Enjoying the Extras in Life Without Letting Them Take Over

When my husband “gave” me this blog and told me to start writing, his original intent was that I share how to clear your queue. You Netflix lovers know what a queue is, and you know how easy it is to fill your queue with hundreds of shows you want to watch but will probably never get around to.

Isn’t that life? Don’t we have drawers and cupboards full of supplies for potential projects, shelves full of unread books, heads full of unfulfilled dreams for “when we have time.”

Here’s the problem with a full life queue:

  1. It weighs us down mentally, even subconsciously.
  2. We never get to it because there is so much to do that we don’t know where to start.
  3. We dabble if we get to it at all, and never really finish.
  4. It detracts from life, because it requires repetitive thought, tidying, organizing, planning.
  5. It ends up costing money and taking up space. Boo.

I cleared my life queue ages ago, and keep clearing it over and over and over again. Still, there so many things that I would like to do, that I can’t just lie down and meditate until I die. That’s not living!

So here’s what I do to keep on living without filling my queue.

1. List it.

I love lists. They’re my favorite. I have an ongoing list of things I want to do or learn. We also have a family bucket list of things we want to do, like eat pizza in Italy. Mine is a bit more realistic, but my kids dream big–go kids!

2. Choose it.

I pick one thing from the list–just one. Tempting as it is to think I could learn to quilt and tap dance and make a family cookbook and learn to grill without burning the hair off my arm and memorize all the burn sounds of the North Woods feathery friends all at the same time, I know I can’t.

(I do sometimes choose one fun thing and one professional thing. For example, right now I am editing my book and learning the Charleston–one’s for work, one’s for the amusement of my baffled husband. Plus we always have a character trait that we’re working on, but that’s different, like breathing and eating.)

3. Do it.

Whatever it takes to do it, do it, as long as it doesn’t jeopardize peace, family, or faith. Don’t by any means make the “thing” more important than what really matters in life. Since it’s only one thing, it really shouldn’t take over your life, but rather add a little icing to your cake, chocolate chips to your cookie, salt to your giant pretzel. If it involves your family, even better.

I don’t spend time or money on anything else in my queue. If I come across something I would really love to learn or do, I add it to the list, but I don’t dabble in it yet, because I know I can’t handle a dozen dreams going at once…nor do I want to.

Will I die with undone dreams in my queue? Most likely. Will I have lived for the moment? Most definitely.

List it, choose it, and do it. It’s simple.

So, what one thing do you want to learn or do right now?

Me? Right now (July 2016) I’m learning the Charleston with my teens while Hannah learns to play it on the piano. We’re using this fun video and a few others for kicks…no pun intended. What are you doing?

I’ll update this, just for fun, as we choose new items from our queue.