I wrote a list today. I've been doing a lot of list-writing lately, but this was The List, the mother to beat all lists, the Grand Poobah of all the lists in the land. But instead of making me feel better, which was my intent in creating it, it made me feel...behind.
I feel behind most of the time, but usually in an abstract way that's easy to sweep under the rug and ignore. Now that my behind-ness is in list form, though, it is so visual and in my face that I have to acknowledge its presence and admit that something needs to be done about it. It's easy to say, "Oh man, I'm so behind", out loud and then continue on my merry way, as though making a statement is actually doing something about it, but I'm pretty sure that if I want to be a legitimate adult, that time has passed.
Maybe it's a new phase of growth that I'm going through, but something inside of me is driving me to get shit done. No more abstraction, no more "later, later, later". Now, now, now.
The Grand Poobah List consists of tasks as menial as "scrub the kitchen floor" to others that actually encompass a whole separate list of tasks, like "get the wedding photography web site and blog up and running". Being the Type A Wonderfreak that I am, I've tried to categorize and organize and schedulize, but because my freelancer/contractor schedule is always up in the air, it's hard to nail down just how many things I'll be able to get done on any given day, which makes it difficult to plan ahead. And then there are also the daily distractions; I am writing this post in lieu of doing the laundry, putting away all of my "clean" clothes that are currently on the floor, and mailing in the form to get a new parking pass, all of which I have been meaning to do since Monday and all of which I have found a reason not to do every day this week.
And those are just the little tasks. Beyond all of the current things that need to be done, there are also the activities that I should have dealt with a long time ago so that they could simply be a part of life instead of sitting around on a To Do List. I need to clean and organize the whole apartment, which Toby and I still have not officially "moved into" after more than two years of living here (the walls are bare, we lack a few necessary household appliances and furnishings, etc.). I need to get to the root of my daily routine and find a way to be more efficient (how, I repeat how, do you girls do it? No, really. How do you find time to shower every day, do your hair, pick out a decent outfit, put on makeup, shave, cut your nails, maintain nail polish, and on and on? Help me). I need to start planning and making meals, instead of reaching into the cupboard every night for the nearest box of mac and cheese. I need to...you get the picture.
So how to reconcile the daily tasks with the more long-term tasks? That's what it really comes down to, and I still haven't been able to figure it out. Do I focus on the bigger picture stuff first, or do I forego everything else in favor of running errands and editing photos and doing all of the more immediate things I need to do in order to make enough money to even keep living in this apartment in the first place? If I start to chip away at The List, will I eventually catch up, or should I just accept that I will always be behind, and keep on keeping on?
These are the things I think about when I am in bed at night. And now you get to think about them, too.