is it a to-do list or wish list

to-do list or wish list…?

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. Lately being weeks. It got so bad I resorted to taking a Benadryl before bed just so I could rest for a while.

Most of the problem is all the stuff that my brain insists is SUPER IMPORTANT — at 2:34 a.m.! Last night it was the truck. Apparently my brain became extremely concerned that I hadn’t cleaned the battery terminals in quite some time.


The battery terminals, people. Seriously.


My to-do list is always long, and right now with dad’s estate stuff, work stuff, house stuff, and Mr. Awesome’s schedule, I just can’t keep up. I decided it was time to sit down and have a brain dump. Get everything, no matter how ridiculous down on paper, and hopefully, out of my head. Next, I broke down that list into loose categories of the things that were going on in my life right now.

  • a sick child
  • dealing with dad’s stuff
  • my business
  • the mess left from a contractor who bailed on the job
  • Spring, which means a husband working 12-14 hour days, 6 days a week
  • finding a car
  • getting seeds started for this summer’s garden
  • food stuff: bread baking, snacks, etc.
  • house work

This is the short list, but it’s wide-ranging. Each of these has a long page of items that need to be taken care of. Usually getting things out of my head and on paper makes me feel better.

Not this time.

Things felt overwhelming in my head, and when I got it on paper, it seemed overwhelming there, too. Regardless, I organized the mess of thoughts into a work list, and got started.

This sort-of worked – for a while. Then the sink backed up.

The evil lemon-of-a-dishwasher that has been breaking down every few weeks since we got it, finally stopped working in December. It wasn’t the end of the world, with just two people (one of which works insane hours), doing the dishes in the sink was manageable. Then the sink clogged up.

The kitchen sink was the domino that destroyed my carefully laid plans.

Once I couldn’t wash the dishes, they stacked up.
Then I had to clear out under the sink, and take apart the plumbing to clear the clog.
Next put it all back together and check for leaks.
Finally, put everything back under the sink, oh, and do the pile of dishes!

This process (due to other commitments) ended up dragging out over two days. Two days that I had things planned for. Two days that put me behind. I felt defeated and overwhelmed. Again.

The list I had so carefully curated to Get. Everything. Done. had fallen apart. It forced me to look at the list again, and what I discovered gave me a bit of freedom.

Is it a to-do list or a wish list ?


This season of my life is busier than I could ever have anticipated. Much of my list consisted of things I felt like I should be doing. You have some of those too, I’m sure 😉 Some of these are fairly important, like getting the seeds planted so that I will have plants to put in the garden in a couple of months. Others are things I feel are important, but can be put off – like getting all the photos my sister rescued from magnetic albums at my dad’s place, out of boxes and into albums.

By trying to plan every second, when the (inevitable) clogged kitchen sink pops up, I just get farther behind. As I move forward I’m trying to be more realistic about the want-to-do vs. the need-to-do, and learn to shift responsibilities around so that the essential things get taken care of.

And everything else? It’s optional.


Will this mean I can finally start sleeping again? That remains to be seen; but with my to-do list and my wish list now separate, at least I have a chance.

until next time, play hard, and have fun,



I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts about your own to-do list vs. wish list. Do you confuse the two? What is your “clogged kitchen sink”?