Thursday, June 4, 2009

To-Do List

What would it look like to completely complete my overflowing list of things that need to be done? There is always SO much. Is that even a reasonable goal?

I always have one. This lengthy list of stuff I've got to do. And it seems that even on productive days the list never shortens. There is always more to add. On nonproductive days the list flattens me with it's heftiness. I feel sometimes that I will break under it's weight.

But it's summertime. And I'm not planning a wedding this summer. This is the time to relax a bit, not the time to feel overwhelmed. Amie once updated her status on Facebook and she said she was underwhelmed. I'd like to feel that way.

Getting everything done always makes me think of Andrea. She is oh-so on top of things. She's not a procrastinator. Just the opposite, in fact. She's so caught up, she starts tackling a line on her to-do list the moment it appears. Not me. No. I wait until the morning the paper is due to begin the research.

I'm always late. It's sort of my M.O. I'm not a procrastinator. I'm the procrastinator. I've made a college career out of turning things in at the VERY last minute. And it works for me. Most of the time. Sometimes it ruins everything. But that is only sometimes.

Even as I type I know in my head I probably should be getting ready for my noon Zumba class. But what can be done when inspiration strikes?

Dot. Dot. Dot.

Nearly 7 hours have passed since I typed the beginning of this blog. I did make it to Zumba. I was 5 minutes late. 5 minutes didn't ruin everything. Not this time.

But something has changed since I last sat down in front of this computer screen. I am stressed out. Out. I don't know why. There doesn't seem to be a logical reason for it. My whole apartment building seems to be resonating the stress I feel. There was a rather large group of women downstairs when I took my dog for a walk. They were arguing loudly. I saw a cop car. Confusion and anger reigned. Something had apparently gone terribly wrong. The second time I took the dog out I noticed a group of guys walking in a single file line past my door. Soon after, the air was thick with the smell of a certain illegal substance. The least I can say is that they were probably not stressed out. Though they would do well to be paranoid [but probably already were] since they chose to settle on a stoop not far from where I believe a cop [or cops] reside[s].

Typing seems to be soothing me. It's funny. I think my stress may be tied up in the subject of this blog. I've been meaning to get back to it for several hours. Random stuff keeps pulling me away. None of which leads to the crossing off of one line on my to-do list. I wanted to finish this blog so that I could see in big bold letters all that I have to do and what it would look like to do it.

So, without further ado [no pun intended], my list:

  • I need to pay my electric bill
  • I need to go to the bank
  • And to pay rent
  • And get caught up on laundry
  • I need to mail out Mother's Day cards [I know, right?!]
  • Of course, now I need to buy and mail out Father's Day cards [anyone know when Father's Day is?]
  • My SSN card has my maiden name on it and I'm not eligible for grants or scholarships until I change it so I need to do that
  • And once I do, I need to apply for as many scholarships as I can get my hands on
  • I need to finish registering for classes
  • And to fill out some Financial Aid paperwork
  • We applied for assistance from the government and I now have to prove that Jermaine is a citizen and round up some papers by the 15th of this month [or they'll cancel the application and I'll have to start all over again]
  • I need to apply for health insurance from the government for J and I
  • I have to register online to get CPR certified again so I can teach aerobics
  • And then, once I do, I need to apply for fitness jobs
  • I have a fitness resume [J helped me and it looks fantabulous!] but I need to construct a nonprofit resume [and soon!] so I can send it to Professionals for Nonprofits [who I temped with last year]
  • I need to prepare for the last D-Group session
  • I REALLY need to write thank you cards for the people who attended our wedding
  • I want to revamp my blog and make it more focused on spreading the word and helping victims of human trafficking
  • I want to write - I'd like to aim for 1 poem [for performing at open mic nights and such] and 1 article per week [includes submitting articles] -- it must be noted that I've only submitted one article to a professional publication in my entire life - I really want to change that [my friend Nate said he used to say it wasn't a good day unless he 'd received a rejection letter, I'd like to adopt that theory]
  • I need to try to change my status at UMD - right now I'm an out-of-state student, I got my Maryland license, now hopefully I will only have to pay in-state tuition
  • I'd like to clean my apartment thoroughly and revamp:
  • My bedroom
  • Sadie's bedroom
  • My bathroom
  • And I we have acquired a number of pictures that need frames - I would like to find an inexpensive way of framing them so that they can be hung on the wall
  • I really need to clean out the fridge
  • And the kitchen cabinets are a hot mess - they need to be reorganized
  • I would also like to buy a few plants for the balcony and work very hard to keep them alive
  • I'm embarrassed to say that I have about 90 books in my possession that I have not read yet, but want to read - I either need to let them go [which doesn't mean I can't read them [libraries are wonderful places, right?] or seriously buckle down
  • I want to do a 90 day blog series where I read the Bible all the way through and blog my thoughts
  • I want to research acting for Sadie and see if I can get her an agent
  • Also, I believe she's interested in taking guitar lessons, so the necessary research [cost, time, etc] needs to be done
  • Our dog is beginning to resemble a drowned rat - he would do well with a hair cut
  • We need to create a budget and I need to stick to it
  • There is talk [among Jermaine and I] of attempting to plan FreeKick again, if we do it would be glorious [and a heck of a lot of work]
This is all I can think of for now. I think it's close to everything. It's sickeningly long. Of course, some of this could be eliminated fairly easily. Some of it could be removed with the mere rearrangement of priorities. Perhaps this isn't a blog so much as it is a cry for help. Although I must confess, I'm not sure what it is I'm in need of.


