Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lists: todos versus wannados

How can one be overwhelmed with a full day ahead and nothing scheduled?
I am.
My part-time seasonal job ended last week. I have only a few days of sporadic scheduled temp work coming up. I am entering a period of (somewhat) uninterrupted time.
I don’t want to squander it.
Nothing is urgent, so everything is optional.
In the days of my working life I longed for days like this.  Snow days were gifts, windfalls of time that dropped unexpectedly  from the heavens.
 But they often turned to catch-up-on-duties day.
A friend who is on the cusp on retiring says: “I’m so done with duty. “ Me too!
So today—and tomorrow are NO DUTY DAYS.
What to do?
Toss Todo list. Write Wannado list.
Write that story – I have two plots – possibly a third – in mind.
Set up a writing schedule. Discipline. SELF discipline
Flex writing muscles – by writing whatever – blog, journal entry. Stretch writing.  Cardio writing. Anything to get writing/moving.
How like writing is to exercise – my other great on/off discipline.
Go to the gym today and indulge my body – swim, light yoga class.
Make something with lentils for supper.
Dog park; Riley.
Checking in on Christmas list: Order. For A. For C.
Wrap presents.
Write holiday letter.
Clean living room.
Compost leaves.
 Where on the spectrum of Should, Ought, Want, Need do these tasks lie (and what order should those words be in)??
 Even now when no task is  truly tedious or undesirable, lists start cluttering my daily path. How quickly the todos overtake the wannados.  Somehow both seem to have to do with duty and discipline. But one is duty to self, to do what one needs at the deepest core and the others --  more peripheral on the spiral of spirit I call myself. Yet all are still parts of that spirit.
But I have promised myself foremost I will write, I will read, I will swim and exercise.
So I’m planting my stake in the ground, or at least my fingers on the keyboard.
Here are those fingers, that keyboard.
(P.S. to self: Add manicure to list.)


  1. Hahahaha! Great post! I loved reading your list and the p.s. about the manicure.

    1. Thanks for reading. I really do have awful cuticles right now. Dry weather cuticles.

  2. I wonder if there is an answer in giving into "todo" every day--but in a quite circumscribed way. Do X job-- only. Or, more likely, do X job for Y amount of time--only. Get started, but don't figure on being finished before you stop. Make "todo" a small fraction of the day--and stick to keeping it that way. As for "wannado"--for me, these are the activities in which I am completely able to lose myself. I lose track of time. I am completely in NOW doing these things. I leave these activities feeling refreshed. For me, the key is to let go of the idea of 'do it til it is done'. When dementia moves into your house, it transforms time. I was once a person who could juggle many things in a day and meet most goals, now I am a person who wonders where the time went, and how I could have accomplished so little. However, I have also been given the gift of discovering that tomorrow, or a few days from now, or next week or next month is time enough to get closure for many things. As long as time in the now, with things that call to me, are a part of every day.

    I do love to see those beautiful hands. Show me just the hands and I can tell you what friend owns them. Thank you for including them in your post. Makes me realize how much I miss you. xoxo

  3. Oh, I have sometimes tried just putting on a timer and saying I will do 20 minutes of this and no more. Of course, I have always had a bit of a completion problem so not finishing the todos is easy --Problem is you can't strike the item from the todo list if you don't finish. I'm not sure I leave activities refreshed --- but while I am in them, I am in totally in them. Oh, I never think of my hands as beautiful. So thanks.
    Miss you too.