Lists

Week 73

Lists

I’m a little off, thanks to the holidays and a lot of changes in schedules, etc. at home.Time with family, especially aging family is precious. Time with loved ones may not celebrate Thanksgiving with us next year is doubly so. But The World does not stay still while that precious time comes and goes. The work piles up. Sometimes it doubles and I always find the list to make up and carry on quite intimidating.

And a little disorienting. I need to make a List.

I admit it. I make lists. Constantly. Usually, I write lists when I am waiting for someone: students, my dear husband, my children, doctors. Especially doctors; I’m too fast approaching the age when I will spend half my waking time waiting for doctors.Their waiting rooms and the additional purgatory of waiting in the “office,” in a dressing gown with or without underwear on a chilly exam table, is a really good time to make lists. I make lists on any paper I can get pencil to, simply to keep my head clear. I make lists of lists. I lose those lists and then rewrite them a little differently. Then I find the original list. And I edit both lists into another list and do all but staple the third list to my hand to make sure I have it when I get to work on the items.

Now, there are those who say this is a sign of organized thinking, this almost compulsive list-making. I wonder how writing, losing, rewriting and editing fit that description, but I’ll go with it. I’ll work with them. They go on to instruct that each item should have a time-expense allotted and duly noted next to the item to indicate exactly how much time the list will take to turn from a clean, numbered list any elementary school teacher would be proud of into a crossed-off, blotted scrap.But that’s a good thing, these experts say (apologies to Mrs. Adams and all the teachers who struggled to keep my papers neat and legible; that another, sadly bygone age). I’ve never mastered this time-assignment. With a husband working from home and a cat who loves to sit or sleep on whatever I need to effect some change, time has to be fluid. Males want feeding at random moments. The only constants are the List and the experts.

These are also the efficiency-experts who sing the praises of crossing items off once the activity/item is accomplished. Good for the soul. One recommends making #1 on the list something you’ve already done. Grease the wheels, warm up the engine, so to speak. I generally do them one better and do two to three items before taking up list and marker to start crossing things off. Or I will have two to three in process at once. Come cook with me and there’s bread dough rising, soup or broth bubbling in a pot on the stove, paragraphs and chapters of three writing projects up on my computer and the ingredients for some other concoction to go into canning jars all over the counters. It looks close to chaos, but there go three things off the list. I would call that a good thing, too…if those three hadn’t reproduced and added five items more to the List.

I might as well be drawing rabbits.

Or writing reality-TV shows. It all seems to replicate against my will.

I wonder if Bach ever had so many variations on a theme. Then again, he had twenty children. Like I said, rabbits.

And my List for the next two weeks when I have only the cat to follow with the proverbial bucket and mop, shows no sign of abstinence. My old friend, Mrs. Should-Be must have a hand on the pen somewhere in all this. Especially when it comes to the housework, she’s there. But I have to admit: I like the chaos.It gives me something to organize. Something to put into a list. Something I can imagine I can control.

So few things we can control these days. And there is so much to do. So much good to support. So much evil to stand against, arms linked and voices raised. So much I choose to resist, and much I choose to embrace. So much.

I need to make a List.Week 73 Lists I’m a little off, thanks to the holidays and a lot of changes in schedules, etc. at home.Time with family, especially aging family is precious. Time with loved ones may not celebrate Thanksgiving with us next year is doubly so. But The World does not stay still while that precious time comes and goes. The work piles up. Sometimes it doubles and I always find the list to make up and carry on quite intimidating.And a little disorienting. I need to make a List.I admit it. I make lists. Constantly. Usually, I write lists when I am waiting for someone: students, my dear husband, my children, doctors. Especially doctors; I’m too fast approaching the age when I will spend half my waking time waiting for doctors.Their waiting rooms and the additional purgatory of waiting in the “office,” in a dressing gown with or without underwear on a chilly exam table, is a really good time to make lists. I make lists on any paper I can get pencil to, simply to keep my head clear. I make lists of lists. I lose those lists and then rewrite them a little differently. Then I find the original list. And I edit both lists into another list and do all but staple the third list to my hand to make sure I have it when I get to work on the items.Now, there are those who say this is a sign of organized thinking, this almost compulsive list-making. I wonder how writing, losing, rewriting and editing fit that description, but I’ll go with it. I’ll work with them. They go on to instruct that each item should have a time-expense allotted and duly noted next to the item to indicate exactly how much time the list will take to turn from a clean, numbered list any elementary school teacher would be proud of into a crossed-off, blotted scrap.But that’s a good thing, these experts say (apologies to Mrs. Adams and all the teachers who struggled to keep my papers neat and legible; that another, sadly bygone age). I’ve never mastered this time-assignment. With a husband working from home and a cat who loves to sit or sleep on whatever I need to effect some change, time has to be fluid. Males want feeding at random moments. The only constants are the List and the experts.These are also the efficiency-experts who sing the praises of crossing items off once the activity/item is accomplished. Good for the soul. One recommends making #1 on the list something you’ve already done. Grease the wheels, warm up the engine, so to speak. I generally do them one better and do two to three items before taking up list and marker to start crossing things off. Or I will have two to three in process at once. Come cook with me and there’s bread dough rising, soup or broth bubbling in a pot on the stove, paragraphs and chapters of three writing projects up on my computer and the ingredients for some other concoction to go into canning jars all over the counters. It looks close to chaos, but there go three things off the list. I would call that a good thing, too…if those three hadn’t reproduced and added five items more to the List. I might as well be drawing rabbits. Or writing reality-TV shows. It all seems to replicate against my will. I wonder if Bach ever had so many variations on a theme. Then again, he had twenty children. Like I said, rabbits.And my List for the next two weeks when I have only the cat to follow with the proverbial bucket and mop, shows no sign of abstinence. My old friend, Mrs. Should-Be must have a hand on the pen somewhere in all this. Especially when it comes to the housework, she’s there. But I have to admit: I like the chaos.It gives me something to organize. Something to put into a list. Something I can imagine I can control. So few things we can control these days. And there is so much to do. So much good to support. So much evil to stand against, arms linked and voices raised. So much I choose to resist, and much I choose to embrace. So much.

I need to make a List.


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