I love lists. I’m always making lists of things to do. I made them daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. I’m all about getting things onto my calendar. But here is a new concept. Let’s make a To-Don’t List. A To-Don’t List is a list of all the things you’re not going to do anymore — things you are not going to tolerate, not this year, not ever again.
This pandemic has changed everything. It opened our eyes to new ways of working, living, and being in this world. For a long time into the 21st century, we were humming along exactly as we did in the 20th century. It was high time that things changed. The whole world changed at the same time, almost overnight.
We’ve realized that there are new ways of doing things, that the old ways don’t really fit in with our lives anymore. Technology has changed everything, from the way we work, the way our children learn, the way we keep in touch, the ways we shop and eat — everything.
Here is my list of things I will no longer do.
My To-Don’t List
I will no longer take freedom for granted. You really learn to appreciate your freedom when it is limited in some way. At the start of the pandemic, we were told not to leave our houses unless it was absolutely necessary. We limited our food shopping trips, we spoke with friends and family members over Zoom instead of in person. We adjusted, but it sure feels good to be able to go about freely again.
I will not eat out as often. My family used to go out to restaurants and diners at least twice a week. Lockdown forced us to cook every meal at home. We didn’t even get take-out for many months. I love to cook, and now I have learned to enjoy eating at home more often. I will limit my restaurant meals to special occasions.
I will no longer spend hours on social media. I work in social media, so I need to spend some time keeping up with all of my social accounts. But I don’t go there as often for entertainment. I’m much more productive when I limit my time on social media. I also feel better. It’s impossible not to compare your life to everyone’s rosy pictures online.
I will no longer say yes to everything. People make requests of me all the time, and I used to feel guilty saying no. They request my advice, my time, donations for their charity. Anything that I can’t take on or just don’t have the bandwidth for, I will no longer feel guilted into saying yes.
I will no longer respond immediately. When I was an employee, I felt the need to respond to emails, phone calls, texts, and requests right away. But now that I work for myself from home, I respond when I am ready. It’s so easy to answer too quickly while you are busy, and then give a reply that you wished you had taken more time to think over. You need to think before you send a text or any digital communication, or else your intent can be misinterpreted.
I will not lose contact with friends. It’s so easy to get busy and forget to keep in touch with people you enjoy. During this pandemic, we were gifted time to slow down and be at home. It gave us a chance to get back in touch. We all get busy. Don’t let that be an excuse to lose connection with friends. Maintaining friendships takes work, but it is work that is worth it.
I will no longer be a couch potato. While staying at home I’ve spend way too much time sitting on my couch, instead of getting up and moving. I feel like my body is atrophying. It’s summer. I want to take walks. I want to get back to the gym. I want to dance more.
I will no longer take my right to vote for granted. The coronavirus, as devastatingly awful as it was, should be known as the pandemic that saved democracy. It allowed every vote to be counted by hand, and opened our eyes to widespread voter suppression. We never imagined something like that could happen in this country, but it did. Keep your eyes open.
What is on your To-Don’t List?