the one where I pick a fight with my to-do list

Friday, August 16, 2013

Every weekend, I make a to do list.

It always includes the basics of a Type A working mom's life:  laundry, cleaning, planning the menu for the week, grocery store.  It usually includes some aspirational me time:  yoga?; pedicure? (These are always accompanied by a question mark because I know, deep down, they are unlikely.)  And it usually includes like a dozen other things that I can't recall but seem very important to me at the time the Type A-ness washes over me and the list-making begins.

In other words, it's always far too long.  

Never mind that from Monday through Friday, I have no less than 10 separate to do lists with multiple tasks in them blinking at me from the wonderful (pun) app that is Wunderlist.  Never mind that.

No, my weekend lists are different.  They're old school -- on paper, in pen.  They sit on the kitchen counter all weekend as I go back and forth past them in my rush hours of doing.  They make me happy when I cross items off, but then, somewhere around lunchtime on Sunday, they start making me sad.  Because they are un-doable.  Un-finishable.

I've been this way for a long time.  Over-planner.  Poor manager of my own time.  Exceedingly ambitious. List-maker extraordinaire.

In fact, once, in a law school class that shall not be named, I wrote and wrote through the entire class with a determined and thoughtful look on my face.  (For most of law school, I was a dinosaur and hand-wrote my notes and exams rather than using a laptop.)  

One of my classmates asked me after, "How on earth did you pay attention and take all those notes?  That was SO BORING!"

I blithely responded with the truth.   "I wasn't paying attention.  I was making to do lists for every area of my life."

He roared with laughter (and relief, because law school is nothing if not competitive) and walked off.

The Interwebz are awash with articles about unplugging.  Don't look at your phone all weekend, they say.  Be present in the moments, they say.  Don't clean so much, they say.

And for the most part, they are totally right.  (I'll ignore the obvious paradox of using the Internet or even Facebook medium to communicate this to an audience of clicking multi-taskers.)

I still do need to clean a little this weekend, because if I don't, the dog hair will adversely possess my house.  And I do need to buy groceries.  A pedicure would be nice, but you know what else would be nice?  A trip to Starbucks with Jack, where he eats a scone and we talk about what he wants to be for Halloween.  A nap when Jack naps.  (What?!  I know; crazy talk.)  A run before it's 104, while the guys are still sleeping.  All of those things would be fantastic.

So, you know, I think that's my to do list for this weekend.  It can't go any worse than the ones I usually make.  And regardless of how much I finish, it won't make me sad.  Which is pretty cool.

Hope you reevaluate your list today.

Talk soon,
Heather

5 comments:

  1. And this is why we are internet buddies, and maybe someday buddies IRL. :) I, too, am a list-maker and an overplanner, and hardly ever accomplish everything I'd like to do in a weekend (or weekday, for that matter). It's hard to let it go and just live in the moment, but I'm looking forward to a trip to the zoo tomorrow in lieu of finishing a house project that's been half-done for months.

    Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup. We are totally alike! :) So excited you guys are going to the zoo! Hoping for pics... Are you on IG?

      Delete
  2. Sounds like a carbon copy of my own life! I also make piles of things to go through that just keep growing...arghh!! :-) Miss you my friend! Hope all is well in Austinworld.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's reassuring, somehow, to know that birds of a Type A feather flock together. Or something. We're doing great! Miss you, too!

      Delete
  3. The un-crossed-off list on the kitchen counter on a Sunday afternoon is all too familiar! Inevitably I am cramming all chores into Sunday night and it is no fun. By the looks of our house, though, you would be able to tell I've skipped a lot of cleaning! Hope this weekend can bring you some fun and relaxation!

    ReplyDelete

Friday, August 16, 2013

the one where I pick a fight with my to-do list

Every weekend, I make a to do list.

It always includes the basics of a Type A working mom's life:  laundry, cleaning, planning the menu for the week, grocery store.  It usually includes some aspirational me time:  yoga?; pedicure? (These are always accompanied by a question mark because I know, deep down, they are unlikely.)  And it usually includes like a dozen other things that I can't recall but seem very important to me at the time the Type A-ness washes over me and the list-making begins.

In other words, it's always far too long.  

Never mind that from Monday through Friday, I have no less than 10 separate to do lists with multiple tasks in them blinking at me from the wonderful (pun) app that is Wunderlist.  Never mind that.

No, my weekend lists are different.  They're old school -- on paper, in pen.  They sit on the kitchen counter all weekend as I go back and forth past them in my rush hours of doing.  They make me happy when I cross items off, but then, somewhere around lunchtime on Sunday, they start making me sad.  Because they are un-doable.  Un-finishable.

I've been this way for a long time.  Over-planner.  Poor manager of my own time.  Exceedingly ambitious. List-maker extraordinaire.

In fact, once, in a law school class that shall not be named, I wrote and wrote through the entire class with a determined and thoughtful look on my face.  (For most of law school, I was a dinosaur and hand-wrote my notes and exams rather than using a laptop.)  

One of my classmates asked me after, "How on earth did you pay attention and take all those notes?  That was SO BORING!"

I blithely responded with the truth.   "I wasn't paying attention.  I was making to do lists for every area of my life."

He roared with laughter (and relief, because law school is nothing if not competitive) and walked off.

The Interwebz are awash with articles about unplugging.  Don't look at your phone all weekend, they say.  Be present in the moments, they say.  Don't clean so much, they say.

And for the most part, they are totally right.  (I'll ignore the obvious paradox of using the Internet or even Facebook medium to communicate this to an audience of clicking multi-taskers.)

I still do need to clean a little this weekend, because if I don't, the dog hair will adversely possess my house.  And I do need to buy groceries.  A pedicure would be nice, but you know what else would be nice?  A trip to Starbucks with Jack, where he eats a scone and we talk about what he wants to be for Halloween.  A nap when Jack naps.  (What?!  I know; crazy talk.)  A run before it's 104, while the guys are still sleeping.  All of those things would be fantastic.

So, you know, I think that's my to do list for this weekend.  It can't go any worse than the ones I usually make.  And regardless of how much I finish, it won't make me sad.  Which is pretty cool.

Hope you reevaluate your list today.

Talk soon,
Heather
 
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