I’m a list-maker. To-do lists. Shopping lists. Priority lists. Lists of favorite foods. Lists of “Grooves.” You name it; I’ll make a list for it.

This morning, I was sitting in my “home office” (the dining room table) going over my most recent list – a “priority list” of projects coming up at work. My 7 and 10-year old sons were in the kitchen making microwave bacon and pouring some orange juice for breakfast.living_by_lists

I paused.

“Simon… C’meer…” I called to my oldest boy. He walked around the corner, still wearing his “pajamas” (underwear and nothing else), and stood there, sleepy-eyed.

“Yeah, dad?” he muttered.

“Whatch’a wanna’ do today, Bub?”

He looked at the table. He looked at the piles of papers, the pens, notes, portfolios, sketchbooks, and finally to the list.

“You gotta’ work?” he asked. Which I interpreted as, “What does it matter, you’re not going to be involved…”

Then, I followed his gaze. I looked at the table. I looked at the piles of papers, the pens, notes, portfolios, sketchbooks, and finally to the list I was making.

For a Sunday, the list was long. It had over 15 items on it, not necessarily “Hot” jobs, per-se, but all projects that I “Needed” to get done. Case Studies, Web site drafts, collateral graphics, site reviews / updates, e-mails, blog posts… all things on my list, but nowhere on the list was “Play with the kids.”

So, I looked up at Simon and said, “Ya’ know what I do?”

“Graphic design?” he said.

“Yup… That’s pretty much sums it up.” I said calmly, almost embarrassed. Then, I smiled and poked him in the belly, saying, “It’s not like I’m a Fireman or anything. I don’t rescue kittens from trees. I don’t save lives…”

“Yeah, dad, but you save people from dying of humiliation.”



What do you do when you’re not rescuing kittens from trees? What do you do when you’re not saving lives? Can it wait for those that matter more than the next item on the list?

I live my life by lists. I make lists for everything. Today the list has only one item on it. “Play with the kids.”

Keep Cooking (Time for those that matter most)!
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef
The Clark Kids’ Dad 🙂

  1. When you are your own boss and spend the majority of your day immersed in social media it is difficult to let go of “to do” lists and thoughts of “I could be doing…” But I completely get this post. As I deal in a travel niche it is difficult for me to stop being a travel writer and just enjoy being with my family. Great reminder.

    • Hi Jody!

      I can feel your pain… while I’m not “working from home” so-to-speak; the work I do I tend to bring home just so I can be “In proximity” with the family. A lot of it could be time management issues on my part, but at least I have understanding clients that don’t mind emails at 10pm… 🙂

      Have a great night, and a FANTASTIC week!

      Keep Cooking!
      Andrew B. Clark
      The Brand Chef

  2. Awesome!