When I had time in college – after I’d completed my homework – I read books that intrigued me, like The Phantom Toll Booth. I was a word nerd – still am – so the book delighted me. I read it again and again. It was motivation to accomplish my to-do list quickly.

Now that I consider it, that book foreshadowed my whimsical writing style as much as Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Awesome characterization was the author’s forte and an elegantly dressed demon, Terrible Trivium, stood out. He was a “demon of petty tasks and worthless jobs, ogre of wasted effort, and monster of habit.” He persuasively mandated endless, pointless activities – such as moving grains of sand with tweezers – for the protagonists. Worse than a parent who mandated chore lists.

While I agree that the intense college homework shared some of those qualities, I was dedicated to the A.

So, I made a high GPA, graduated, and launched into a career. Coupled with social activism and community involvement, I was hyper-busy for years. Now that I’m retired – immersed fully in my encore career – I’ve remained chained to accomplishments and to-do lists. Monotony gained, freedom lost. It’s time to tame my inner Terrible and manage time to recharge my batteries and focus on pastimes other than work.

Here’s my new to-do list:

  1. Exercise daily, reaching a goal of at least 3000 Apple Watch steps.
  2. Write daily, but abandon specific word count goals.
  3. Have fun. Smile!
  4. Give-and-receive hugs with my husband, preferably 8/day.
  5. Sleep and nap for at least 8 hours/night.
  6. Drink 8 glasses of water/day.
  7. Drink wine, listen to music, and laugh a lot.
  8. Do my share of household chores as well as water the plants.
  9. Craft my own time.
  10. Seek joy!

What are you slaving for, Constant Reader? Join me and ditch your to-do list!