A To-Do List

Some things we've discovered make life a bit more interesting, fun, and less stressful.  Just some suggestions.  Do them if you choose.  Or not.

1.  Learn a prayer in another language that is not your native tongue.  God speaks more than English (the native language of most of our readers, we presume).  It can be one sentence.  Even one word.  Just learn it from memory, then know that somewhere in the world, a person you've never met is praying in this language, too.

2.  Take five minutes to be overwhelmed by how big the universe really is.  Standing in the dark night and looking at the moon and stars works for me.  Mountains are also helpful.  But just remember that we are profoundly small when one considers the scope of the universe, and yet God knows every hair on our heads.

3.  Appreciate things like the endless supply of clean water that runs from our taps and indoor plumbing.  Much of the world doesn't have either.  Don't feel guilty; just feel appreciative.  And drink more water.

4.  Do not stand in front of a filled refrigerator and/or pantry and say, "There's nothing to eat."  There is something to eat.  Just get imaginative and create.  Trust me, you can make amazing dishes with grains and spices.  Or donate what you don't want to eat to a food pantry, because someone in your town will eat it.  And while I'm at it, buy local and fresh.  It's so much better.   And eat seasonally. Okay, off the soapbox.

5.  Walk in bare feet at least once a day.  Feel the grass and dirt with your toes.

6.  Give yourself total permission to feel the emotion you are feeling when you are able to do so for at least 10 minutes each day.  Without excuses.  If you feel mad, feel mad.  If you are happy, feel gleefully happy.  If you are sad, sit and weep.  Quite smiling when you want to cry.  Just don't hurt yourself.  Or anyone else.

7.  Know the difference between being friends with someone and being friendly with someone.  Invest in friends.  Struggle when needed with them.  Be patient in those relationships.  Be friendly with everyone else, but don't let them live rent-free in your soul.

8.  Learn all the words to at least one fabulous Broadway show tune.  Belt it out when you're alone or with someone who appreciates your singing voice, no matter how odd that high C sounds.

9.  Have at least one movie that is your go-to "I need to cry" movie and one that is your go-to "I need to remember why life is worthwhile" movie.    Suggestions for both of these can be made in the comments.

10.  Quit buying things because someone, somewhere says they are in style or cool or must-haves of the season.  Quit watching shows or reading magazines that tell you you are too fat, not stylish enough, live in an outdated decor, or just generally make you feel less than.  Who cares if the colors clash?   Who cares if your favorite cut-off jeans are covered in paint stains - okay, I don't wear them to formal events, but around the house - heck yes.  Own what makes you happy.  Wear what makes you feel treasured and beautiful.  Surround yourself with things that cause you to smile when you see them in your home.  Give the rest of that crap away.  


Pam said…
LOVE #10. Especially own what makes you happy. And #4 - I tried quinoa this week. I love it even without extra seasonings. Getting more for the pantry.
Unknown said…
Thanks so much for this, just reading it made me happy. Can't wait to try them out!
Unknown said…
#9 -- "A River Runs Through It"
Anonymous said…
A very good list, all around, but NUMBER SEVEN. Crows, how often I forget the difference and allow myself to be everyone's friend without allowing them to be mine.

As to #9, I tend to go to music more than films for that (I have a whole song list in my iTunes called "Hope"), but I suggest "Remember the Titans" or "The King's Speech." (Thanks for your suggestion, Paul, I've never seen that--will go track it down at the library!)

Thank you so much for your post!
Unknown said…
Up and August Rush
I hope more people post movies, so I can appreciate great movies that show sad and happy emotions.
The iTune list is a great idea! Thanks!
Jill said…
Thank you for the timely reminder of some things that too often get pushed off the 'to-do' list by other stuff.
Sassafras said…
For #9, "Fried Green Tomatoes" is a bittersweet movie that does both for me: gets me
crying and remembering why life is worthwhile.
Anonymous said…
Can I pass these on in my parish newsletter? Obviously I'll give you credit.
revlauriebrock said…
Use away! We're always happy when people share our work. Please credit The Rev. Laurie M. Brock at DirtySexyMinistry.blogspot.com. Thanks!

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