Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Things I Don't Do

A few days ago, I read an article called "Every Woman Has an 'I Don't' List. And it's Time We Shared Them."  A friend linked to it on Facebook, and I read it because I was having one of those days where I couldn't seem to get anything done, and I was bummed about that.

Get 'er Done - Motivational Planner & Journal by Motiv8 ...

I have a fiery drive to Get Things Done.  You already know how much I love to-do lists.  Not only do I make seasonal to-do lists and share them here, I often have daily and weekly to-do lists that I'm working on.  In fact, I started using a bullet journal about a year go, just to keep my lists organized.

(This is my bullet journal.  I'm still using it.  It's still helping.)

The truth is, I am a very busy person.  I thrive on being busy.  I homeschool my 3 kids, I help run our homeschool co-op, I blog, I write regularly for both Femnista and the Prairie Times, I write novels and self-publish them... and I read about a book a week.  Oh, and I started a book club at church, I'm involved with Sunday school and VBS and the church choir.  I'm an active bookstagrammer.  I have a flower garden.  I usually have at least one crocheting or sewing project going.  And I watch at least one movie a week.  Writing all that up right now made me kinda tired, to be honest!  Wow.  I'm very busy.

The point of this post is not to praise myself for how much I accomplish, or how good I am at balancing things.  The point of this post is to answer that question that I get a lot, when people find out how busy I am.


The answer -- the very truthful, not necessarily flattering answer -- is that I do all that by NOT doing a ton of other things.  So, inspired by that article, here is my I Don't List.

+ I don't dust more than three or four times a year.
+ I don't sweep the kitchen more than once every week or two.
+ I don't mop.  (My husband does.)
+ I don't sweep the dining room.  (My daughter does.)
+ I don't do most of the laundry.  (My son does.)
+ I don't wake up at night to feed any babies.  (Anymore.)
+ I don't change diapers.  (Anymore.)
+ I don't breastfeed.  (Anymore.  Wow, babies take a lot of time and work, y'all.)
+ I don't get TV on my TV.  I watch DVDs, VHS tapes (so old-fashioned), and stuff on Amazon Prime Instant Video.  (If I'm watching a TV show or movie, it is very intentional.  It is not a way to kill time or have background noise or whatever.  Watching a show or a movie is an active pursuit for me, an activity, not a pastime.)
+ I don't clean my bathrooms every week.  (I have 4 bathrooms.  I rotate them, so they each get cleaned about every-other-week, but more often if they get gross, obviously.)
+ I don't scrub my shower regularly.  (I have a friend who scrubs her shower every week.  No thanks.  I don't have time.)
+ I don't make every meal from scratch.  (I love to cook.  I do cook supper from scratch several times a week, but lunches are usually pb&j or something from a box or can, plus fresh fruit or veggies.)
+ I don't bake my own bread.  (Very often.  Sometimes, but it's a treat.)
+ I don't grind my own grain.  (Stop rolling your eyes!  I know people who do.)
+ I don't make my own yogurt.  Or cheese.  (Those sound nifty, though!)
+ I don't sew my kids' clothes.  (My grandma sewed all my mom's clothes until my mom was a teen.  Dude.  Wow.)(I do sew the occasional thing, but it's a fun activity for me that turns into something useful, like a blanket or a dress or a skirt.  Or doll clothes...)
+ I don't have my kids in umpteen sports and activities and programs.  (They do swimming lessons in the fall/winter/spring once a week, all at the same time.  We go to our homeschool co-op twice a month.  We go to church and Sunday school every Sunday.  That's it.)
+ I don't always fold laundry as soon as it's dry.  (Sometimes my kids have to dig through baskets to find clothes.  But hey, they're clean.)
+ I don't fold any of the clean towels or washcloths.  (My other daughter does.)
+ I don't keep track of fashion trends.  At all.  (Most days I wear jeans and a t-shirt.  On Sundays, I wear nice shirts and skirts or dresses, but they're what are comfy and please me, not what are cool or trendy.  I have no idea what's fashionable.)
+ I don't wear makeup.
+ I don't read all my favorite blogs every day anymore.  (This makes me SO SAD.  I want to find a way to work reading blogs back into my daily schedule.  Trying to make that happen.  Cuz I miss reading my friends' blogs, but right now, it just doesn't happen.)
+ I don't read my Facebook feed much.  (I use FB mostly as a bulletin board and to instant-message friends.  I might scroll a little while waiting for someone to reply, but that's very occasional.)
+ I don't do Twitter.  (I have an account, but I never use it.)
+ I don't have an Etsy shop.  (Anymore.  I did for years, but life happened.)
+ I'm not pursuing a higher education degree.  (My BA is just fine, thanks.)
+ I don't shower every day.  (Twice a week is fine, unless I've been working outside or whatever.)
+ I don't exercise every day.  I don't even exercise three times a week.  I try to, but reality is once or twice most weeks.  (But this is much better than back when I never exercised at all!)
+ I don't have a job outside the home.

