When I first stopped working, I was told I wouldn't need to keep an extensive to-do list because my time would be my own. I had trouble with that. What if I didn't have enough to do when I was no longer working? What if I got bored? Back then, I now realize, much of my perceived value was in being busy, and a long to-do list verified that I was.
It's been nearly eight months since I've worked. I have a to-do list on my home computer, but sometime in the next few weeks I'm going to post my Palm Pilot on Freecycle or Craigslist. If I get no offers I'll donate it to the Goodwill. I'm done with it.
My to-do list now reminds me of deadlines - real ones, not ones I've conjured up to create a little tension in my mind - like paying the COBRA bill and buying travel insurance for an upcoming trip and calling the catsitter. It also jogs my brain on projects I have in mind, with no dates attached. But the list is getting shorter, and that is a good thing.
I'm still busy. That's in my nature. Today I'll either go see "The King's Speech," or work on Module 11 of my online ESL class, or walk to the store for tuna cat food and then to the diner for lunch, or install the Rosetta Stone Spanish software so I can pick up some Spanish for next winter's trip to Ecuador. But I can choose what looks good. And none of those options is on my to-do list. Isn't that wonderful?