Why I Scrapped My To-Do List

olive chan —  November 30, 2012 — 5 Comments

I am henceforth replacing my daily To-Do List with a Ta-Da List.*

In place of the endless litany of tasks to finish, I am choosing to note down all the things worth celebrating in my day. Being a mother of a young child means that most of my things to do are in a state of partially done by the time evening rolls around. Dishes? Half in the washer, half in the sink. Emails – read but not responded to. As I type this, our bedsheet is sitting on the dining table, waiting for me to finish patching it (I WILL have to finish that before I get to sleep on it tonight!). Actually crossing something off of my To-Do List is a major, major accomplishment and looking at the ever-growing and unfinished list is discouraging.

Ta-Da ListMy Ta-Da List, however, is satisfying to review and brings joy to my heart. Today’s list so far:

    • Wake up.
    • Brush my teeth.
    • Hug and kiss my husband.
    • Hug and kiss my daughter.
    • Feed our family lunch and dinner.
    • Shower. (It’s a miracle!)
    • Get dressed.
    • Laugh.
    • Listen to my baby babble.
    • Watch the sun peak through the clouds in the morning.
    • Watch the sun slip away in the afternoon.
    • Send my husband on a grocery run.
    • Drink water.
    • Eat candy.
    • Blog.
    • Watch the rain fall.
    • Love.

Keeping a Ta-Da List is a way of practicing gratitude. In her fabulous book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp writes, “Thanks is what multiplies joy and makes any life large, and I hunger for it.” My soul does hunger for joy. Pausing to notice all that’s worth celebrating helps me remember the joy I do have.

What’s on your Ta-Da List today?


*Ok, I confess, I’m not scrapping my To-Do List altogether. I’d be a mess without it. But I will choose to dwell on my Ta-Da List and celebrate the ways I have been alive during the day when my head hits the pillow at night.

**I need to thank Tim’s Aunt Marj for giving me the concept of a Ta-Da List. It’s one of the most uplifting suggestions I’ve received as a mother.