I’ve been preoccupied with the fact that I am too preoccupied. Despite COVID bringing simpler days with less running around, because the available activities to take up my time have been shut down, my brain is still just as busy. I actually seem to be less able to be in the moment these days than when I was busy running around.

How is that so?

I blame my brain. My brain is wired for daydreaming, planning and multi-tasking, all things that keep it somewhere else and not in the moment. And having more quiet time is the perfect breeding ground for growing more thoughts and being in the brain, not in the moment.

I fall prey to the mindset that once a particular moment is behind me, then I will be able to clear my brain more often and take notice of more moments. Guess what happens? Something else comes along and I need to get that behind me and then I will finally be able to take notice of more moments. I’ve been battling this glitch of the brain for years.

In this season of life, I have been planning our next home for what seems like forever. There have been numerous obstacles to overcome before I could even think about what to do with the house part. Once I was past those obstacles and got to the house part, COVID and life stepped in to create more obstacles and delays to overcome. My brain still believes that once I finally get past this process and into our next home, I will then be free to be in the moment.

Have you ever moved into a new place? How much free time did you have? Exactly. There is no free time. Just more things to think about. Like where you are going to put the coffee maker so it makes the most sense. And then the next morning you realize it doesn’t make sense there at all so now you need to think about it again. You also need to shop for new toilet paper because the toilet paper you had been using no longer looks good in your new place. It takes a while to find just the right toilet paper. You need to think about it. There goes your free time.

So, I have been preoccupied with being preoccupied and periodically a song makes its way to my ears or something written crosses my eyes that reminds me I want to make being in the moment be important again. (BTW, I’ve been on a kick to grow my nails long and wear nail polish. It’s amazing what you can find to occupy yourself when you have to. I have not had long nails in many moons because they do not go with my seasons of life. With these long nails, I’m having a lot of difficulty typing my note to you because my nails keep hitting the wrong keys. Now my fingers are tired and it is taking me twice as long to type. You can feel sorry for me.)

One recent morning, as I sat in a favorite sunbeam, somehow the thought came to me to create a to-do list for being in the moment. I’m the queen of good old-fashioned to-do lists. I like lists. I really use lists. I even ignore lists. But lists work for me. I kinda sorta obey lists. So, it made sense that making a to-do list of the sorts of things I could do that would encourage me to be in the moment would help me to focus more often on this priority. It’s a fun list. And my brain would have something to be preoccupied about that would help it not be preoccupied.

I could just “to-do” it!

And I knew just where to create this list.

The Days of the Week note pad I have tucked on a shelf.

(See my perty long thumbnail all nicely painted? I predict it will be gone in the next two weeks when I need to start accomplishing outside tasks again. I’m getting tired of them.)

I love note paper, and note paper designed to write a list on is brilliant and beautiful. I happened to have this note paper for lists by the day that I have never found a use for because I can’t handle the stress of being told I need to accomplish everything on my list on that day. I have discovered that my to-do lists work better for me with less stress when they serve as reminders, not task masters. I’m stubborn and a people-pleaser so I fight against myself.

But encouraging myself to list one or two things on specific days that takes me out of my head and into the task at hand is a fabulous way to stress me out if I was ever going to stress me out. I have to think about what to write on the list. Ponder if it meets the goal. Write it down. Look at it throughout the day. Remember it. And hopefully, actually do it. However it truly goes down with this list, it will bring some sort of daily attention to being in the moment.

When I was thinking about the things I wanted to include on this very special to-do list, I realized that there is no one way to make me feel in the moment. Somedays, it could be something fun and frivolous. I also have everyday tasks that can bring me back to the moment, so work can be just as useful on this list. Things that make me feel alive also can bring me into the moment. And so can things I do for others to show them love, especially in this time of COVID where every single person is out of sorts and needing to feel some love.

This week, I celebrate 7 years as a blogger. It’s one of my most favorite ways to be in the moment because I get to focus on spending time with you. Pondering the nonsense going on in my world that seems worthy of your time brings me great joy. Not sure how you feel about it but I haven’t received any “cease and desist” letters yet so I’ll keep going.