Monday, January 07, 2008

What's on your to-don't list?

Things have been super-crazy here in the Jane household. I knew going into 2008 that I'd have to hit the ground sprinting right after the first of the year. Throw in sickness (Baby Jane and Mr. Jane) and day care closures (we have not had a "normal" schedule day since the year began) and you've got yourself some interesting and stressful times.

Rather than boring you all with how stressed we all are around here, though, I wanted to talk about an interesting idea I saw. Sometimes Baby Jane will allow me to read while nursing, so I've been slowly making my way through the January issue of Real Simple magazine. There's a little card in the back that's titled something like "Your Not To Do List for 2008". The idea being, of course, that just as we spend time thinking of all the things we should be doing, we should spend some time thinking about the stuff we do that's harmful to us, or not fun, or not productive, and resolve *not* to do that this year.

So here are a few things I will try NOT to do this year:
* Feel guilty, about anything (how I'm spending my time, how I'm raising my child, not cleaning the bathroom, etc.)
* Compare myself to others (especially when it comes to things like publications, grants, enrollment numbers, etc.)
* Martyr myself. If I need help, I will ask for it. Period. Asking for help does not make me a bad person.
* Feel frantic about my teaching. One less than stellar class every once in a while does not make me a bad teacher, and is not the end of the world, and does not mean that I will never get tenure.

So, what's on your to-don't list this year?


ScienceGirl said...

This is more fun than the to-do list :)

* Beat myself up over things out of my control;
* Feel guilty for not working all the time (here's that life balance thing again);
* Keep quiet when I need to speak up.

Jane said...

oooh, good ones, sciencegirl!

EcoGeoFemme said...

I like the not comparing yourself to others one. How are you going to not feel guilty? I'd love to learn that skill. Actually, I think that would make a good Scientiae theme.

My resolutions had many do nots, but they were more like rules. I think my goal of not procratinating is actually a stab at reducing guilt.

Michelle said...

I think this is a wonderful idea. As a "do" I've been keeping a list of things I said "no" maybe my number one would be:

Don't say yes to more things than I can humanly do.

Don't say yes to things that don't benefit the things/people/projects that matter to me.

Kate said...

I don't know, the four you name seem pretty perfect to me. Don't feel bad about yourself, don't not ask for help, those are the big ones on my list!

Andrea said...

Don't feel th eneed to be "perfect" in what I'm doing.

Don't skip meals.

Don't let the urgent crowd out the important.

Those are my big ones.

Jane said...

ecogeofemme, I'm not sure I'll be entirely successful at reducing guilt. But I can be more successful at recognizing it and refusing to dwell in it, so I guess that's my real goal, there. And yeah, that would be a great theme for Scientiae!

Michelle, I like the idea of only doing things that matter, and letting the rest slide. I definitely need to practice that more.

Kate, I guess the list can be summed up as "don't feel bad about yourself." Good observation! :)

Andrea, I like the third one on your list a lot. I may have to write that one down and keep it in my desk drawer (along with the "feel good" notes from students that I pull out on really, really bad days).