5 Jan

You have the best intentions in the world. You want to do good things in life, take care of your family and be productive. But when work piles up and things start going to hell, and the phone is ringing because you forgot to pay the utility bill, and you have to play “What’s That Smell?” because someone (you?) forgot to put their trash in the bin last week, and the dryer isn’t working so nobody has any clean underwear, it really starts to drive you nuts.

Used to be I’d face every new year with the shiny resolve of the truly naive and a Big List of Important Things That Need to Get Done.

The foolish shiny-eyed face of hope

On that list, somewhere, was a reminder to make more lists. Sometimes I needed another list before I could make THAT list, and on into a little something I like to call LISTFINITY.

Listfinity is no laughing matter.

It starts like this. First, you write some innocuous, innocent sounding task in your Shiny New Notebook of Resolute Resolutions. You even put a smiley face next to it, because you’re feeling enthusiastic and annoyingly perky, possibly due to the four Red Bulls you drank for breakfast:

1. Clean the kitchen! 😀

But then you actually LOOK at the kitchen and quickly realize several things, like man, I live in a shithole.

So you start another list.

1a. Clean the kitchen cabinets ??

Note the confusion and lack of enthusiasm. There will be no more smiley faces today.

Cleaning out the cupboards isn’t as simple as it sounds. There’s the undersink cabinet that needs to be scrubbed down before you put anything in it. The empty margarine and yogurt tubs you use as cheap tupperware substitutes (c’mon, you can just throw those suckers away if you find chili in them four months too late) are floating around in all the cupboards because you never made a space for them. Orphan lids to containers lost or thrown out over five years ago are on every available shelf, next to the matching set of drinking jars and in the utensil drawer. There’s a recycled olive jar on the top shelf that you’ve been meaning to throw away because it still smells pickled inside, but haven’t because you’re short and couldn’t reach it without getting a stepstool.

When only the classiest drinking jars will do.

Your list begins to mutate.

ab1b79Q: sort lids 😦

All hope is now gone. So is the Kahlua.

Pretty soon you’re trying to solve EVERY problem with a list. The list gets longer and longer until you need a table of contents and by the time you’ve started to put pretty color-coded tabs on all your list segments and hole-punching them for the binder, it hits critical mass. LISTFINITY crushes you, your dreams and everything you stand for, putting you into a state in which you are capable only of eating ice cream on the floor, bravely lifting the spoon to your lips in spite of the weight of all that shirked responsibility.


The inevitable ice cream hangover of defeat

Here’s a secret for you, defeated ice-cream hero: Listfinity is a lie. You needn’t be a slave to your list. Burn it. Set a timer on your phone, oven, microwave, radio, computer, or-get this-on a motherfuckin’ clock, and get started.

As I get older and ever-closer to my inevitable fiery death it’s become apparent that the only way to get something done is to do it. Just fifteen minutes of work is all it takes to keep the guilt spiral at bay. Productivity begets productivity, and I’m getting better at it every day.

At this rate, I’ll be Martha Stewart by 2112.


11 Responses to “Listfinity”

  1. Tami January 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    *giggles* Love your artistic additions to the posts. ❤

    For me, Listfinity is awesome. I love having more things to check off my list (makes me feel all accomplished). You're right – it's only manageable if it's a regular occurrence, though. Wait a month or sometimes even a week and cleaning the kitchen seems like something you'd need a hazmat suit, a sonic screwdriver, and phazers set to kill.

    • Bika January 5, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

      Sometimes the kitchen goes to hell in as little as two hours 😦 I blame everyone ELSE for those times, though. It’s totally not my fault!!

      And my wee doodles thank you, with their misshapen and hasty mouths. ❤

  2. Verdus January 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Fifteen whole minutes? Every day? Do I look like I’m made of time?! <_<

    • Bika January 5, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

      Yes, you do. And you need to get cracking on your book, mister. /whip

  3. Mom January 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Sounds like you got the list gene from one Gramma and your procrastination gene from the other…you know, the one who cut out a pattern for a dress for you before you were born and finally gave it to Goodwill when you joined the Army. If it wasn’t for your fabulous mother who enriches the coffers of Goodwill, the dump, and the burn barrel several times a year, including any projects that stand still long enough, you’d be on Hoarders. Funny stuff…

  4. Becca January 8, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    I tend to cheat and make Listfinity AFTER the completion of a task.

    1.Vaccuum – oh! put that on the list and check that bad boy off.


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