Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

November 15, 2016

The Other List

The Other List by Aaron Burden

Words: Suzanne Walcher
Photo credit: Aaron Burden



“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” — Socrates



Preparing for a trip recently, I found myself overwhelmed with an especially long to-do list.



As I plowed through each task, diligently checking off the completed items, it suddenly occurred to me that many activities I consider essential — the kind that make my heart glad — never get jotted down the way that stop the mail or water the plants do.



So for fun, and as a break from the more mundane jobs I was tackling, I turned over the to-dos, and on the other side of the paper, created The Other List.



  • Kiss my husband. [Repeat!]


  • Dab some lavender oil on my wrists, pausing to rub them together and inhale the soothing scent.


  • Cuddle my dog, my faithful companion who gratefully leans in when I slow down and hold her close.


  • Spend five minutes stretching.


  • Send an I am thinking of you text to a friend.


  • Light a favorite candle….or two or three.


  • Laugh with my kids. [I listed this twice.]


  • Turn on some music. Sing….loudly!



I’ll admit that yes, sadly, there are days when these simple, wonderful things do not happen amongst all of the ceaseless to-dos. Regularly consulting The Other List as I tackled my ordinary docket of chores, anticipating both the action and the ticking off of each sweet entry, brought me immense satisfaction.



It also helped me to ensure that another day did not slip away where I hadn’t taken the time to …
















Or appreciate the many, many small joys of our human journey.



Socrates, wise man that you were, I’m listening.



Will you join me?



Suzanne Walcher’s busy Midwest life includes her husband, two children and sweet Gracie dog.  Besides writing to-do lists, she shares her thoughts at, capturing moments that are beautiful, ordinary and often, in between.



Tell us, what will you write on your Other List?

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Comments ( 11 )

  1. Diana Foster

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Truly coming to visit Bella Grace for inspiration.

  2. Susan

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I have a Thanksgiving to-do list a mile long, but I am starting my Other List right now!

  3. Tisa Hosford

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Rolled my hand into a fist, then popped up a finger for each–sing-cuddle-laugh-kiss-stretch–when my whole hand is open, there’s your last one–LOVE. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Suzanne

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I am so happy that you found
    inspiration here, Diana! Thank
    you for your sweet words!

    xo Suzanne

  5. Suzanne

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    That’s the spirit, Susan!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    xo Suzanne

  6. Suzanne

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Tisa, your comment really
    made my heart sing! I love
    how you grabbed each idea
    with your one sweet hand : )

    xo Suzanne

  7. Paula Turenne Molnau

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you for this.
    As I am trying to become organized in an effort to be a list writer (I tend to have the lists in my head-where they swim in an order of their own); this was timely to also include these in my lists!

  8. Linda Dresselhaus

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    So lovely! I think “the other list” should be the important list each day, the rest is busy stuff! Thank you for the sweet inspiration, Suzanne!

  9. Suzanne

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Paula, start with a short “Other
    List” and soon you’ll be addicted!
    Good luck!!

    xo Suzanne

  10. Suzanne

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    It’s always a balance, isn’t it
    Linda? But I love the idea of
    starting with an item on this
    list, first : ) Thank you for your
    sweet thoughts!

    xo Suzanne

  11. Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I’ve created ‘other’ lists too, but not nearly often enough. Thanks for a beautiful pause in my day.

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