Terri Kaiser

For this time at home, I wrote a list of chores that need doing around the house. My thought process was that if the particular job was not completed, it could not be crossed off the list. Right? And at some point, the list needed to be finished before being crumpled up and tossed. It always worked like that while I at my employment.

In fact, I have been a lister many times in my life. I guess it’s my way of setting goals.

When I had a day or a weekend off from work, I generally had a list of things that needed doing; laundry, bathrooms, floors, bake, work in the yard, etc. My lists were always long and very ambitious. And to my credit, I would do my level best to put a line through every single thing on the list. Yes, I am a master at creating stress.

In recent years, I’ve learned that my friend, the list, needs to stay at my work where it serves me well, but at home, it’s not invited. Having a list at home, sitting on the cupboard while I run around like a dragon with its head cut off, is actually counter-productive, even if everything on the list is crossed off.

The reason, even if all the jobs I have found for myself to do on that given day or weekend are done, I feel exhausted and frustrated that there was no time for that three-letter word we all need to incorporate into our lives: FUN. Sure, there’s always lots to do in life, lots of business to take care of, lots to accomplish before we push up the daisies, but you have to enjoy the journey.

So, of course, I made myself another list.

This list is mostly spring-cleaning types of things and a few household chores I’ve been putting off for a while. Unfortunately, I have not followed my own above advice. This list is like a big looming black cloud that sits over my shoulder every time I sit down to read a book or watch something on TV. There’s always this voice saying, ‘hey, get off your duff and let’s cross things off.’ Well, that’s just not any fun. Have I learned nothing in all my years on these many trips around the sun?

And as I write this I look over to my list, sitting quietly on my desk, three-quarters of which is actually crossed off. All that’s left are cleaning the blinds, washing curtains, wash the windows on the outside, paint the bathroom, and power clean the kitchen. That’s all.

The list is taunting me, calling for my attention, laughing at the way it’s making my blood pressure rise, and promising to haunt me forever if I don’t put a line through every item. And yet, I can’t throw it away. It’s a terrible, vicious thing, this list of mine. Never again. Really.

But if I don’t make a list, how will I be motivated to get these ever-important jobs done? I guess I won’t until I see the dust layer up and the floors become sticky, the bathrooms stink and the cupboards full to over-flowing. I guess I will just do these things as they need doing and in the meantime, I will be out on my kayak, taking long walks, primping my flowers in the garden, going to see a movie, or trying a new recipe.

Maybe I need to make a list of fun things to do. That sounds more like it!

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