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Your "Other" To Do List

Dear Friends of Camino NS,

From junior high all the way through our retirement years, we humans just can’t escape to-do lists. We’re busy - and we have a jumble of different commitments, obligations, and goals. How we handle these lists varies a lot by personality!

Some of us keep spreadsheets. Creative organised types might have colour-coded bullet journals. Creative less-organised types might have a leatherbound journal that’s half “buy eggs,” “write to Aunt Sylvia,” and half poetry. Some of us are the multi-list types with scraps of paper everywhere--on the fridge, in the car, and floating around our purses. Tech-savvy folks might use our Outlook calendars, or text ourselves voice memos. And a few of us, to the consternation of our more organised partners, just keep track of it all in our noggins (with varying degrees of success). Our lists remind us when things are due, what we’re running out of, whose birthday is coming up, which gifts we haven’t bought yet, when the power bill comes out of the chequing account, and a million other day-to-day immediate and longer-term tasks.

As a pilgrim, I’m always aware of the “OTHER” to-do list. This Other To-Do List has no due-date. It isn’t for any boss or teacher, and can’t be remedied at the grocery store or bank. It’s the list of BIGGER questions we might not even know we have. The Other To-Do List gets pushed to the back burner when life is busy. But if we make time for something outside of normal time, such as a retreat or a walking pilgrimage, it finds its way to the surface.

  • How can I forgive this person? Should I forgive this person?

  • When will my grief subside? What if it never subsides?

  • When was the last time I felt really inspired? How can I get that feeling back?

  • I am so unhappy in my job. Should I stick it out or find something new?

  • What are my biggest life priorities?

  • What are my unique talents?

  • If I passed away tomorrow, what would I regret? What would I be proud of? How can I do less of the former and more of the latter?

If you’re coming along on one of our pilgrimages this summer or fall, I invite you to think about what might be on your Other To-do List! What would you like to get out of your few days outside regular time? Most of the hard work of pilgrimage comes not from your feet, but your heart, mind, and spirit! And just like the outward work of walking can be as enjoyable as it is challenging, so with the inner work of a walk. Before becoming Director of Camino NS, I made a documentary about the pilgrims on one of the world’s best-known pilgrimage routes, the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I simply asked the walkers, “Why are you doing this?” and documented their answers. I invite you to watch it online HERE (it’s free) for inspiration as to why you might want to try a pilgrimage. Whether you know exactly what’s on your Other To-Do List, or you have no idea what might arise upon reflection, you don’t have to go all the way to Spain to find out! Why not come walk with us on one of our local Caminos this year?

There are just a few spaces left on each! Matthew PS. For you walkers already signed up - more details on the pilgrimages coming shortly! (And many thanks to local Camino walker Brent King for the text below, created during Camino Nova Scotia's Walking and Creating Weekend this spring)

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