Good ole collaboration (go figure!). I was spending quality time with my dear friend John and we had a very similar conversation to the one detailed below:
Joy: Ugh…. I’m so tired of feeling like I never accomplish anything. I make lists and lists of things To Do and when I look at it towards the end of the day, all I feel is guilt. I know it makes sense to just stop making lists, but I love it so much! It’s pretty much an addiction.
John: So why don’t you just make lists about other things? You can indulge that pleasure for creating lists by keeping away from To Do lists [and Bucket Lists] and concentrating on lists that explore who you are now.
That was it! A practice was born. Over the next year, John would send me multiple list prompts and I would reply with my answers. It was a great way to play with lists without them bringing me shame.
We discussed making a book of lists, a coffee table publication that could bring the same relief to other To Do list addicts. That hasn’t happened yet, but the idea for a blog appealed to me more than a static publication. Why? Because, in the comments section, you’ll be able to submit your own unique PUKKA list. I’ll be able to learn from this PUKKA list community and I’m sure you will inspire me to meditate on daily events and things that I tend to overlook (another great benefit of a PUKKA list – it’s a wonderful exercise in mindfulness).
He still sends me lists and now I’ve started sending him lists too (there’s no way I’m letting him escape a little self-exploration!). In my free time, when I sit down to journal and feel the urge to create a To Do, I now take the reins and create lists that let me be me. I have enough hurdles in life that pull me away from the present moment and into the future. I don’t need writing to become one of those hurdles.
And, just to make sure you understand my philosophy: I don’t see anything wrong with To Do lists and Bucket Lists. I just don’t think repeatedly creating them is a healthy practice. It plops you in a space where you suffer from not having what you desire. PUKKA lists will put you a place where you feel alive with what you already are.