Wasting My Life, One List at a Time

Let me tell you the ways I waste my life.

On tasks I list only for the crossing out.
On wondering what to write, on daydreaming and scheming and then getting only as far as reading the first chapter of the How-To book.
On fretting five years forward instead of just paying this month's bill.
On debating between chicken roasted or beef braised, so long that by the time I decide, there is no choice but to serve peanut-butter sandwiches.
On feeling sorry for myself about ridiculous things.
On scouring unnecessary stores for unnecessary bargains.
On wishing I could "do more" to help (as if just doing something isn't better than overwhelming-induced paralysis?)
On changing channel to channel.
On not changing the channel (or pressing the off button).

I could go on listing, but then I would have to add this list to the list of ways I waste my life.

Notice, now, I am not publicly berating myself for wasting time. I am talking about my life. If I ran those errands or planned those meals or paid those bills or wrote those words with a sense of purpose, with an in-the-moment appreciation for the story I'm living, then nothing, none of it would be wasted.

No, the culprit isn't the activity or lack thereof. It is what I do with my mind, where I let it run off to during the day (with no supervision!) that squanders the vast majority of this wild and precious life.

I want to live a nothing-wasted life, not measured by how much I accomplish, attain, complete--but by how much I notice, participate, experience, appreciate. I want to live as Jim Elliot exhorted, "Wherever you are, be all there." But short of my current pattern of practice, fail, fail, pray, get back up to practice, I have little notion of how to bring this about, to consistently, daily follow through on the life I desire.

I'm guessing it's not the sort of thing that starts with a list?

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