I have a confession to make: I have never seen The Godfather movies. This might not seem like much, but do you know how many cultural references involve knowing these movies? A ton! I have pretended to get these references for more years than I care to admit. Seems like an easy thing to fix, right? Just watch them. Well, easier said than done! They sit at the top of my Netflix list, but I just keep skipping over them. I’ve even tried planning a movie party to watch them with friends, but everyone else had already seen these films, so the group decided to watch something else (and I couldn’t actually admit that I hadn’t seen them – I’ve been chiming in on the references all along, what would people think?!?!) So there The Godfather sits – weighing down my To Do list – week after week, month after month, year after year. Is the world going to end if I never see these movies? No. Will my friends and family disown me if I admit that I’ve been lying? Of course not. But what does happen is that every time I look at my list, I feel a little bit like a failure. I may have checked ten items off that list in a day, but there’s that unwatched Godfather, taunting me with my inability to finish everything perfectly.
We all have a “Godfather” – maybe it’s that book you’ve always wanted to write or the scarf you’ve wanted to knit or the perfectly roasted chicken you’ve wanted to perfect. These items scream louder than any of the positive cheers for what you’ve actually accomplished and fill you with concern that you are just not doing enough with your life. I’m starting to believe if I’ve procrastinated something on my list for too long, it’s probably because I don’t truly care if I do it, but I’ve convinced myself that I should or that I have to or that everybody else thinks it’s a good idea, so I will too. When the truth is, I don’t really care if I ever see The Godfather movies and maybe you don’t really want to write a book, but everyone has always told you that you should, so you put it on the list and tell yourself that it’s something you want too.
So, I have a challenge for us all. I challenge us to take that depressing and destructive little hitchhiker off of our To Do lists. Just cross that puppy off and don’t look back. Then, and here’s the hard part, do not feel guilty about it. Choose instead to proudly say at a party, “You know, I’ve never seen that movie” or “I never make my bed in the morning and I feel fine about that!” We’re told to share our goals with someone else to help motivate ourselves to accomplish them, but I’d like to hear what you’re proud of NOT doing. I want to know what you’ve decided is not vital for your life, even though the rest of the world or advertising agencies or your mother may not agree. Without that Godfather guilt weighing me down, I have a feeling I’ll procrastinate looking at my list of things to do today a whole lot less. There won’t be anything I’m dreading to see on there and I can fill that available space with something I actually have the heart and desire to do. And maybe, now that it’s not something I have told myself I have to do, maybe the next time I see The Godfather is on TV and I have a few hours to spare, maybe my heart will choose to watch it . . . maybe.
Post authored by Erin Jerozal