screw off to-do list.

4 Apr


Yesterday I had a conversation with a family member who reached out to me in response to my posts about anxiety. She shared personal stories with me about bouts of anxiety she’s had from time to time and how she’s dealt with them. It was a lovely, thoughtful and enlightening call. I appreciated every single word of what she shared. During our talk she said something that really resonated with me-

“Honey, you can have it all…just not at the same time.

Truth is, I do want it all. I’ve always wanted it all. I’m quite possibly even a perfectionist. Currently, I want…the perfect wedding. I want to be an amazing partner to Brian everyday. I want to sell my book. I want to blog everyday. I want to write for my favorite sites every week. I want my career as a writer to keep growing while also focusing on my business as a fit model. I want to be there for my friends & family when they need me. I want to practice yoga or workout everyday. I want to do things that inspire me (like ballet classes and artists dates). I want to cook Sunday night dinners. I want to do everything.

Most importantly I want to see movement everyday. The kind that I can track. And when I don’t or I fail at crossing things off my to-do list, I’m pretty damn hard on myself. No wonder I feel anxious! I’m constantly riding myself.

It was an important realization for me about myself.

As it usually goes I was given a little test by the universe on “lightning up” soon after. I got home from a day of fittings and my nearest and dearest friend Rachel came over for a visit and to talk over our upcoming engagement shoot this weekend. Rachel is an insanely talented photographer and when I was thinking about who should shoot our engagement photos she was the only person I wanted.

When she walked in the door I could tell she had had a crap day.  I offered her something to drink…diet coke, water, ice tea? And she said, “how about a glass of wine?”

I looked at the clock. It was 4pm. I immediately thought of my to-do list. I wanted to finish a new piece for Mind Body Green. I had my bar method class at 5. I wanted to get to the market to get salmon for dinner. I had to do a bunch of invoices. I needed to order our save the dates….blah blah blah. But instead of be ruled by my to-do list I said, “Sure!” And guess what happened?? We had an amazing few hours sitting around talking about life, love, marriage, work, family and everything in between while drinking wine. It was the kind of afternoon I will remember for a long time and it was much more full-filling than my bar method class or Gelsons.

My first exercise in being kinder to myself, staying in the moment and saying “screw-off” to my extensive to-do list was a complete success!


“That’s the key to having it all: stop expecting it to look like what you thought it was going to look like.”
Cindy Chupack



13 Responses to “screw off to-do list.”

  1. Erin Haslag (@WELLinLA) April 4, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Love this day, mentality and the “screw the to do list”! I’m trying to keep mine as almost non-existent as possible. And I am SO glad Rachel is taking your photos. She is insanely talented!

    • katemcclafferty April 4, 2013 at 10:44 am #

      Well then you are going to have to come over soon for a “screw off to do list” afternoon!!

  2. rachel April 4, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    I had sooooo much fun in your beautiful bright home drinking wine! Such an amazing afternoon. The evening is blurrier. 😉

  3. Melissa Chataigne April 4, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    I love this lesson in being present. It is something that has come up in my life this week. Its funny when you have plans and when you just…be..present. xo

  4. Sophie April 4, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    My new goal is doing more organization/to-do type lists until 2ishp 4 days a week. The REST of the time is ME time and/or moment-to-moment time with my baby boys! Every minute being present with them/friends/loved ones/myself is a treasured one. Love you both and the magic of friendship.

  5. Danielle April 4, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    I love everything about this post. You’re awesome 🙂

  6. barbarapotter April 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    I am sitting her reading this after a beautiful 5-mile walk in 27 degrees to and around the lovely town of Lenox, lunch with Jen, massage, hot tub and sauna. Could barely walk back to the room. I am in bed and the heck with all the to-do things available. Ahhh.. No wine here though:) Love the post as usual and have my lap top yay!!!

  7. Campbell Whitman April 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    When I was young Kate, my mom had a daily “to do list”….it was on that typical yellow lined notebook paper and it used to have things like “clean out the cupboards” “laundry” “change sheets” etc….She would do them and cross them off receiving satisfaction with every stroke until one day I noticed her list began to have the things that weren’t chores to her but things she used to love….”gardening” “sewing” and “reading” are the ones that stay in my mind throughout all these years…..
    One day these “hobbies” became “chores” because she added them to her “list of things to do” instead of “things I LOVE and should make time for without being on a list” To this day she still does it and you can see over each year less and less happiness comes from her favorite things. This is a small example (and who am I to give advice when my life feels like one gigantic CHORE list living here in Holland, but it’s something that I remembered noticing in her that took the FUN out of the things that should bring her joy! I no longer make lists if I can help it because of this lesson….so seriously SCRATCH IT, SCREW OFF whatever you want to call it…….we have one life and it shouldn’t be filled with lists of things to do!!!!!! If you are a list kind of gal, make them but leave off the things you love, when a friend pops by, forget your chores unless a child is on fire and just live! I never had anxiety until I moved here so i feel your pain and I LOVE your open, sincere honesty!!!!!! Let’s just say you kinda inspire me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XXXOOO

  8. Claire D April 5, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    Amazing blog! This piec summed me up to a tee and I am anxious everyday because I am so hard on myself. Inspiring, thank you!

  9. righteousbruin9 April 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Most things I do in a day reveal themselves to me as “to dos”, right about the time they need doing.

  10. HBB April 6, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    awesome post!! I need to go in the opposite direction and have more of a to-do list mentality. I definitely say screw-off to adult responsibilities far too often, but love every minute of it. 😀

  11. ashlyandmonkey April 7, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    I can totally relate! I always want to do everything, but the reality is its not possible. And that’s ok! Great post. I recommend reading the Happiness Project by Gretchen Cruz– great book for just spelling it out… Good luck with the wedding planning!

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