a funny thing about making lists inside the house. And basically,
the joke involves needing to add make-a-list as an item on the
to-do list but consistently forgetting to write it down.
quite a joke… not quite funny ha-ha… but funny in the general
nod of agreement and understanding the thought generates. If there’s
nothing handy to write on, it’s way too easy to convince yourself
you’ll remember (only to be frustrated later by remembering there
was something you needed to remember but you can’t remember it).
like lists match up quite nicely with good intentions… everyone
seems to agree they have their place, provided that don’t prove
problematic. A list for the grocery store? Absolutely. Writing
tools on the counter, begin opening the fridge and cabinets to
go over things, and have at it. Get out of the chair just to write
down a reminder for butter or to call mom? Nah. We pretty much
all decide that we’ll remember the butter when the time comes.
then we don’t.
I’m no stranger to lists in several forms. For years, I’ve been
subjected to some version of a honey-do list. I’ve also tried
to map out a day of adventures when planning something like a
shopping trip that involves a long drive… sort of a “well, if
we’re driving up to fill-in-the-blank-city, while we’re there
we should fill-in-the-blank-errand” reminder when it would prove
incredibly aggravating or inconvenient to return home without
me, the ultimate acceptance of needing lists occurred a few weeks
ago when working on some things around the house. The problem
that tipped the scales involved focus… as I was spinning wildly
out of control moving from one thing to the next without completing
much of anything.
day started out with some projects lined up that seemed to be
easy enough. I was going to do some work outside, checking an
electrical outlet and looking at the gutters. There were a couple
of phone calls I needed to make to follow up on some things. And
I also needed to grab a few items at the store so I could make
dinner. Quick cup of coffee, and the day began…
the garage, I went to grab the ladder so I could work on the gutters,
and I saw an empty gas can. I was planning one last run with the
lawn mower later that week, and also wanted to have some on hand
for the snow blower and inevitable arrival of snow that was almost
certainly approaching far sooner than I wanted to believe. With
that run to the store planned a bit later that morning, I moved
the gas can near the door of the garage so I would have it when
I went for groceries.
outside, I found it warmer than I was expecting. In addition to
ditching the sweatshirt I had on, I thought it might be nice to
get one more load of laundry dried on the line. But, the days
were already significantly shorter, so that idea only made sense
if I got the laundry done right away.
than leading you through a long narrative, we can wrap things
up with a nice summary: I did fix the outlet, but had to go out
twice when I forgot the grocery list the first time in my rush
to fetch a new GFCI outlet to replace the old one. I managed to
forget the empty gas can twice because I went to the car from
a different door than I normally do, and, I think the laundry
I put in may still be in the washer since I never did remember
to put it on the line.
weird part is that none of these chores really required much of
a list. (Well, except the groceries. Different list.) But as a
whole they are a really good demonstration of how I manage to
get distracted while attacking projects. One minute I’m reaching
for a ladder and picking up a gas can instead, and a few hours
later I’m kicking myself for again forgetting the gas can that
hadn’t even been on my radar while rinsing out a coffee mug earlier
had all sorts of other examples lined up to include in this essay,
some of which I think would have been even more impressive in
support of my point, and… yeah… I never wrote any of them down.
And therein lies my problem.
a combination of believing something is so good, obvious or important
that I couldn’t possibly forget it, and in some fashion becoming
distracted for long enough that I indeed forget it. And since
I’m unfortunately blessed with a really good memory for most things,
no matter how many things I forget to do I keep convincing myself
that those moments are exceptions.
times are changing though.
morning I had to go out, realized I could use some loose change
on my errands, and while walking literally fifteen feet from grabbing
my cars keys to the jar with the change in it I forgot why I was
walking across the kitchen.
amazing happened during the walk. There is no good excuse. I simply
realized I could use about fifty-cents or so, turned, picked up
my keys from the counter, started walking, and by the time I was
passing the kitchen table I was asking myself “Why did I come
over here?” and wondering if I was just in the wrong spot and
had forgotten to put something back in the fridge.
so, it’s time.
used to laugh at Terry. She had bought a few sets of reading glasses
and placed them in various spots around the house. With the bills…
next to the chair she usually sits in while watching television…
near the computer… in the door on the passenger side of the car…
and a few other spots including in her purse. She has a total
of eight pairs stashed around the house. And when one pair has
been misplaced or broken, she has been known to pick up two pairs
as a replacement.
more laughing though. I need to grab some pens and a few pads
of paper. I need to place them around the house. And I need to
write things down.
should make me more efficient. Might even nudge me into writing
more often if I can get into the habit of jotting out a few notes
about some thoughts I have for possible projects. I just wonder
if I need to add a line onto each list reminding to check all
of the other notepads. (And maybe make a list to remind me where
the pads are.)