Thursday, October 16, 2008

Words and Lists

I am a list maker. I make lists of my lists. I have a list of 100 things I want to do before I die and when I cross something off I add something else; I hope to die in my 90s and still have a list of 100 things. I have a list of quilts I want to make and even if quilted 24/7 for the rest of my life, I wouldn't make them all. I have lists of books I want to read, places I want to go, things I want to see.

My most common list, however, is my to-do list. Every morning I write down the things I want to do that day. I usually get most of them done. Sometimes I get none of them done. I seldom get them all done.

I use the procrastination buster of telling myself I'm just going to do something for fifteen minutes and then quit and that often jump-starts me. Still, sometimes there are things, simple things, on my list that just migrate to the next day's list and then the next day's list after that. One is "clean desk".

I think I know what the problem is. It's that word "clean". I was a
stay-at-home-Mom for almost thirty years and I did a lot of cleaning. Boy's dirty little faces, counter-tops, floors, sinks, clothes, dishes. It never ended. I know there are some people who get satisfaction from getting something clean. I'm not one of them. I know it's just going to have to be done again. And again. And again. I have an aversion to the word "cleaning". It means work. It means endless. And I'm just tired of it.

What I'm going to do is change the word "clean" to "tidy". I like tidy. It sounds more like a word a librarian would use. So excuse me now. I'm going to go tidy my desk.