The irony that comes with sick days is that it is wasted time off. For months now, I’ve been desperate for a few days off for a “staycation” – to rest, regroup, deal with some emotional baggage, and maybe even begin to make my way through my never-ending to-do lists. Of course, my sick days last week produced nothing, as they were devoted to healing from the plague – and if anything, set me farther behind, both at work and personally.
I am a fan of lists. Obsessed, even. For work as well as my personal life, I write down each and every thing that I need to do – otherwise, I will forget about them. Over the years, paper notebooks and lists have evolved to electronic ones that sync across devices (a type-A girl’s dream!). So from scheduling a dentist appointment to cleaning my bathroom, grocery shopping to researching the next vacation spot, if I need to do something, I write it down.
The problem with to-do lists is that there really are several kinds: the “urgent” list (pick up prescription from the pharmacy, buy more spinach); the “get around to” list (buy new lamps, make a wedding photo album); and the “before I die / someday / bucket” list (learn to play guitar, visit Japan).
It’s the “get around to” list that stresses me out the most – those things that are never pressing enough to prioritize, so never get done. And the list keeps growing and growing and growing … as does my anxiety level when I think of all the things I need to do. Of course, multiple items on the list have something to do with my brother, so understandably there may be a bit of avoidance going on. But a lot of the others really only require an hour or two of focused time.
The problem is, when do those extra hours ever really come around? I have realized that they really never do. I’m always looking ahead to the next holiday or long weekend where maybe I’ll get around to a few of the items, but somehow life gets in the way – even if life means, just sitting on the couch and reading a magazine.
I am well aware that it is unlikely that I will ever get to a point in my life when I will cross off every last item off of my multiple to-do lists. In the meantime, I just have to be all right with the fact that it is unlikely that I will produce a wedding album of any kind before my fifth anniversary … and I’ll get there. Looks like I have another item to add it to my to-do list.
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Hi Laura, I hope you’re feeling well again by now – and back to happily making lists soon. Anne
Soul sister! I don’t know where I would be without my lists and I LOVE writing them on paper. I know, I know – I have all of the A-type gadets (except the iPhone) but nothing compares to a crisp clean sheet of paper. The smell, the feel….ok I digress.
I too have been freaking out about the bucket list – learning another lanuage visiting a new country each year, etc. but then I learned to think differently. Items on your list will appear – just maybe not in the way you thought they would. For example I haven’t been to a new country since 2007 and was totally stressed out that I couldn’t keep a promise to myself. Now I am planning 3 countries in one vacation which in my timeline is one for each year since 2007. Read your list often – keeping it on the front of your mind and throw it out to the universe every once and a while and you will be crossing off those items soon.