I find Post-its, like so many dangling earrings, all over my house. There are times I have no idea what my cryptic messages to myself are even about, until too late. I am also a marathon list-maker; not only do I multitask my tasks, I multitask my lists. They float around in triplicate or end up in various piles, are taped above my art table, are entered with determined flourish in notebooks (one for each tote bag), or on legal pads. I am not a Blackberry-type, so all of this is tangible, in-my-face reminding. I am vigilant about itemizing (calming and rare moments of focus and control, all in one neat package), but following through? Not so much. Full of good intentions: Full steam ahead! Until I deflate, detour, run out of gas: not on a road less traveled, but on one traveled so often that I know every pothole, every off-ramp.
Yesterday I woke with the intention of easing into the day before seizing it, and sat on my deck with a cup of coffee, basking in the serenity of chirping birds visiting my feeders and bird bath near the elderberry bush. I was going to make the mother of all lists (in one hour). I would divide my life into three categories (practical, physical, and spiritual) and then subdivide those into to-do lists of everything that I could think of. Then divide those items into hour-size bites, to begin devouring today. My ambitions and intentions were revved and raring to go.
In my peripheral vision, sitting in my driveway was my poor, old Subaru, its general hygiene long-neglected and due for a visit to the mechanic to see about that pesky “check engine” light. The sun was shining, the sparrows delirious in their chorus of cheerleading as I spontaneously started to strip the car’s interior of all signs that a person might actually be living in it. Next I vacuumed and damp-sponged the entire surface, replaced the items that I wanted in the car (maps, a spare cosmetic bag, camping utensils so I wouldn’t have to use more plastic on the road) and tied the “gypsy cab driver” wooden beaded seat cover neatly into place for my aging lower lumbar. I stepped back and smiled.
Then glanced down to my wrist to see I hadn’t even put my watch on yet. The kitchen clock told me exactly one hour had been spent doing a spontaneous task that had never been entered on the list for the day. I was never aware of the minutes ticking by.
I know it isn’t always going to be this easy, but what a nice signpost.