Listless to listful

Allerton Beach from above (photo by me!)

Back in March, my mom and I went on vacation to Hawaii. It was an amazing trip and just in the nick of time. Last night, we chatted about how grateful we are that we were able to do that, especially considering the fact that we have no idea when we’ll be able to do it again-and not just a mother/daughter vacation, but any trip, really.

And it got me thinking about how the anticipation of a trip or an event is half the fun (and, let’s face it: sometimes more). I always love having something to look forward to, and knowing when that something is going to happen is important.

But it’s not possible right now.

So, I started a list of the things I need to do…when I’m able to do them again. It has all of the appointments that got canceled (or that I wasn’t able to schedule): dentist, optometrist, gynecologist, chiropractor, hair, brows…

Then, it became less about the maintenance-y stuff that needs to happen, and more about the things that I’d really like to do or miss doing: visit my niece in Phoenix; take a dance class at American Dance Festival; visit , the neon sign/art studio (and maybe take a class there, too); get back to hosting Enrichment workshops; chip away at my list of American cities I’d like to visit; bring back the ; shop at my favorite shops; eat my favorite restaurants…

(I’m pleased to report that I started this list before hearing the same suggestion on Happier with Gretchen Rubin -that’s how you know it’s a good idea.)

But since I’m not sure when any of those things will happen, looking at the list can get depressing (except for maybe the joy in putting off trips to the dentist and gynecologist). So, I started one more list: all of the things I’ve accomplished since social distancing started. Items on the list can be big, small, impressive, silly, whatever. They can be things that I did myself or things that I made sure got done by hiring someone to do them. Here’s a sampling of my accomplishments:

  • Adopted a second dog
  • Made French toast for the first time
  • Finished Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Made a music video with some friends (separately)
  • Got the roof cleaned

I add to the list whenever I think of something, and seeing it really does boost my mood! There are also some ongoing accomplishments that will be fun to update, like how many books I read or how many miles I ran. No, I will not be learning latin or how to code; but I can accomplish some other stuff and feel good about it.

So, if sheltering-in-place is making you feel listless, consider making lists! I’d love to hear what you’re excited to do-when you can-and what you’ve done in the meantime.

Originally published at https://www.ninabaltierra.com on May 18, 2020.

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writes about work, life, both, and neither. MPH. recovering nonprofit executive director. higher education retention officer at Upswing.

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Nina Baltierra

Nina Baltierra

writes about work, life, both, and neither. MPH. recovering nonprofit executive director. higher education retention officer at Upswing.

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