Friday, May 6, 2011

The List

I am a To Do List junkie. At our rehearsal dinner, G's brothers and friends sang his praises and generally impressed everyone with what a fabulous and caring guy he is. My friends and family went for the "roast the bride" angle on rehearsal dinner toasts and speeches, and they made sure G was well aware of some of my chief foibles before he said "I do" the next day. Near the top of the list: my lists. Yes, plural. I think they gave G some post it notes, and I don't remember if a white board was involved or not...
 I don't actually have a list of lists, but I don't think it would surprise anyone who knows me well if I did.
I come by my need for lists honestly. I am a recovering over-achiever, and even back in my high school days I had enough irons in the fire to necessitate an "external brain" - a piece of college-ruled notebook paper with two columns to a side full of homework, projects, papers and other things I needed not to forget.
During my college years, recognizing that I needed to begin each day with a sense of accomplishment, thinks like "eat breakfast" and "shower" were at the top of each day's list. And most days, they got crossed off. I discovered I am not above adding something to the list after it's been finished, just to have the joy of crossing something off.
These days, there's usually a list for the week, from Tuesday - Monday, since we take Mondays off at our house. It's not on notebook paper anymore, it's a typed list. And it's color coded, in four sections. The first is stuff to do at work. The second is stuff to do at work that I know there's no way I'll get to THIS week, but which ought not be forgotten. The third section is full of tasks to do at home. And the fourth is like the second - things that I know I won't get around to any time soon, but that I need to keep on my radar.
There are many tasks that are on the list every week (like update the congregation's website, prepare for teaching Confirmation, etc.). And some that only appear a couple times a year (send mother's day cards, pick up steer manure to mix into raised bed, mix in steer manure, etc.).
The bummer is, this week I never managed to actually modify and print the list. I have that sinking feeling I'm forgetting a few things...
I'm enjoying poking around in this post about to-do lists over at Unclutterer. Perhaps it's time for an overhaul. And maybe I'll feel better with shorter lists.

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