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Suburban Island

A To Do List Spectacular
Saturday, Oct. 18, 2003, 11:04 a.m.

QUESTION: When is it one To Do too many?

WHAT I LEARNED: It's not always on the list.

I love a good autumn day. Those days right before it starts getting really cold and the sun is shining almost a little too brightly - like it has to give us an extra dose of its glory before the wind blows the warmth of summer towards the first snowy day.

We still have our flag up with a picture of a piece of watermelon and the words welcome emblazoned upon it. It looked good in the middle of August but now in October, its presence is questionable. It's okay though, because it is so twisted around the decorative wooden flagpole that you can't really tell what it is. It's never been the same since Isabel. I guess that was the ultimate flap in the wind. Another example of Mother Nature taking care of business and helping out another woman with too many chores on her list.

I do thank Mother Nature for buying me some time, however, I will get that flag switched out this weekend. Or rather, I will be nagging my husband to switch out that flag this weekend until it is done.

Disney Image of Pooh & Piglet

I have, resident on my computer, a To Do list in Word. I call it the Master To Do List and it is several pages long. I employ special colors to highlight my priorities and the visually satisfying strikethrough to cross out my accomplished tasks. When I keep this To Do list current and refer to it every day, life is better because I may not get more done but I probably get more of the right stuff done. This perception was validated by life-my-way’s latest Deep Thoughts - “Life would be happier and easier if I were more organized,” says the delightful diarist. I agree whole-heartedly.

Here’s a sampling of some of the recent entries to hit the top of my Master To Do list with appropriate annotations:

  • Expense Reports - Six weeks worth of receipts, three purses and one rolling briefcase, Two days. I think I saw this on TLC.
  • Oct 17th Weekly Report – Not due until Monday at noon but not yet started. What I say at the end of each day – I’ll do this at the end of the week. What I say at the end of the week - Why don’t I do this each day?
  • Oct 10th Weekly Report - One week overdue. Done while watching Trading Spaces PM. Submitted.
  • Oct 3rd Weekly Report - Two weeks overdue. Done while watching Clean Sweep PM. Submitted.
  • Get Estimate on Car - This is a good one. It involves sitting in a smoke-filled yet empty waiting room, while a gentleman named Joe works up an estimate. The estimate is for a scratch my husband got on our 1996 Mitsubishi Gallant (a veteran with 140,000 on the odometer) in a recent unfortunate incident in a grocery store parking lot. The estimate - $850. My husband wants to get it repaired.
  • Driver’s License renewal – This is a big one because it’s my driver’s license and I refuse to stand in any line to get a prison line-up photo of myself which I must then pay good money for and later display to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that requires ID from me.
  • Reschedule college tour appointment for daughter - Visit the halls of learning that will soon empty your pockets.
  • Put together full-page senior yearbook ad for graduating daughter - Night One until 1 AM and Night Two until 3:30 AM will do the job.
  • Haircut for son - Punt this to his dad.
  • Picture day for HS freshman son - School pictures require choice of background, more package combos than the drive-through menu at McDonald’s, but a strangely similar school picture result. The background my son chose from the vast array of choices – gray.
  • Number of work emails generated (on and off list) – I’ve stopped counting.

At the end of the week I look back and see a house in a state of semi-disorder and a list of To Dos that I have been working on all week long that still has a sea of items on it in bright orange letters and not enough strikethroughs at all. However, I also have learned to recognize what I have accomplished that goes beyond the To Do list and embraces those things that never make it into type. So today I am going to enjoy the fall sunshine and embrace my To Dos Saturday style - comfortable clothes, a big iced skim white chocolate mocha on hand, and a few hours of extra sleep.

Chores – ya gotta love ‘em.

Today’s Suburban Strategy: For those of us who can’t be there…

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