(Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash)
As a reasonably organized person, I enjoy the sweet, sweet joy of crossing out things/tasks accomplished. I’ll often add a couple of frivolous items just for the satisfaction of checking them off the list a few minutes later. And this show of planning makes me feel more like a functioning adult. I’m still not sure if I filed my taxes correctly, but the fridge is stocked, the kids are done with their dentist visits, and I’m caught up on laundry + chores. I’ve also been writing every day, keeping fit, and remembering to floss at night. Hey, at this point, my self-esteem is at an all-time high.
Until I looked at my phone closely. Hidden under the rubble of random notes was a list titled, “Yuck, but someone’s gotta do it.”
I clicked on it with a sinking feeling, and yes, it was an inventory of tedious tasks. Stuff like scheduling my annual ObGyn visit (all calls always go to voicemail, and then we play phone tag while leaving increasingly curt messages.) And it got worse from that point on. Calling the insurance company about an old claim, checking on the amazon bank statement, shopping for a new shoe rack, getting an old leather jacket fixed, jewelry cleaning, replacing all the vent filters, backyard stuff. Now, these are examples. The actual items are far more tiresome.
But someone’s gotta do it.
So I put on some music, slid into comfy slippers, and got down to it. Sighed and groaned, snorted and whined. Felt sorry for myself and eyed my kid’s candy stash more than once. But I kept working and crossing off things on the list. My playlist looped twice, and finally, I was done.
The weird thing is once I got past the initial gut-clenching stress, the whole list took me roughly 2.5 hours to finish. I felt equal parts pride and guilt, plus a sneaky suspicion I was acting like a giant baby. I’ll be forty in two years, and I do not want to step into middle age with any trace of immaturity.
I promised myself I wouldn’t put stuff off again. Ever. No siree! Not me. I shook my head, tied up my hair, and enjoyed the warmth that only self-righteousness can bring. Picked up my phone to add a note — “Begin each day with coffee and a game plan. You got this, babe!”
The old to-do list stared at me. Smugly I crossed off each item and deleted the whole damn thing. Ha! Take that procrastination! You’re my bitc —
The following note had popped up on my screen. Dated almost 8 months ago and titled, “Even more godawful stuff, but please do them or else you’ll hate yourself.” I blinked and scrolled down the list. Words like “assemble” and “clean,” and “call back” jumped out at me. Semi important, dull things that shouldn’t be ignored because they’ll haunt me later.
I took in a long breath, digging deep for some semblance of positivity. “You got this,” I hissed. “Don’t think, just get to working on the list.” I mean, someone’s gotta do it, right?
Maybe later, though. Tomorrow or next week. Lists are overrated, anyway.
Now, where’s that candy?