Mar 5, 2012

An "On My Mind" List

Last week I realised that I've been giving up a lot of my thoughts and attention to other people. Possibly a bit too much, in fact. To the point where my own wellbeing could be suffering.

So I wrote out a list of all the things that would typically occupy my thoughts on a given day. These ranged from making sure I had something prepared for the weekly gaming session, to issues in work, to making sure I was keeping up with my blog posts.

I won't repeat the full list here, because several of the items on the list are things I know in confidence or relate to very personal matters.

There were a total of 34 items on the list. 34 things that, in my head, I had to be aware of and ready to act on at a moment's notice.

Of these can you guess how many were things that were either purely just for my own personal enjoyment or benefit?

4. 4 things that go through my mind on an average day are just for me. Of those, three had to do with reading or writing, while the only one that had nothing to do with either was thinking about when I'd next get to play whatever video game I'm currently playing.

That kind of shocked me. I always thought I made sure to balance what I gave to others with what I gave to myself. I believe that if you give too much of yourself, you end up drained of anything useful and can't help anyone anymore. I thought I had that one down. Obviously I was wrong. I need to work on that. For my own sake, and the sake of those I care about.

I'd encourage everyone to take a couple of minutes and write their own "On My Mind" list. Are you making yourself enough of a priority?


  1. Hmmm interesting post, I've been kinda thinking the same lately, I seem to always end up promising to do lots of stuff and then worn out and not having fun but just doing it so I don't disappoint anyone! Not ideal!

    You managed to clear anything off your list?

    1. Right now my 'On My Mind' list involves one thing 'When is this sinus pain going to go away??' :)

      Usually, I will admit, it's a bit longer.

      Glad you're taking better care of yourself. How is the list looking now?

    2. Yeah, I've cleared some things, re-prioritised others, and asked for help where I need it. I've had to keep reminding myself that I'll never be any help to the people I care about if I don't look after myself as well.

  2. Hi Paul,
    thanks for your thoughtful comment on my blog this weekend. Seems we're in similar places, evaluating our thoughts and actions and setting priorities straight. This post reminded me of when I kept a thought journal years ago. It was illuminating. Might just try that again. Thank you.

  3. I can answer that question without making a list: no. And I think my inability to balance is a major factor in why my personal writing has been stalled lately.

    1. I know the feeling, Callie. It's so important to keep tabs on where you're spending your energy.

  4. This is very good food for though Paul cheers keep up the good work looking after yourself is crucial to everything & everyone who cares about you