Now.  Are any of the things I don't do bad things?  No!  They're all good.  And some of them, I should do more, or would like to do more.  I need to get back to exercising 3 times a week.  (I did for several months earlier this year, but life happened.)  I want to get back to reading blogs regularly.  (I did for years and years, but life happened.)

But that's how I do what I do.  By not doing many, many other things.  Because nobody can do everything, right?  Right.

So please, if you ever look at my "let's see what I checked off my to-do list for this season" posts and say, "Ugh, why can't I do all those things too?  What am I doing wrong?" I want you to know that the answer is nothing. You are doing nothing wrong.  You are probably just doing things that I don't do, and things that I do are on YOUR "I Don't" list.  And that's totally fine.  As Major Tony Nelson said in one of my favorite episodes of I Dream of Jeannie, "I'm me and you're you, and that's what makes the world go 'round."  He was a pretty smart guy, being an astronaut and all, so I think it's good to remember those wise words of his.

Or don't, if remembering random, obscure lines from movies and shows and books is on your I Don't list ;-)

(See?  Astronaut.)


  1. This list is an oddly comforting thing, thanks for sharing ;-) <3

    Maybe I should write my own . . .

    1. You're welcome, Katie! That was my intent -- to point out to people that I do NOT do everything! I think people tend to assume that other people do all the same things they do, PLUS other things as well. It ain't necessarily so.

      Do a list. This should be a thing.

  2. I don't do anything that I'm not paid to do. Which is probably why I'm still single...

  3. Hahahaha.

    People don't realize how, if you cut basic housework down to once a week, you can get a lot of other, vastly more important, things done. Such as writing. ;)

    1. Charity, exactly. I mean, it's just gonna get dusty/dirty/messy again. Might as well wait to clean it until it's a noticeable problem. You can get WAY more reading and writing done this way.

  4. Our "I don't do...." lists look eerily similar. :)

  5. I've seen something similar to this before, and I like the idea. It does seem important that we all recognize that other people have "I don'ts" just like we do, before we rush to compare our accomplishments to theirs. And I'm not even a wife/mom yet!

    Anyway. This was a cool list to read. :)

    1. Olivia, exactly. We can't assume that everyone does all the things we do PLUS the other things we see them doing that we don't.

  6. I should write my own list like this.
    This made me feel a lot better about the things I don't do.

  7. Great post and thanks for sharing. I'm a fan who's amazed at all you get done (even with your Don't List)! BTW, huge I Dream of Jeannie fan, and wish Larry Hagman had done more outright comedy - he really had a gift for it!

    1. Thanks, Blakeney, and you're welcome :-)

      I love IDOJ -- it's a supremely fun, sassy show. I totally agree -- Hagman shone at comedy!

  8. Recovering from three lovely long company visits + life with a verrrry busy little person -- wistfully thinking of lots of different post ideas, but trying to get projects and house stuff under my belt (& Christmas coming soon, yay!!), I agree with the other comments, this was oddly comforting. And encouraging. ;D

    1. Heidi, goodness! You've been VERY busy, indeed!

      Yes, real life comes first, blogging gets wedged into the spare cracks, and sometimes there aren't many spare cracks. Mine has been more sporadic of late, just because of being busy with my kids, plain and simple.

      Anyway, glad you were comforted & encouraged by this post :-) That was my intent!


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