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living "off the list"

May 20, 2011

I am a lover of checklists.  Having marked through an item on my “To do” list (in my world, a list always created on paper, as a digital version doesn’t yield the same pleasure), I experience both vigorous satisfaction and something like hope.  Not only, “Whew!  I’ve done it!” but also, “Aha!  It is possible.  It can be done.”  I’ll admit it — I write tasks on my list that are already complete, marking them through with a thick black line to motivate myself with that satisfaction and hope.

I don't actually use a clipboard, though.

While an orderly checklist-bound life soothes me, while I — much like a two year-old — relish the comfort of routine (coffee, write, exercise, kids, work, eat, doitagaindoitagaindoitagain), I also appreciate the value of living life “off the list” once in a while.  Over the last few weeks, appraising my list of tasks leaves me limp and overwrought.  In no region of my life — work, home, children, blog — can I tie a neat ribbon around a completed enterprise.  Rather, my world is a tangled Maypole:  lots of beautiful colors, a lovely dance, but nary a prim bow in sight.

My choice, right now?  Given the options, “limp and overwrought” ambles clumsily behind unfinished business, a distant second place.  Legendary author Ursula K. LeGuin said, “The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.”  As a huge childhood fan of A Wizard of Earthsea, I am going to trust Ms. LeGuin on this one.  I am also going to trust the fact that living in the tangle of uncertainty can also mean living in richly-hued excitement.  Consider item one on this week’s “To do” list, “Chuck ‘To do’ list in shredder,” completed.

Here’s an update on my blog makeover (and thanks again for your patience… Glamour magazine makes it look so easy):  I have a very talented woman helping me with a new design, which is near completion.  I am so excited to share it with you (and, well, to see it myself), and will let you know when it’s ready for the big reveal.

I hope your Friday is wrapped colorfully in uncertainty or, as I’m calling it this week, excitement.  I thank you, always, for showing up.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Melissa Hawley permalink
    May 20, 2011 9:06 pm

    I, to, am a pertual list writer. I find it clears my head and gives me direction amongst all the confusion. The best lists are those written before bed which clear my mind for more peaceful sleep. The hardest things to cross off are those things like “laundry” which can never really be marked off. Looking forward with anticipation to your new design. xxoo

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