I recently saw an article on Sixty and Me titled “Should you throw out your ‘to-do’ list after 60?” I certainly hope the answer is no.
I will totally admit that I’m a planner. As a person who likes to plan, I make lists. Granted, all of my lists aren’t created equal. For example, I plan our meals using lists. It helps us save money on groceries and we don’t waste food. I also have a list of small tasks that I need to complete during the day like “buy tickets to see Bohemian Rhapsody on Friday”. I can’t imagine when I retire that I would stop making those types of lists.
Then, I have lists I keep on my Outlook calendar. Someone could argue they’re more of a project plan or regular work activities, but to me they’re very similar to a list. It’s a list on my calendar of the things that I need to accomplish during the day. In fact, I have a regular occurrence on my calendar to write for this blog. It helps me remember all the things I want and need to do. The joke around our house is when it’s put on my calendar, it gets done.
But honestly, I could see that list changing. At some point, I’ll have fewer client obligations so those “to-do’s” on my calendar will go away. The question is will they get replaced with something else like volunteer meetings or just “me” time. At this point, I don’t know. But I do know that I will have to deal with having fewer lists someday. And that I need to be okay with that. The presence or absence of a list is not an indicator of my value or worth.
The other thing that I need to start thinking about is the way I keep lists. Right now, I have a system that includes a paper planner and Microsoft Outlook. I’m not sure that I will always need them. Oh, don’t get me wrong…I still have a few years to make this decision. But it has occurred to me that at some point I will have to part with my planner. LOL! And the question becomes will I be ready when that moment comes. For people who plan like I do, is the answer to downsize planners as an interim step?
Also, will there be a time when I don’t need Microsoft Office 365 and the iWork suite that comes with iMac will be totally adequate? Purely from a financial standpoint, I don’t want to pay for software I’m not going to use. But when do I make that decision? I’m sure I want to do it in time to learn the new software before getting rid of the old.
I know it might sound like I’m overreacting to a simple little article about keeping “to-do” lists but that’s not my point. It’s that at some time, many of the things I do today, I won’t do anymore. Either because I don’t need to, or I don’t want to. How I make those decisions is up to me. I can control them if I want to. And I can make the change experience fun or depressing. The choice is mine.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, FL