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a to-do list for disoriented humans

a few months ago i sat down in my office and made to-do list of the only things that really matter. sometimes people ask how the fuck we’re suppose to find meaning in an ultimately meaningless and absurd universe; for me, this is part of the answer.

lately time has been really fuckin chaotic – in my house and in my head. good chaos, much of it. seminary and redecorating the house and playing with the kids and building things with my hands and starting a new thing as a deconstruction coach and launching my agnostic astronaut ass out into space at the helm of the existential happy hour podcast. also the regular chaos of being a human trapped in a flesh prison: taxes and cleaning the garage and cooking spaghetti seventy times seven for kids who never want to finish the food on their plates.

i often reach the end of a day feeling like i haven’t accomplished anything of value, despite having done stuff all day. to-do lists are never finished. as soon as they’re done, you just make a new one. mail that rebate form. respond to three emails. put the laundry away, the laundry you washed back in august. the days and weeks stretch and blur and i am disoriented.

i printed this to-do list and put it above my desk to remind me of what is important to me. when i feel lost in the pandemic-induced meaningless of temporal reality, i look at the list and try to find a way to do something on that list. when i get the inevitable late-afternoon productivity guilt, i look at that list and realize i did actually accomplish a few things that matter. i probably did actually read a few chapters, or connect with the people in my family. that can be enough. sometimes i just want to take a nap. then i remember that’s on my to-do list too.

this is a simple to-do list. it doesn’t purport to change the world. i don’t know if it’s god’s will for my life. but it’s my life. and it is a good one. thanks be to existence for all of this.

a to-do list for disoriented humans

October 22, 2020 | 2 minute read

text

a few months ago i sat down in my office and made to-do list of the only things that really matter. sometimes people ask how the fuck we’re suppose to find meaning in an ultimately meaningless and absurd universe; for me, this is part of the answer.

lately time has been really fuckin chaotic – in my house and in my head. good chaos, much of it. seminary and redecorating the house and playing with the kids and building things with my hands and starting a new thing as a deconstruction coach and launching my agnostic astronaut ass out into space at the helm of the existential happy hour podcast. also the regular chaos of being a human trapped in a flesh prison: taxes and cleaning the garage and cooking spaghetti seventy times seven for kids who never want to finish the food on their plates.

i often reach the end of a day feeling like i haven’t accomplished anything of value, despite having done stuff all day. to-do lists are never finished. as soon as they’re done, you just make a new one. mail that rebate form. respond to three emails. put the laundry away, the laundry you washed back in august. the days and weeks stretch and blur and i am disoriented.

i printed this to-do list and put it above my desk to remind me of what is important to me. when i feel lost in the pandemic-induced meaningless of temporal reality, i look at the list and try to find a way to do something on that list. when i get the inevitable late-afternoon productivity guilt, i look at that list and realize i did actually accomplish a few things that matter. i probably did actually read a few chapters, or connect with the people in my family. that can be enough. sometimes i just want to take a nap. then i remember that’s on my to-do list too.

this is a simple to-do list. it doesn’t purport to change the world. i don’t know if it’s god’s will for my life. but it’s my life. and it is a good one. thanks be to existence for all of this.

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