Most mothers have an ongoing "to do" list--that catalogue of tasks needed for family life to run well. I have a notebook bursting with them and always have. It sometimes amazes me to find a ten-year-old to do list and see that the items on it could have been written this morning. It goes on and on.
About a year ago, I changed my approach to lists in two ways. The first was that instead of writing "to do" as a heading, I would write "Accomplishments for [day, date]." Somehow or other, the word "accomplishments" has such a positive connotation that my lists feel a bit more worthwhile. The second and far more significant change is that I began creating an entirely separate daily list for Beauty.
It occurred to me that my lists would always include tasks like "make dental appointments" or "clean out girls' closet," but there was very little in them to satisfy the heart. By creating a daily list called "Beauty for [day, date]," I added some planned beauty to each and every day. Most days, the Beauty list would be very simple. It might say, "Light a lilac scented candle" and "Gather a bouquet of flowers for Our Lady" or "Take a country stroll." Other times, it would include a project like "Can strawberry jam" or "Have a picnic in the woods." Whatever it was, it would always be something we might not have remembered otherwise--the kind of activities that everyone loves but always leaves for a someday that too rarely comes.
Here are a few examples:
"Arrange flowers for teatime centerpiece."
"Bring friends to visit Sagamore Hill."
"Can fresh peaches from the farm."
"Have tea and hot cross muffins by candlelight."
"Take photos by the rhododendrons."
"Put up the Easter Egg tree." (Looking at this photo from last year, I realize that it is only a few days until Easter and our little Easter Egg tree remains in the garage. Perhaps it should go on the Beauty list for tomorrow.)
Beauty for Tuesday, April 11, 2017
- Make potpourri from anniversary roses.
- Decorate mantel for Easter
- Gather forsythia and cherry blossoms.