Monday, October 31, 2016

The Done List

Happy Halloween, everyone! and Welcome, welcome, welcome to Kimberly Vanderhorst! This week she's bringing sunshiny-ness from the inside out. I love this post of a to do list in reverse!

“You’re not horrible, you’re human. People are always getting those two confused.”

It’s a hallmark of human nature that we are sometimes too hard on ourselves. We mentally bludgeon ourselves into a state of despair because we're not doing and being all the things we think we should.

But if you worry that you are not kind enough, giving enough, AMAZING enough, then odds are you're pretty freakin' fantastic. Because you're striving, and you're yearning, and you're aspiring.

Please. Celebrate that.

And please, resist the voice in the back of your mind, the insidious whisper telling you what a slacker you are. One of the most beautiful, most joy-worthy aspects of humanity is that we have the power (with the help of our loved ones) TO DROWN THOSE VOICES OUT.

Be a loud voice. Be the bright and shining creature you have it in you to be. And when you can't, when the weariness brings you down so low you forget you ever had the power to shine at all, remember this:

"Feeling and being are not the same. You are not one dark thought, one sad moment, or one awful day. You are oh so much, so infinitely MORE."

There’s a dangerous cliché making its way through the world, which tells us that it’s silly to stare into mirrors and tell ourselves how wonderful we are. The idea has been mocked in countless TV shows and movies, and more often than not leads to abject humiliation for the person doing it.

But I found a loophole, and it’s a fabulous one.

Every day, I write down the things I do. “Unloaded the dishwasher.” “Answered seven emails.” “Edited two query letters.” “Wrote 537 words.” “Read three books to Gracie.” “Put on real pants!” “Put through and folded two loads of laundry.” “Decluttered kitchen counter.” “Shouted inside my head instead of outside.” Etc . . .

At the end of the day, I skim my “done list,” and smile. Because when it comes to my accomplishments, my memory is a sieve with really big holes. Writing them down helps me fight that whispering “You are not enough” voice. It helps me realize that I am. Even on my rough days, when “put on pants” is the highest of all possible accomplishments.

What sort of things would you put on your “done list?”

Kimberly Vanderhorst is a speculative fiction author who cherishes a love for all things strange and beautiful. Claims to fame include running Prism Editing, serving on the committees for the annual LDStorymakers Conference and The Whitney Awards program, and co-hosting the annual Pitch Slam contest. Despite being a city girl with a tendency to cuss too much, Kimberly is married to an LDS minister and lives in rural northern Canada. There, she helps raise her four lovely daughters while pretending not to be afraid of the neighbour’s chickens.


  1. I think maybe those feelings of insufficiency are a problem for the young. When you become ancient, you don't care any more. You just do the things you want to do and if others don't like it, tough. But I think a "done" list is a good idea.

  2. Awesome idea! A friend once suggested I keep a log of what I did in a day to see where my time sucks were- I realized I was actually getting a whole lot of things done- just not all of them were on my to do list.


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