For the past four months, every day has felt the same when in fact they have often been very different. I started staying home because of Covid-19 on Saturday, March 14th. My younger son’s last day of in-person school was Friday, March 13th. For a few weeks, we had no school at all while the school district scrambled to come up with something. Then there was the nightmare of distance learning and now we are in summer. Yes, we never go anywhere but the things we do around here have changed. If I hadn’t kept a to-do list using Tend: Task Manager & Journal, I don’t know that I would have noticed these differences. I’ve reimagined and expanded what my to-do list does because of Tend.
Before Tend, my to-do lists were scribbled on scrap paper or kept in the notes app on my phone. When I either did everything on the list or admitted most of it was never going to happen, I would throw the paper away or delete the list from my phone. Every once in awhile I find an old to-do list in a notebook or stuck to the bottom of the couch and I marvel at this little snapshot of my former life. I no longer need to remember to drop off a spare set of clothes at preschool or call Older Son’s college to yell at them for overcharging me for housing (which they did every semester). With every new day and phase in my children’s lives, the little things I did to keep them going change and I forget what was once so important.
With Tend, I can archive all the things I do each day that keep my little family moving forward. I wasn’t great at putting together baby books and I wish we had invented Tend earlier so I could look back and see all the tasks I did to keep my babies healthy, somewhat happy and hopefully asleep. And since there is a journal function and a place to store up to four pictures a day, I could have kept track of the micro-memories. The camera roll on my phone is full of pictures but I can’t always remember what I was thinking or feeling on the days I took them.
Now I can and even though sometimes the entries aren’t all unicorns and rainbows, I enjoy seeing and reading about what my days used to look and more importantly feel like.
And maybe most importantly, keeping track of my daily tasks, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, helps me realize that I get a lot done in a day. I often fall prey to the late night scolding session where I am in bed and think to myself, “What did I do today?” And I can maybe remember two or three things especially if they are the end result of weeks or months of planning and work (finally getting a diagnosis for a learning disability, Older Son settles on a college after months of research, birthday party, etc.) I forget all the little tasks that make up each day or lead to the completion of larger projects.
With Tend, I settle in at night and check off all my to-dos, big and small and I add in everything else I did. And if I’m feeling frisky, I’ll estimate the time I spent on everything and Tend will calculate what I would have earned if someone paid me 15 dollars an hour.
I have to admit, I often feel better. I don’t often show anyone my daily totals (unless it is truly remarkable). The keeping track is for me, it’s personal. Diary of a Busy Mama complete with pictures and a short journal entry.
So when I review the past four months, I see the differences and it helps break up the mental monotony of these times. And it will act as a reminder of just how exactly we got through these difficult times (hopefully with our sanity intact).
Give Tend a try, it might help you, too.