On Today’s To-Do List: Make a To-Do List

Is it possible to be jet lagged flying in from a location that is only an hour different in time zones? Or does jet lag actually refer to the unpleasantness of spending a bunch of time on an actual jet? Either way, I am lagging behind today, which is unfortunate because I have a lot to do. I just had to run outside in my pajamas to catch the garbage truck. You know what’s not a good look? Me dashing down the driveway with a bin of recyclables while wearing pink fuzzy slippers. It seems like the busier I am, the more I get done. I don’t know how that’s even possible. It’s like my productivity is inversely proportional to my level of time. Or maybe I just procrastinate less because I don’t have the time to waste. How can someone who is unemployed be this busy? I’ll have to make a list. Or two.

My brain is still fuzzy from lolling in the Florida sunshine so these lists I’m making are the only things keeping me on task. I have one list that is just a series of nouns: desk, lamp, humidifier, stationery, winter coats. These are all items I am selling at my garage sale and/or giving away to charity. Do you think the women’s half-way house could use a heavy punching bag? Maybe I should plan on just giving them my old dress pants. Also, I have a boxful of 80’s movies for them. I wonder if the half-way house has a functional VCR.

I have another list that has a collection of professions on it: veterinarian, realtor, dentist, massage therapist. These are all people I need to see in the next few weeks for obvious professional reasons. Yes, I just have “vet” written down. Why would anyone write out the entire word for their pets’ doctor unless they actually also planned a visit to a veteran? I don’t need to see any veterans currently. I know all I need to right now about the military. Although I just remembered I have to add “military issue gear” to one of my other lists. Thanks for the reminder.

In addition to lists, I have stacks of things. One stack contains a number of documents related to my house. These include telephone numbers of various utilities like sewer and water, as well as information on insurance and taxes. I have a stack of papers that contains unopened mail and receipts that need to be recorded somewhere. The likelihood that this stack will sit for an extended period of time and then be swept into the recycle bin whole-cloth is very high. Stacking is a way of archiving materials until they’re old enough to be disposed of free of guilt. This pile contains all the solicitations for donations from places like the ASPCA. I can’t look through it too carefully because the cute and/or homeless animal pathos will crack my steely resolve to stick to my financial donation cap. (D’awwww…but look at his widdle furry face.)

In one corner of my basement is a box of old school work. It contains hard copies of my thesis, dissertation, and a host of other course-related essays, notebooks, portfolios, and folders. What do I do with these items? I have a list that just has a bunch of question marks after each item. What are the long term consequences of tossing out The History of Rhetoric from Plato to Bacon? Will I ever need to refresh my memory on the conjugation of French verbs? How committed am I to my hand-drawn diagrams of the Panopticon? These are questions that keep me awake at night.

Listing and stacking is my own personal bureaucracy.  The socialist government in the country of Mylifeistan operates most efficiently when the red tape of minutia is duly attended to. And I ask you, what would life be like without bureaucracy? Anarchy! Chaos! Hippie Communes! Who wants that?

In summation, I need to organize my lists into stacks. How else will I get anything done?