LAURA SNYDER: Keeping Up With That 'To Do' List
I really don't have time to write today.
I have a To Do List that would beat Barack Obama's. Granted, his list might be about slightly more important things like saving the world's economy, keeping global warming in check, putting people back to work and preventing terrorists from blowing up our cities, but my list is important too in my own little world.
I say this to remind myself that there is a different perspective if I cared to see it, and that if my list is not completed today, the world will not suffer for it. I may disappoint someone dear to me, but nothing that is a matter of life or death.
With that in mind, I'll share a small part of my eclectic To Do List with you.
I need to sew buttons on an apron for a skit my daughter is doing. I could use a safety pin, Velcro, or, even better, duct tape, but she wants a button. I have duct tape; I don't have a button. It's on the list.
I have to buy party supplies and make a cake for my kid's birthday. A cake is essential, but I don't have to make one. I could buy it, and everyone could simply scrape the chocolate, hard-enough-to-break-your-teeth cookie crunchies out of the middle before they ate it.
Decorations are optional. However, I could have my other children glitter-glue a roll of toilet paper and then drape it from the ceiling fan and curtain rods. It certainly would keep them busy while I completed the rest of my list.
Goody bags are a must if my children ever expect their friends to come to another birthday party. I could use the Dum Dums and Smarties that we collected on Halloween, but the only gewgaws I have in stock are small kitchen gadgets and sandy seashells from a recent beach trip. Clean shells might be cool, but 11-year-old girls don't need a garlic press or a tea strainer any more than I do. That job stays on the list.
Next: Put 12-year-old's notebook in order. Looking at his school notebook, I have to consider whether this task is worth it. His notebook looks like a cherry bomb was tossed in there and exploded. How would I make sense of it? I considered giving him a new notebook and starting from scratch, but then how would he learn to organize if I didn't cram it into his little head? I noted with regret that my teaching abilities were not having any effect anyway. Even after the cherry bomb, there were still some "good" papers that needed to be saved. Well, heck, I can't cross that one off the list either.
I have to go to the home improvement store to get refunded for a band-saw I never got. Let me explain. I paid for a band-saw for my husband for Christmas. They didn't have them in stock but assured me that they would be in by Christmas. They weren't in by Christmas, of course.
I gave my husband a picture of it for Christmas. He couldn't stand the fact that he finally owned a band-saw but he couldn't use it. So, the day after Christmas, we went to a different home improvement store and bought another one. We didn't need two band-saws, which leaves me the task of getting money back for something we never had. But it's money potentially coming in instead of going out. So, that task moves to the top of the list.
I have to rehearse a speech, which I can do in the car on the way to the button store, the party supply store and the home improvement store. It's called multi-tasking.
I need to call a dermatologist because a 47-year old woman shouldn't have zits. However, this is not important enough ever to make it to the top of the list, so this particular task has been on my list for 15 months.
I need to water my houseplants, but if I simply wait another week, they'll all be dead and I'll never have this task on my list again. No, on second thought, I don't have it in me to murder innocent plants intentionally.
So maybe part of my list is a matter of life or death. The matter is whether I care or not. I sure hope Barack Obama cares about his To Do List as much as I care about mine.
Contact Whispering Pines writer Laura Snyder at lsnyder@lauraonlife. com, or visit her Web site www.laura onlife.com.
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