by Mike O’Mary
Do you keep a “to do” list? I do. Don’t ask me why. I used to think I kept a list to help keep me organized. And I suppose that’s true, because making a list does helps me prioritize things. But more important to me was the belief that if I wrote it down, I wouldn’t have to worry about remembering it later. And if I didn’t have to worry about remembering anything, I could run around leading a happy-go-lucky, carefree existence.
But for some reason, it doesn’t seem to work that way. Instead, I walk around like Atlas, but instead of the weight of the world on my shoulders, it’s the weight of my little to-do list.
Every once in a while, I pull the list out and study it. Sometimes I even catch myself moving my lips as I read my list–sort of like saying my own little prayer or penance several times a day. Then I put the list away, confident that everything I need to worry about is there, tucked safely in my pocket.
Unless, of course, I forget to put something on my list. This thought had me so worried for a while that I began writing things down on little scraps of paper and stuffing them in my pocket to be added to the master list at a later date. This, I usually did on Saturday morning, and I always took great pleasure in scratching “consolidate lists” off my to-do list.
But then I realized it was kind of ridiculous to keep a list of things to be added to your list. So now I’m back down to just one list.
Well, sort of. I mean I do have separate lists for work and for home. I also have a third list somewhere of longer-term, personal goals. I’m pretty sure one of my long-term goals was to stop keeping lists. Unfortunately, I don’t know where I put my list of long-term goals. Guess I’d better add “find list of long-term goals” to my to-do list for this week.
Mike O’Mary is founding dreamer of Dream of Things, a book publisher currently accepting creative nonfiction stories for anthologies on 15 topics, including an anthology titled Making Waves – Stories About Role Models Who Inspire and Motivate Us.