“Stay the course, light a star,
Change the world where’er you are.”

—  Richard Le Gallienne

It is Friday morning, and I can’t help but wonder where another week has gone.  It seems that I have been busy every minute, but there is nothing earth-shaking to report about great accomplishments or adventures.  I’ve simply enjoyed another week of living on planet Earth.  In recent months, I’ve begun making a list at the beginning of each day that notes all the goals I would like to accomplish by nightfall.  It is encouraging, when each day seems to run into another ordinary day, to enjoy the exercise of crossing items off the list.  It is my way of reminding myself of all the mundane but important contributions I make to the lives of my loved ones every day.  I include my personal goals on the list as well.  “Write Blog” is always at the top of my list, and I add an hour here and there for each long-term goal I am working on.
It has been a huge step for me to stop fitting my personal dreams into the small spaces left over when the laundry is folded and put away and the kitchen is spotless.  The truth is that these daily tasks are never really done.  As soon as I have started the last load of laundry, someone will enter on cue and begin to fill the hamper again.  As soon as the last dish is washed and put away, someone will come looking for a midnight snack.  Scheduling helps with this.  It allows me to declare a stopping point for the day and move on to the things that had been lost in the shuffle of my life.  A small electronic kitchen timer is my traveling companion throughout the day, and I set it for one hour as I begin each task.  When the hour is done, so is the entry on my list.  Anything that is not finished in an hour can always be added to my list again tomorrow; but the surprising thing is that I usually have time left over.
Time is an elusive thing, and it seems that there is never enough to accommodate everything I would like to do.  The best thing about this mindful way of spending my days is that it allows me to focus on simply being rather than always remembering what I should be doing.  It lets me become focused on bringing the love and commitment I have for my world and what I want to contribute rather than giving all my focus to remembering what to do next.  When I write, I can be fully invested in writing.  When I fold the laundry, I can do it with love and think loving thoughts about the person who will wear that pair of jeans tomorrow because I cared enough to see that they are washed and dried.  When I prepare a meal, I am not distracted by worrying that I am forgetting to do something else.
I had always thought of lists as task-masters.  I saw them as unattainable goals that would taunt me and, at the end of the day, show me how inadequate I was at getting things done.  Now I see them as a sort of liberation that allows me to be in the moment without the distraction of what lies ahead or behind.  The important thing is the love and the light that we bring to our days.  The tasks themselves serve ourselves and others, but the love we bring to them can light the world.  No matter how mundane your day may be, remember to stay the course.  It will change the world wherever you are.