Some of you may not know this about me: I’m a list maker. I have a list for just about everything. And my lists aren’t simply linear; they have order and logic imbedded in their design. For instance, my grocery list has two columns: the left column is for dry goods; the right column is for fresh fruit, vegetables, cold foods and frozen foods.
I’m constantly reminding people in this family that Cheerios and apple juice belong in the left column. Ice cream and milk go in the right column. Is that so difficult to understand?
This week I started a list of things we needed for the move to the apartment we’ll be living in for a few months while they lift our home. What started as a one page hand-written list soon became an excel spreadsheet with six tabs. Each tab is named for a room in our house and items we need from each of those rooms are listed on the appropriate pages. So you won’t find the toaster or the coffee pot listed on the tab named “Bathroom.” Get it?
My lists are my way of bringing order to the chaos in my universe. Whenever I’m faced with a stressful or demanding situation, I make a list. It calms me down. A logical, orderly, sorted list can silence the random chatter filling my head and force me to focus on one task at a time.
Now, I have been posting a blog here every Monday since January 12th. But this week, Sunday night rolled around and I had nothing. My mind was blank. All I could think about was which frying pan I should pack. Should I bring the non-stick pan, the cast iron fryer, or the old stainless steel pan? Maybe I should bring the non-stick griddle as well. My mind was in chaos; confusion reigned.
By 10:00 PM, I became irritable and edgy. I wanted to go to sleep, but I was too wound up. I knew I needed something to calm me down, but I was too lazy to go downstairs to the liquor cabinet. How about a list? my inner voice whispered. So, here you have it.
Ten Excuses For Not Writing A Blog This Week
- The “Moving Out” list, with six tabs, took a lot of time.
- I made an apple pie.
- I did lots of laundry.
- I took my mother to the foot doctor.
- I took a long ride with my son to the discount liquor store.
- I packed some clothes.
- I spent an entire afternoon making appointments with rug cleaners, locksmiths, cleaning ladies, utility companies, Internet providers, changing our address with credit card companies, Netflix and newspaper delivery people, getting a P.O. box and signing the lease. I also cooked dinner that night.
- Saturday was my birthday! I was queen for a day with a martini in my hand. No writing.
- We sat in rocking chairs, chatting with my father-in-law, on the front porch of his assisted living facility.
- We went to my mom’s house for dinner Sunday night. Now who in their right mind would pass up mom’s macaroni and meatballs to stay home to write a blog that no one reads anyway?
That’s my list of excuses. I feel calmer now.