As a Type-A personality, I like my lists. I always have. I would make a to-do list, and if I completed something that wasn’t on the list, I would add it just so I could put a line through it. Silly, I know, n=but it kept my thoughts organized. As depression has sunk in, I started to not make lists and just focus on one thing at a time, and in doing so…tasks started to seem overwhelming. When I start to get overwhelmed, I start to shutdown as well.
I have been working on a huge project at work, because the previous person totally neglected what they were supposed to be doing, and our Executives found themselves being threatened with jail terms. I knew what needs to be done, and I know what my end goal is…but I didn’t make any sort of list of steps. Even though I have been getting things done, I don’t feel any closer to the end than when I started. My Director keeps telling me what a great job I’m doing, she is thankful I took the job on, etc. But in my mind I have fallen behind, and I am not doing as well I could be doing.
Saturday, my therapist told me to make a step-by-step list of tasks that need to be done in order to get to my goal. Take it from the very beginning to the end. Don’t skip a step. Once the list is made, I can then go back and check off what is already done. That afternoon, I did just that. I’m almost half-way to my goal. I won’t make my goal within the first year, like I wanted to do, but I have made good progress. I am an All-or-Nothing person, which means I never look to see how far I’ve come, just how far I need to go, which is why lists serve a purpose with me.
So I made a new saying to put up in my cubicle – “Take time to look in the rearview mirror to see how far you’ve come.” I know there are a ton of motivational people who say, “Don’t look behind you, you aren’t going that way.” But sometimes you need that little bit of encouragement to say, look what you have already accomplished!!
From today on, I will be looking in the rearview to Fight the Darkness.