The lists we make...

It's interesting what we women do. The lists we make, the perceptions we have of what we must achieve to be a success. Those lists of mine are gathering dust in some corner of my brain and Franklin Covey planner because world, I have a boyfriend. I know it sounds foolish and one tracked, but it's reality. My brain, my heart and my life only have so much room and time and for now I'm okay with having a short list. A list that involves running, deciding what's for dinner, going to work, walking the dog, paying necessary bills and spending quality time with the man.

The girl whose lists used to involve hours perusing the bookstore, reading and relaxing at coffee shops, visiting the mall and Target weekly, hours of Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice, seeing new movies solo, baking, reading and commenting on blogs nightly, and attempting to determine my future, my career, my thoughts on grad school, is content. For now anyway. I haven't lost my goals or dreams, I've simply given the things that are priority some time and let the others fall aside.

Those long lists of things I enjoyed doing were more for need to fill some awkward space in time in which this successful woman felt unsuccessful, lost and scared. Scared of empty blocks of time left alone in a house with a couch, a tv, a cupboard and no one to share it with. So I ventured the bike paths, to Target, on walks, to the gym. Because those places gave me a purpose.

But now, when the lists are short and mundane, I'm finding even less time to fit it all in. That's what happens. Priorities in life shift, you become okay with a job and a city you're not totally sure about and you find happiness in even the most basic of things. While I don't settle for ordinary, I'm not above settling for what makes you happy. The long, diverse lists don't make you happy, they keep you busy. And that's perfectly fine when busy is exactly what you need. But dog walking, that's not too bad either.

Update: You'll have to excuse me for the update, this is like a journal for me. Sort of. In reading Hope's post and simply reflecting on my writing, I have to make the disclaimer that I wasn't unhappy with my life before. In fact, I'd say I felt pretty fulfilled with all that busyness. But there was always that unsettling feeling of knowing I was searching, grasping for something MORE. Whether that be a major career that changed peoples lives and made a difference in the world, finding a new city I absolutely adored, or finding someone I couldn't live without. One day I'd like to have all three, but for now, one of three isn't bad.

Secondly, I in no way believe that finding a man or a person to love, will solely make you happy. Happiness comes from within and while someone else can surely enhance those giggly feelings of positivity, they cannot be responsible for it. I believe we have to be first and foremost lovers of ourselves and creators of our own destiny.


Amber said…
I really liked this post and related to it, in a kind of opposite way though.

Now that Eric and I have been together 4.5 years, we are both focussing on other things more. I'm focussing on running and my career, he's focussing on his career. We still go on dates and nurture our relationship, but not as much as we once did and that's OK. Different things will make our top priorities at different times in our lives and I think that's a good thing!
Heather C said…
Even if I'm 'single' now, I completely relate to this as well. With the relationship always mostly long-distance, there was always some feeling of 'void' that needed to be filled until next time. then, when we Were together, many things took a back seat. :) now, I'm just exploring, and I like that too.

I love that you see priorities differently and find yourself content with new things - life changes and we adapt, and it sounds like you've done so happily. :)

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