I was recently facilitating a class based on Robert Brumet’s book Living Originally. One of the practices is entitled, “Death Is My Advisor.” Within the chapter are a series of questions that we are encouraged to work with. I had the attendees answer them as homework so we could share our experiences in class. As I was journaling my answers, I was surprised by my response to one of the questions, “What is important for me to finish before I die?” I thought my answer would include some of the myriad of to-do’s that clutter my brain each day and seem to weigh me down, those things that never allow me to be “done.” Instead, none of those things made the list: not the breakfast nook seat cushions for which I have the replacement foam and fabric, not the weeding in the garden, nor the water damaged spot on the ceiling in my bedroom which won’t get fixed until we have the popcorn texture removed. Those plus dozens of other tasks didn’t make it onto my list.
I was stunned. All those things that tug at my daily guilt of not doing enough were exposed as short-term tasks, not important in the big scheme of things. So what made my list? Here’s my journal entry: