Unlisted Number

The thing is, I’m a list maker by nature. I can’t get anything done unless I first write it on a line of my steno pad, followed, on the next line, by some other thing that needs doing. If it’s a very big task I might even break it up into smaller steps in my steno pad, so that I can have the satisfaction of crossing off more things. It also makes the whole project less daunting, if I can just do the first little part today, and maybe the next part tomorrow.

But right now I find I am unable to make a list, or even to pull my steno pad out of my backpack and contemplate a fresh page of lines waiting to be filled with pre-accomplished items. What is stopping me, I do not know. The steno pad is right there in my pack. I have pens and pencils in the front pocket. I don’t have to leave Starbucks to retrieve Little Bit from her karate class for another half hour. Yet here I am, typing about writing (or not writing) a list rather than writing one.

Perhaps there is an especially unpleasant chore I am dodging by not listing it? Let’s face it, they are all unpleasant chores. There’s insurance paperwork to fill out and dental appointments to make. There are tires to be rotated and oil to change. (More appointments. I assure you, I will not be rotating the tires myself.) I can type these things but that doesn’t count. And anyway, I can still dodge something especially onerous even if I list it. It just never gets crossed off. It does bother me, to have uncrossed items on my list, but I can hack it. I’m tough like that.

Maybe it would help if I listed things I want to do in addition to the annoying but necessary small jobs of life. Like this:

Find insurance paperwork
Eat ice cream
Fill out insurance paperwork
Go to bed

I guess that’s a more enticing to-do list than it would be without ice cream and jammies, but eh. I don’t always complete my listed tasks in order, so I might very well eat ice cream and go to bed while putting off the insurance paperwork until another day. Or year.

Well, screw it. I’m going to pick up my daughter and take her home and go to bed. I don’t even want the damn ice cream. Maybe I’ll eat it tomorrow.


2 thoughts on “Unlisted Number

  1. I try to avoid days where everything on my list is extremely unpleasant. Sometimes it can’t be avoided. When that happens I try to add in, “get pedicure,” or “take hot bath from 7 to 8 with door locked so I can read in peace while kids are still out of bed.” Or “walk in bird sanctuary.” I have a whole bunch of unpleasant to-dos on my list right now, and some of them are the same as yours.

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