Mental to-do list items keep me grounded

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readFeb 20, 2022
Photo by Patrick König on Unsplash

There are certain habits, specific rituals that we have all to go through each day. When we skip out on them we feel like our day is not complete.

For me, the list is getting longer as I get older. It used to be something as simple as my morning cup of black coffee. I would make it at home, or pick it up at the McDonald’s drive-thru. If that didn’t happen, I’d stop by one of my colleague’s work offices to see what they had brewing. They are always willing to share.

Not much of the morning would pass before I’d have a cup of joe to feel like the day was going to be a good one. Now, for some reason, life is a little more rigid, a little more scheduled and there seems more to do on my to-do list.

It’s not the kind of to-do list that is filled with work deadlines or house chores. It’s a basic-life-necessities to-do list. You don’t find it sloppily written on a note paper or as a reminder on your phone calendar. It’s all in your mind. Only you know the items on it and only you know how important they are to you.

Morning coffee, one black cup for me, is on most of our mental to-do lists. For me, there’s also music, cat time, a game of Wordle, a 30-minute walk, reading a chapter of one of those books I started and didn’t finish, and watching or listening to the news before I go to bed.

All these things are on my mental to-do list. Most of them don’t happen at a specific time and no one is pressuring me to do them. I won’t get fired if I don’t get them done and the world will go on without me if I miss out on a few of them. Yet, they are important to me and necessary.

Having personal time for the little things in life is important for survival. Without those small moments of your own reality, life feels a little harder, less enjoyable to get through. When you go up to someone and they seem off-balance, maybe a bit grumpy, you know they aren’t focusing on completing their mental to-do lists.

I know because I become less of a people person after a day or two of skipping out on listening to my 70s lite rock music playlist. The…

Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.