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List-less

posted Nov 28, 2016, 8:27 AM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Dec 14, 2016, 4:42 PM ]

I knew I meant business when I put the small black barrel down in front of me and started clipping my nails down to nubs. At last, I have included “writing” in my list of things to do. The nail clipping wasn’t on the list, but I improvised. I suppose it is akin to when swimmers shave their legs or maybe even their whole bodies so they feel like a slick fish moving within the water. Settle down—there will be no bathing suits involved at this end of the simile. No way! There are just fingers that won’t suffer the obstruction of fingernails as they land softly in turn on the various keys of the keyboard. 

I am simply a gal with some time granted to me by a list (I will refer to that slip of paper with times and small-scale instruction as: Ye Ole Project Manager).  Yes, I made a list—the old-timey kind with paper and pen. I broke it into half-hour increments and there are only ten minutes left in this slot. I have already wasted one whole hour trying to get myself up to speed on something I wrote almost exactly a year ago. If I have revisited that project since then, I cannot remember anything from the visit. 

Ironically, so far, there has been a lot of reading aloud, since that is the only true way to hear my own writing and the writing of another. It’s amazing the auto-correct that is built into our brains when we read silently. But out loud? That is another story. Things make so much more sense or in other cases so much less sense when the ears act as auditor to the eyes. 

My simple list has done its job. It has kept me on track for the finite amount of time I had today. It made me think ahead and stick things in where they made better sense. Sure, life happened and a few things that were unexpected or urgent blurred the lines by about ten minutes or so, but Ye Ole Project Manager came through—casting out that listless feeling that can come over a person who has so much to squeeze into such little time. Without a list the things that need to be done are all that is seen and there is no sprinkling in of the things that want to be done. It becomes a binge and purge of exertion, with time simply lost and no feeling of satisfaction—just reaction, reaction, reaction. 

I still have no room to write—so this will have to do for now with the help of a list to boss me around a little and keep me on task. Funny how we spend our youth not wanting anybody to tell us what to do, just to get older and wish someone would just tell us what to do. 

Life is a trip. It is amusing to say the least and made simpler and more productive by something so simple as a list. Give it a whirl!