I have found that – as much as I adore my to-do list – I tend to give it enough power to dictate the mood of my day. I love seeing little x’s next to each of my tasks and find an incredible sense of relief and accomplishment at the end of each day when I have completed all of the “necessary” things.
So what happens when I don’t?
Yesterday was the kind of perfect day that seems to only come around once in a while. C and I spent hours outside together. We ran around, picked flowers, weeded, and played Eye Spy while watching the clouds go by. She swang, rode her tricycle and scooter and sang while I weeded (some more. This time with a glass of wine while I did it.). For part of the time though, I knew that the laundry was about to be done. It was the last thing on my to-do list and I really wanted to put an x next to it before Bruce got home.
Our dryer is in the garage and I heard it buzz right as C asked me to watch how fast she could ride her tricycle up the hill. I paused. On one hand I really wanted to check off my final task. On the other…
I gave myself grace yesterday by leaving a basket full of clean laundry sitting by the dining room table. And what did I find this morning? It hadn’t moved, and neither did the world fall apart. Life kept on just as it had – or perhaps even better. Bruce came home, we ate dinner and tucked C into bed. I walked past the overflowing basket no fewer than a dozen times last night and didn’t bat an eye.
We need to give ourselves the gift of grace every single day. Every interaction you have with another person is a chance to show them grace, forgiveness, and love. What I sometimes forget (and maybe you do, too) is that I need to show myself the same compassion that I am happy to show others. Unfolded laundry will not ruin the day. Nobody is perfect, and leaving a basket of clothes to do another day does not reflect on who I am as a person. I would never be angry with Bruce for choosing to play with C over folding underwear and I need to give myself the same respect and compassion.
This, of course, is easier said than done. But I would bet that in the course of an average day everyone has the chance to give themselves grace more than once. I challenge you, and myself, to accept the grace offered. Let the laundry wait. Serve brinner instead of a fancy meal if you just can’t cook anymore. Paint your toenails and take a bubble bath. Take care of yourself and treat yourself how you’d treat others (the new Golden Rule).