Being an organized person, I have a number of to-do lists floating around my life. One by one, I draw a line through each task as its completed – I love the feeling of marking something off the list! While I love the idea of tracking all the “do’s” in my life, I was recently reminded that the “don’ts” are just as important.
A prompt in my writer’s group put forth the idea of making a don’t list. At first, this seems like a very negative list to make, but its really an opportunity to be positive and consider new possibilities. My don’t list became an itemization of uplifting reminders (and a little bit of humor).
Don’t . . .
. . . give up
. . . give in
. . . be mean
. . . be negative
. . . be too hard on yourself
. . . listen to your inner critic
. . . stop writing
. . . forget to laugh
. . . get in a snit over stupid stuff
. . . lose a sense of wonder
. . . eat pink jelly beans. They are always gross.
. . . take gossip seriously
. . . limit creativity
. . . let a number define you
. . . leave dishes in the sink
. . . trust GPS completely
. . . buy anything unless you know exactly where it’s going to go
. . . live beyond your means
. . . try to train a cat (unless you want to see an “are you kidding me” face)
. . . leave a mess
. . . eat food that has ingredients you can’t pronounce
. . . listen when someone says, “you can’t”
. . . let go of your inner child
. . . stop traveling
. . . pass up a custard filled doughnut (no matter what diet you’re on)
. . . park your car like an idiot
. . . believe everything you hear
. . . put a book down
. . . forget your dreams
. . . complain about the weather. It is what it is.
. . . buy shoes if they hurt your feet
. . . throw out what can be reused, recycled, or upcycled
. . . try to be something you’re not
. . . leave chocolate out in the open at work. Keep a stash that no one can find.
. . . show up late
. . . forsake the little things that matter most
. . . let a day go by without being grateful for something
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What’s on your don’t list?
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58 thoughts on “The Don’t List”
A very interesting idea! I should totally make one of these myself. Off the top of my head a couple of entries would be “Dont…
…get impatient with the baby when you know she doesn’t know any better
…let your husband off when he DOES know better
The first one on your list works well for high school students, too. 🙂
All great things to NOT do! You should write them all down for posterity. It would make a lovely page in your journal. 🙂
I thought about doing that! 🙂 Hmmm . . . Project Don’t Journal has an interesting ring to it!
Great list!! Definitely something I’ll need to think about 🙂
Also, I nominated you for a Very Lovely Blog Award and the Inspiring Blogger Award, ’cause your creative explorations and your words and an awesome source of joy and inspiration to me 🙂 xo.
Awww, thanks so much! 🙂
don’t… stop reading C.B.’s blog because it’s always so inspiring! Thanks for the smiles today. 😀
Haha! You’re so sweet to say such a nice thing. 🙂
I’ll second that 🙂
But I like pink jelly beans! They can be grapefruit. Or tutti frutti. Or cotton candy! =)
Maybe I haven’t found the right brand. 😉 Lol!
You really expanded your list from Tuesday! I haven’t. I’m too focused on my “to do” list-like you, I have many. Don’t: forget to smile and laugh, be rude, skip dessert if you really want it, keep quiet if you have something to share, keep yourself in ignorance, hide your light, forget to play, squash your gifts, believe everything you see/hear/are told, get sucked into the media hype, allow others to make you feel insignificant/small/guilty/angry/worthless/unloved.
I had more than 10 minutes to think about what to put on my list! 😉
Love your list! And I agree with “don’t skip dessert.” Life is too short to miss out on a sweet treat.
Great post. Great list! I am with you on pink jellybeans – yuck!
Haha! Nice! 😉
Don’t worry about things I can’t control.
Don’t forget to water the garden.
Don’t overwater the garden
Don’t drive too fast.
Don’t be impatient.
Don’t judge to quickly.
Don’t be too serious.
Don’t stress over deadlines.
Don’t forget to look up at the world around me.
Don’t forget to read, write, and do art Everyday.
Don’t forget to spend time with your friends.
Fantastic list! 🙂
I think you had fun with this one.
