Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: To do or not to do

Posted August 15, 2010

What if instead of the little stuff, we put the big stuff on our to-do lists?

I was thinking about this the other day as I scrolled through my current list in my BlackBerry. It contains simple, yet necessary reminders that every tired mother with a brain like a sieve needs - drycleaner, tailor, tap shoes for my youngest, a birthday gift for a niece, school supplies for both girls, find a volleyball clinic for my oldest. There is a great deal of satisfaction in making these lists because we usually, in time, take care of these minor needs. Then we have the glorious moment of crossing them off or deleting them if you happen to keep the list electronically the way I do.

By contrast, our life to-do list probably contains the very challenging things that may seem unattainable, things that won't be so easy to delete. So we keep them filed away in our brains instead of dangerously real on paper.

For example - write a book, get a new job, buy a house, find your passion. I'm not talking about a bucket list - crazy, wild things to do before you die. I'm talking about the life obstacles that we all mull over in our minds in those moments early in the morning between sleep and wakefulness, just before the alarm goes off.

If you're like me, you're not thinking about the fact that you need milk, but the fact that you need Lasik surgery to improve your failing eyesight. But the reality is that you're much more likely to get the milk by the end of the day than the surgery.

OK, so I'm a talker. I haven't actually written my life to-do list down yet. But I'm thinking about it. I really am. I swear.

Amanda is the mom of two girls, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including one on motherhood called "Smotherhood." Find her here on Mondays.


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  • askme Aug 16, 2010

    abswitala, you have some of the same items I have on my bucket list. I want to learn to swim, go to NY on New Years Eve, run a half marathon, and randomly hope on a flight and go somewhere :)

  • wildcat Aug 16, 2010

    I enjoyed your latest book...Evil Next Door. I look forward to the next one.

  • abswitala Aug 15, 2010

    Amanda, you are right that most "Bucket Lists" are wild and crazy, but earlier this summer I decided to make a top ten list of things I will do (actively work to accomplish) before I die. I think it is perhaps similar to your own "Life To-Do List." Here goes...

    *Write thank you notes to teachers and people who made a difference in my life.

    *Visit Times Square on New Year’s Eve or Visit Punxatawney PA on Groundhog Day

    *Dream Day-Go to a department store and buy an outfit at full price, get the full treatment at a day spa and then go on a date with my husband to a fancy restaurant

    *Go to the airport and take the next direct flight to anywhere

    *Run a mile (lifelong asthma sufferer)

    *Get my book (manuscript written!) published

    *Learn to swim

    *Go on an overseas missions trip with Compassion International or World Vision

    *Do a Bible study for every book of the Bible

    *Read and finish a book that is over 300 pages in length (Long books are a weakness of mine!)

    I'd love to know wha