I am a person who, for better or for worst, loves lists. It helps me focus, plan, resolve, dream, conclude…..yayaya. However, sometimes, I feel like there are too many lists in my head. Like a million post-its that kinda all overlap but not really. And it freaks me out.
So my solution is the occasional thing I call a “Brain Dump”. It’s when I sit down with a blank email, or blank word doc, or even a journal, and write down everything that comes into my mind. It is in no order. It’s in no organization. Just to get it OUT. I end up doing it about once every 3 months.
After the brain dump, some discussion is good. Like looking at it, getting things crossed off if needed, rearranging into helpful lists. Dreaming about the future. It’s actually one of our favorite kinds of date-nights. Sometimes it’s on the couch in jammies. Other-times it’s after a yummy dinner at restaurant. Once we even sat on benches by the bathroom in a store, because we had no extra money for date night after the babysitter and we wanted somewhere to go and the libraries were closed on a winter evening.
But in reality the lists are never ending and will always be. And it can even increase anxiety or dysfunction. Living WITHOUT a list can be freedom for me.
But it’s still nice to dump my brain of the random thoughts. And Matt gets out anything on his mind too and we make a master list.
So. Here is a (partial) glimpse into our list. And it only took three hours, but Matt and I used date night this week to go through it. Communication sometimes is skipped over in marriage. This is one way we heal our miscommunication, and we keep it healthy and strong! So need a date night idea this month?? This exercise is all about communication. Don’t try to solve it all, or get stuck on each of them — just keep it open with each one and hear each other’s expectations and fears and dreams. It’ll draw out hidden trigger points and deepen your relationship just a little bit more.
- Remember to order pens online (the good kind)
- Dream about international trip (Europe? Greece? New Zealand? several countries?) with kids in 4 years, start to save and plan, goals
- Goal to visit compassion kids (year?)
- Oh — Allow Ethan his own compassion kid/brother — monthly write on kid’s bday, goal to meet them in 6-8 years after writing to each other for years. Plan on same for Evy in a few years.
- Continue to teach about other countries to kids? library book options?
- Look at August calendar, who do we need to invest in? What do we need?
- Reorg the garage, fall/winter, purge grown out stuff of kids
- Wish list for cancun trip, books to read?
- What do I do about my violin? reconsign? resell?
- Teach Evy how to pray; bible stories with Ethan?
- Reminder to make sure we’re uptodate on immunizations for travel
- Limit adult screen time none after 9pm to allow for more sleep, reading, talking
- Ethan birthday – how do we want to approach birthday celebrations? Who keeps telling him he gets a party? Don’t like to host big events, E’s weaknesses, tradition and memories vs realism.
- Check out Etsy bow clips for Evy
- Parenting ideas for next stage anticipation, Check out grace-based and love and logic again, Email mentors for ideas and tips
- Excited for woven study with IF gathering; and then Daniel study with Jennie Allen
- Want to clean and purge for fall. esp the closets, sell kid’s clothes that are too small
- House projects upcoming — reseed grass, fall fertilizer, clean windows
- Matt wants a quieter/more efficient washer/dryer when our’s dies. Save
- Discipleship. Who can we ask to disciple us? Who are we lead to disciple?
- Decide involvement in church for this fall, consider age of kids, maxing out, our gifts/sacrifices, more or less?
- Early morning wake up with kids — clock in room? quiet activity options?
- Would love to redo the bathrooms sometime. But no need to.
- Any xmas gifts that are plan-ahead gifts we should get a jump on?
- Speaking of, how will we manage xmas this year with our own, immediate, extended families; how to limit gifts, manage time — Holiday time off, put in time early
- Fall radical giving wish list– e preschool? compassion or IJM? aldi people? homeless? other friend/families to support — what should we save and give away, what is need and excess and investment
- New Noonday fall line comes out this month!
- Goals for this fall/winter of our people/places and life purpose in current stage