I did. 🙂
Don’t forget to kiss your loved ones good night. Don’t forget they’re exaggerating when they tell you to jump in, the water is nice and warm!
Ha! The second one is classic! Love it. 🙂
Don’t forget to check my list. LOL (I’m a list maker, too) 🙂
Brilliant. I’m reblogging this.
Thanks so much for the re-blog! 🙂 Some of your wonderful readers have already stopped by.
Great to hear! Still laughing over pink jelly beans.
Its funny how one action can inspire so much. I was eating jelly beans when I scribbled the original list, when all of the sudden I tasted something gross. Those pink jelly beans are ninjas that attack when you least expect it.
Some feel the same way about black jelly beans but I like them!
Don’t second guess yourself.
………talk mean to yourself.
………believe “the checks is in the mail” or “I’m sterile.”
………buy it if it will fit once you “lose a few pounds.”
………walk past a dog you can pet and say hello to.
………miss seeing both the sunrise and the sunset on the same day.
………wait to tell someone that they matter to you.
………cast your pearls before swine.
………expect people to guess what it is you need. Ask them!
Wonderful list! 🙂 All of these are so wise.
I guess I’ll have to agree with Heart to Harp above. Top on my list: Don’t second-guess yourself. (I happen to be doing just that over these few days).
Maybe write this “don’t” down and pin it up where you’ll see it every day. 🙂
Reblogged this on Robin Coyle and commented:
My post tomorrow will be on lists. A different kind of list than what C.B. wrote about here, but this is great foreshadowing for my next blog post. C.B.’s list of “to-dont’s” is priceless. I agree. Stay away from pink jelly beans.
Can’t think of any that aren’t already on there. Quite a list!
I may have to journal on this topic a bit more – I keep coming up with new “don’ts.” 🙂
… write poetry
(I am very bad at keeping resolutions)
Good. I hope you keep breaking that “don’t.” 🙂
I love this!
Been struggling a lot..and this to-don’t (as @robincoyle put it) is very inspiring!
May you stay inspired! 🙂
Ha ha ha, brilliant! Lol
🙂 Its amazing how many things come to mind when you really think about it!
Love it! It was fun to play with this on my walk this morning.
Don’t be surprised when the hair stylist says he’s going to trim an inch and he takes off three
Don’t assume when I could ask
Don’t ignore the cat when he’s trying to tell me something
Don’t be late
Don’t try to keep up with the 23 year olds in yoga class
Don’t do it later when I could do it now
Don’t forget to follow up
Don’t take it personally
That last one is something I should add to my list. Thanks for posting your list – its very inspiring! 🙂
I LOVE lists but they are more in the ‘to do’ department. A few of my don’ts are:
—don’t stress over the small things
—don’t forget to butt out of my daughter’s life
—don’t forget to be happy
Lovely topic, this post. Thanks.
Great list! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!
I love this post! Most of your don’t are mine, but I would add “don’t go to your favorite stores if you don’t have any money”. Gets me in trouble every time. 🙂
Ah, that’s a good one. Bookstores are where I have to be careful. I can’t seem to stop buying books, (even when my shelves are more than full!)
What a great list, C.B.! 🙂 Really good… My addition to all this would be…
«don’t forget to give yourself a little time to ‘just sit around’ and think»
I’m fallen so behind on blogging/reading/commenting it ain’t funny! Trying to catch up now, the best I can..
Ooo, that’s a good one. I’m a busybody who forgets to give myself time to do nothing. 🙂
Wow, I love this list! I think I would reuse everything you have on my list, except I’d replace “custard filled doughnut” with “strawberry milkshake”. Otherwise, we are completely in sync.
I agree! A milkshake should never be passed up! 😉
Similar to one of yours, don’t ever say “I can’t”.
That phrase is something I refuse to say! 😉
It’s one of my rules in my classroom. My kids are not allowed to say “I can’t”.
I love that! 🙂 I may have to add that my list of classroom rules!
don’t…get so far behind in reading your favorite blogs, you’ll miss some really cool posts (like this one – thanks!)
I’m two days behind thanks to taking a vacation! Lol! 😉