Tuesday, April 26, 2011


So I’m looking at The List, trying to remember if I’ve left anything off and oh, there’s so much I’ve left off. I don’t have the scooter repair, I don’t have the bookshelves, I don’t have the dishes, it just goes on and on. And then I realized there’s The List and then there’s Life. There will always be vehicle repair and cleaning and cooking and all the other little bits of crap that go into day-to-day life. If my List is going to encompass Life, I may as well write “everything” and be done with it.

So. Revisting The List with an eye to cutting the life out of it.

As it were.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"A little every day for the next 401 days and with any luck I'll finally be able to give everyone their presents."

Um, a little every day for the next 329 days and with any luck....yeah.

I've finally realized that I'm not going to get where I need to go until I write myself a schedule. I thought a list would be sufficient: "What do I feel like working on now? Let me look at the list!"

No. If it's not scheduled, it's not going to get done.

So, I took out a copy of The List and took down my calendar and I've set up a schedule for the rest of the month. I've tried very hard to a) not over schedule and 2) allow myself enough time to finish projects. For instance, I've set aside five or six hours next week to finish my messenger bag. I don't think I need five or six more hours but you know what? If I finish early, I can work on something else. But I think I'm going to need every one of those hours.

I'll let you know.

Monday, January 24, 2011


401 days until Jubilee. I've looked over The List and finally realized I am not going to be able complete all those projects. Yeah, I know: it's obvious. But when you're carrying so many projects around in your head for years and you're allowing for them all to be completed 'some day' it comes as a shock to realize you're going to have to prioritize and cut something somewhere.
When I started this project, things were pretty black and white: whatever I don't complete is out of my life forever. Gone. Fini. Kaput. But when I started to think about what this really means I started to back peddle. Maybe I could have a sub-list for things to finish later? But that defeats the purpose of this exercise which is to be free of all the burdens I've taken on. On the flip side, however, I don't want to deny myself a project simply because it wasn't completed in 2011. (Wait a minute. If I finish it, it's done and if I don't finish it, I'm through with it.... am I saying that after 2/29/12 I must have completely new ideas?!)

I was chasing my tail on this one when He had a suggestion: after the Jubilee return to only those projects that interest you.

Why didn't I see that?

And so starts the prioritizing. Top of the list is any gift I've ever promised or started for someone. The feeling I want most to avoid on February 29 is the gooey dripping guilt of a broken promise. I'd rather get none of 'my' projects done than have to admit that Barb will never be getting her xmas ornament or Wilda will have to do without her pineapple pillow. The point is to come away from this experience feeling lighter and freer and that's not going to happen if I'm carrying guilt around.

That was the simple part. Now comes the tough part: actually completing the projects. I know that to get this done I'm going to have set deadlines and a schedule and stick to them both. I'm not so good at that. I've always preferred to work on projects as the mood struck me and, if I found myself up against a deadline, to forgo sleep and push through until I'm done. That's fine once in a while but I have too much to do to let that happen. A little every day for the next 401 days and with any luck I'll finally be able to give everyone their presents.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Through a series of events it became necessary to mail a thank you note. And lo! there came a miracle. Within in 10 minutes, I had found a postcard, written my thanks, addressed it, stamped it and then stamped it again with a rubber stamp I’d carved quite a while ago. Just a few days before, finding the postcard and locating the address would’ve taken 15 minutes. Adding the stamped image would’ve added another 15. It’s likely I would’ve put off some part of the task adding another day or two before it got mailed. But because I’d spent the day before organizing my rubber stamps and a few months ago bought a sort of lazy Susan for the coffee table and designated it the place to put important mail and several months before that had put together a ‘mail box’ with all my stamps, envelopes and stationery*, I was able to zip through the whole process and I was done before I realized I’d even started. I was quite giddy with pride and delight. I can’t wait until the whole apartment is arranged like this.

*Poetic license: the post cards were actually kept somewhere else because there isn’t room in the mail box. It may be necessary to get a larger mail box…

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Divide and conquer and take two of these and call me in the morning.

Somewhere along life’s path, I stopped doing my dishes. I’d never liked washing them anyway and at some point I just – didn’t. This would’ve been fine if they’d all been clean at the time but they were all dirty. All of them. I don’t want to say how long this went on. I’d wash what I needed at that moment and avoid looking at the rest. I’m sure it looked disgusting but I was too tired to worry about it. Every time I thought it was time to do the dishes, I’d look at that counter full of plates and bowls and utensils and pots and pans and jars and Gladware and I would get tired to my bones. I would feel heavy and dull and go lie down. Sometimes I’d get as far as rinsing out the worst offenders or even wash a sink’s worth of dishes but it was like moving a mountain with a toothpick. And so this went on…
Until last week. Last week I spread that counter of dishes and pans all across the kitchen: all the utensils together, all the glasses in one place. I stacked all the plates up and did the same with the bowls. (All the Gladware had long ago been banished to a huge plastic bin with a lid. I’m debating just throwing it all out.) Everything was sorted into its group and each group was set apart from its neighbor. Then I told myself that all I had to do was wash one group. Just one. Any one. But I had to start.

All the plates are done. I’m halfway through the glasses. I’ve been cleaning up whatever I’m using so I’m not just baling the water behind me and back into the boat, as it were. I still have a way to go but I’m confident I will get all those dishes washed.

What allowed me to do this? Drugs. Plain and simple. There’s nothing else to explain it. I’ve been organizing those dishes for a long time. I’ve been meaning to wash them for just as long. The only difference between last week and all the weeks before it is that the medication is finally doing what it’s supposed to on every level. I not only have the desire to wash the dishes, I have the energy, too.

And it’s not just the dishes. This week-end I ran errands and sorted (and pitched) much stuff and even managed to cook for myself a little. As with most errands, I’d forget something. But this time, instead of letting it go, I went back and got the item or made the necessary trip. This may seem mundane to you but for me it was a tad liberating: I had the energy to get done what I wanted to.

So here’s to drugs! Here’s to the medications that let me do what I want to do when I want to do it. Here’s to the liberating pharmaceuticals! May I always have access to them.