At the end of each day, I contemplate my to-do list. I have never had a day when everything is checked off of the list. And yet, on the next day I’m often starting new tasks and engaging in activities that weren’t even on the list from the day before. From time-to-time, I reflect on the list and delete things for my “stop doing list“. I have books stacked by my chair, always several in progress. I have far away friends and family that I’d like to go and spend a week visiting. I have places I dream of going and others I long to return to for further adventures.
Today I’m reflecting and reminding myself that life is a process, not an accomplishment – a journey, not a destination. Work, chores, and activities are better represented by a tapestry that each of us is weaving. The threads are our work, hobbies, friendships, travels, and families. While checking off tasks – finishing part of the design – is a good thing, beginning new relationships and activities – discovering new threads – is just as important. Weaving the varied threads together and adding new ones are the stuff of life.
Unfinished business is part of who we are. We each weave, rest, and weave throughout the times and seasons of our lives. None of us will complete our tapestries. When I’m gone, perhaps someone will pick up some of my threads and begin weaving them into their own tapestry. In the meanwhile, I don’t have to get everything done perfectly. I need to keep weaving and discovering threads, flowing through the seasons of life. A life well-lived will leave a lot of hanging threads – a lot of unfinished business.
Thanks for sharing this link. Looks like you are ahead of Lee Kravitz in thinking these thoughts. I too never manage to check off all my to-do lists and don’t make enough to-be lists.
I think you are right about the hanging threads of a well-lived life. Yet I also think that doing our best to finish well, especially when we need to ask for forgiveness, is really important. The difference may be that tasks may never be done but understanding and healing should not go undone–if possible.
Your comments add an important balance to this post. To use the tapestry analyogy, I agree that it is important to mend tears and repair broken threads, to live-well. Finding ways to include opportunities for reflection and repair within the formal organizational life as well as personally is somethimg many of us do not practice well. I will be pondering this, thinking about how this can be made visible as well as experienced.