Week #1 says to make a list about your goals and dreams for the year, I do it. And I did. And it was wonderful and therapeutic and lovely. But as I flipped through the pages to see what was coming next, List #7 caught my eye…
“List all the people who brighten your day”.
Say what? What’s that Book of Lists? You want a list of people who BRIGHTEN my day? But this completely goes against my self destructing “people who DON’T like me list” that I have held on to since I was a teenager? What am I supposed to do with that list huh?
But this sweet gift from my sweet friend is right. It’s time. Time to let go of the negativity and tears and the doubt that the PEOPLE on the list cause.
But more importantly, it is time to refocus. To go to the people I love the most and who truly brighten my day.
So, I did it. I made that Week #7 list. And damn, it felt good. Some of those on the list are obvious choices; my husband, my children, my BFF, my Mom, my neighbour… you get the idea. Some are people are ones who support me as friends and colleagues and mentors. There is a whole full section of students and their parents who brighten my days in ways that they can’t even comprehend. Some on the list, I barely know but inspire me in some way through work or in my community. Some are people I have never met (can you say Twitter PLN?) authors of books I have read or musicians whose music makes me happy.
But all in all, this list, the new and IMPROVED most important list in my life, helped me to realize, on paper, that I am going to be OK. More than OK, because my list is full and plentiful and vibrant and lovely. Dr. Jody Carrington reminds us that it’s our “bottom hands” who “score” in our lives. Those hold us and love us and support us and lovingly challenge us to be the very best version of ourselves. THOSE are the people we should be writing to, posting to and focusing our energy on.
So, I am mentally shredding and burning and ripping and tearing and re burning the OLD list. With a renewed focus on those who DO matter I am sure that my heart will be more grateful, my outlook more positive and my life more rewarding.
Thank you to my day brighteners. I’m here and I promise to focus on you. You deserve it and you matter. Thank you for being on my list.