“What’ll it be?”  I said, “The good stuff.”  He didn’t reach around for the whiskey.    He didn’t pour me a beer.  His blue eyes kinda went misty.  He said, “You can’t find that here…”

“The Good Stuff.”

I’ve always loved this Kenny Chesney song.  It’s something of an anthem for me, doing what I do.  You know, helping people dig out of the C.R.A.P. so they have the time, space and energy for the good stuff in life.  I have to tell you though, I recently found out the background behind the song and it made me love it even more.   Jim Collins and Craig Wiseman, writers at BMG, penned it after the office security guard’s wife passed away from cancer.  That makes it all the more special to me, knowing there’s a real person behind it.

Whether you’re familiar with that tune or not, I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all wish we could spend more time on the good stuff.   There just aren’t enough hours, aren’t enough days. Life is FULL.  Overflowing! And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it sure does make it hard to fit everything in.  The “have to’s” AND the “want to’s”.  I know a lot of us put the “have to’s” first because that’s what being an adult is all about, right?  Laundry and cleaning up the kitchen and getting person A to point B by x o’clock.  Staying late at work or going in early to finish a project.  Paying bills.  Getting the oil changed.   Making sure your kids aren’t the stinky ones at school.  The gym.

See, I think that approach is all wrong.  I think we’ve gotten mixed up in our priorities.  Instead of putting the good stuff off until we “have time” or “get around to it”, we need to build it into our day on a somewhat regular basis.  And not this fake good stuff.  Not mindless time-wasters.  I mean the REAL good stuff. The stuff that recharges our batteries and refills our cups. We need to purposely step off of the hamster wheel of daily life and take care of our golden goose.  (Just so you know, your golden goose is YOU.  I learned that from my self-care guru, Elizabeth Barbour.  You should totally check her out!)

You’re probably nodding along right now.  Maybe whispering the occasional “amen” but you’re also skeptical, right?  How are you supposed to build in the time to make room for the good stuff when you barely have time to take a shower?

I propose we make a list.  That’s right, A. LIST.  A list of stuff we consider “the good stuff”. The purpose of the list is three-fold.  You ready?

1.  It will force you to figure out what your good stuff is.  Like, you’ll actually have to THINK ABOUT IT.  If you don’t know what your good stuff is then what’s the point?  Why are you working so hard?  What are you working towards?

2.  You can use it as reference.  You know you’ve found yourself with free time on your hands and absolutely no idea how to spend it.  The list will keep you from wasting your time on something that isn’t gonna refill your cup.  Instead of thinking “Damn.  I have some free time.  Am I forgetting something?  Lemme sit here on the couch and play Candy Crush for two hours while I zone out.” you’ll think “Oh!  Two hours!  What do I wanna do? Lemme check my list!”.

3. It will serve as a reminder of what’s important to you.  Of who you are on the inside. Even if you don’t get to DO anything on it that day.  We all have those times when we feel like we’re nothing more than the sum of our daily activities.  You know what I’m talking about.  You wake up to a kitten who stepped in his own poo and spend the first half hour of your day trying to get it out of his fur.  (Yup, that was me this morning.) You had to physically pull your children off of each other because “HE LOOKED AT ME!” before you had coffee. You dropped your phone in the toilet at work.  The underwire in your bra busted.  That asshole at the gym hogs the squat rack to do bicep curls.  The same asshole guy always brushes his teeth naked in the locker room.  It’s like at the end of the day, as you drown your sorrows in expired orange juice while wishing you had a barrel of Jagermeister, you lament “IS THIS MY LIFE? IS THIS WHO I AM NOW?”  This list will remind you that no, you’re not just the sum of your daily activities.  That though life IS crazy, you’re still much, MUCH more.

So what do you think?  You up for makin’ that list?

Here’s a little something to get you started! And one I’m working on myself!

good stuff

good stuff my examples