Living With Invisible Boxes

They’re always there. The beckoning lists. The waiting tasks. The glaring undone.

It’s this crazy accumulation of things I allow to fester and multiply, hovering at the back of my mind. The things I know I need to be doing … or would like be doing. It’s an unconscious buildup of to-dos that keeps me from resting at night and creates a barrier to relaxation when I have the rare opportunity to do so.

It’s the dreams and desires I have for our family. The wishful thinking of a woman desirous of growth and change. It’s the mundane and the oh so complex. It’s grocery lists and writing prompts. Forms needing to be filled out. Birthday gifts. Thank yous. Purchase orders at work that have yet to be done. Organizational goals and bucket list fantasies. And sadly, it’s never ending.

I guess this might sound a little crazy, but for reals, I have all these invisible unchecked boxes that haunt me and taunt me day in and day out. They have been my companions for years. And honestly, they are mostly of my own making. My husband has not given me this list of tasks. My kids are not begging for these things to be done. And very rarely is someone from the outside telling me this is what I have to do. This is solely a record of responsibilities that I put on myself, allowing the incomplete to weigh me down on a regular basis, affecting peace and mental wellbeing. Because those darn lists are bottomless.

And frankly, I’m tired of living like this. Always several yards short of the finish line. And never able to fully rest because those pesky lists are dangling there, laughing at me, only partially done.

Do you ever feel this way? Does life’s duties and endless obligations keep you up at night? If so, I’m so sorry. Truly. For this is a miserable way to live. Or sleep. Or mother. Trust me, I know.

So this year I’m concocting a way we can rid ourselves of all the imaginary boxes. First, we run them through a sieve of sorts.

We’ll ask ourselves:

  • Does this really matter?
  • Will it matter tomorrow?
  • Will it matter next week?
  • Will it matter a year from now?
  • And lastly, does it have any eternal ramifications?

If not, we delete the box. We let it go. We say au revoir and refuse to leave the mental door open for it to creep back in.

And in the place of those imaginary boxes we begin to build a house of rest with walls of peace and a foundation of trust. Trusting that God has it all under control and we don’t need to stress about the details. Yes, we can still write down our to-dos. We can still check boxes. But only the boxes that really matter. Guilt has no place in the day-to-day operations. And worry is no longer a welcome visitor.

So I’m not making a bunch of New Year’s declarations this year. No extra to-dos or lists of what I’d like to accomplish. The only resolution I’d like to make is to kick those invisible boxes to the curb. All those guilt-inducing cares and responsibilities I’ve been hauling around for who knows how long.

I want to choose those things that infuse life into my soul and into my precious family. Choices that will urge my people Godward and help them grow in favor with God and man. Ultimately, I want to put a better emphasis on love and surrender rather than all the ways I’m not measuring up in the everyday. No more boxes. No more holding on to burdens. Just plain ol’ fashioned trust and moving forward in hope.

—–///—–

How about you? What obstacles do you face in terms of healthy living and/or living life to its fullest? Is there something specific that is getting in the way of you thriving in your mothering? Let’s talk about it. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments.

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Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.
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About Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

Comments

    • Thanks for stopping by, Naomi! We love having our fellow Hope*writers. Praying that your heart will stay the course in following Him … with or without the lists.

      Hugs for your day,
      Anne-Renee

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