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Inspirational Short Stories, Issue #012 -- The List
December 15, 2015

The List

The Holidays are near. And as always, people are running around the stores with tight faces, stressed because there is too much to do, holding little notes or longer lists either in their hands or their mobile devices. What to buy and to whom.

With time I have begun to care less about “stuff”. If someone gives me a present, I prefer something I can wear (a pair of warm socks), read (a book is the best present in my opinion) or eat (don’t get me started on chocolate…) – something that isn’t pushed to the back of a closet when you have no use for it. At one point you realize that too many things around you are a cause of stress too – physical clutter clutters the mind as well.

I made a list myself, what to buy as presents to my loved ones – without cluttering their homes with unnecessary things. And then my husband asked if I could make a list for him of what I wanted. (We don’t buy many presents, but the above mentioned three are a given, so he doesn’t really need a list. But still, he always asks for it - probably lessens his stress. )

I began to wonder what would I put on my list, feeling somewhat stressed about the whole thing. I am in the middle of formatting my book for eBook publication and at this point I am so short of time I feel quite inadequate. So many things I would need to do to get the book published at the end of January, and get the free copies to those who have signed up (in exchange for a review on its publication date), so little time to do them. Asking for that list from me made me feel… well, not good enough because I am no superwoman and there are only so many hours in a day. Silly, I know. But that’s how the mind works – reminds you constantly of what you haven’t yet done, not letting you enjoy on the things you have already accomplished. Unless you recognize that is happening and do something to stop it.

And this gave me a new list idea. What if we gave ourselves a list as a gift during the Holidays? And not just any list but one that would tackle the feeling on inadequacy and the need to super-perform?

How about trying this list: write down all the things you are good at. All the things you have accomplished. And all the adversities you have conquered.

It could be you cannot remember anything at first, but slowly you begin to remember these things. Keep a notebook or a piece of paper and a pen with you and write them down. You can make a computer file of this list if you wish, or write them in a notebook or a calendar. And when it feels the world is demanding too many things from you, sit down and read your list. It relaxes your mind.

You have achieved many important things. Reflect the things that are pressuring you right now, and ask yourself would they be worthy enough to make it to your list. If not, ask yourself is it necessary for you to continue doing them. Could someone else do them instead? Or are you at crossroads where you are ready to say no to things that are demanded of you, things that don’t give you that feeling of expansion and joy while you do them?

I’ll get back to my formatting job now – I sat down and concentrated on my feelings about this coming book, and felt happy and eager and joyful for finally accomplishing a dream I’ve had since childhood: publishing a book. Other things I can swipe off my to-do-list, but this book stays. And the books that will come in the future.

So make your Already Accomplished List of things that give a feeling of joy to you. Concentrate what brings you joy now, and be selfish enough to say no to things that do not make your life better. Most likely your feeling of stress will diminish a lot when you don't feel angry at things that are stealing time from the things you would like to do.

And if you wish to read my book for free, sign up for it here: leenamaria nephilim quest

Happy Holidays!


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Leena Maria is an Egyptologist and a writer. On Inspirational Short stories she writes inspirational short stories that uplift the reader. You will find her stories and positive attitude tips at and information about her books and writing process at

This article was first published in Inspirational Short Stories newsletter.

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