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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: To do or not to do

Posted August 15, 2010 8:06 p.m. EDT

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.