I just reread the list for clarity's sake. It didn't seem as long the second time through. It seemed almost tackleable [I just made up that word, I think].

I feel compelled to add that the preceding list mostly consists of "have to"/ "need to" stuff [with a few exceptions]. There is a whole other list [though it does not take the shape of a list] of "want to" stuff ["want" seems an inadequate verb]. Passions, loved ones and spiritual disciplines find themselves on that list. That is the list [and it may be incorrect grammar to refer to it as a list] of good God stuff that makes me feel full up, like I'm really sucking marrow, if you know what I mean. But, that is a list for another day.

I think the two are connected. In many ways things on the second "list" cannot be attempted until some of the unfun bits of the first are eliminated [I'm also thinking it might be less that the first is crowding out the good God stuff and more that the not-so-good stuff [like watching episodes of Friends I've seen umpteen times and shopping at Target when I really don't need anything] gets in the way of both].

I am what some might call bogged down. Which is much different from being blogged down. And I feel a sense of urgency. Every summer break it goes the same way. I know if I don't get this stuff done it will be that much more of a burden come fall. And still, I wait. I put off.

Well, no more! If God is willing, I pray that I accomplish or toss everything that can be accomplished or tossed from the list before half of the summer is over. And I pray that these things are not replaced with more of the silly stuff. If you feel compelled to pray for me, too, so be it!

I think, I think, I feel a little less stressed. Thank you, as always, for reading my blog.

PS. The photo from the beginning of the blog has very little to do with the to-do list, but is full up with the good God stuff.

PPS. This blog has taken me more than two hours to complete. I must express how much more impressed I am by my friend James-Michael Smith, who now writes for the Charlotte Methodist Examiner and seems to come out with fresh ideas and thoughtful works more than once a day!


Andrea said...

Separate (a word I learned how to spell from Mrs. Sweet, the only thing she taught me) the HAVE to do's (the bills #1, govt paper #2, college papers # 3) from the Want to do's (dog, plants, blog) It might help. The world will survive without FreeKick and you saving the world :) I love you, but save your college, job, health care and electric first. You cannot save the world without light and a fridge (it holds the food and caffeine) We have lists of have to and need to do soon and want to do eventually lists...three lists!!! Three separate (thanks Mrs. Sweet) makes life easier :)

Tiffany said...

So I believe this is my first time actually commenting on your blog - although I do read every entry :)... Anyways, Andrea took the words right out of my mouth. By separating (Andrea - I always think of Ms. Sweet when I spell that word too, I spelled it incorrectly until her class) the lists, it will be more manageable. I would also add the unsolicited advice to give yourself a break. You don't have to be perfect, or even close to it, you just have to be you - which is pretty fabulous if you ask me! As a fellow procrastinator, list-maker, and perfectionist I feel your pain about the to-do list. Focus on the priorities, make time for fun that isn't on any list ("Life is what happens when your busy making other plans" - John Lennon), and don't beat yourself up for not getting it all done. Love you!

brandyglows said...

Thank you guys! I love you [and can't wait to see you both next week]! That's a good idea.

And Tiff - I totally have the Lennon quote in my quote book from high school. (:

AbominableAmie said...


And if it makes you feel any better at all... I must confess that I never sent out Wedding Thank You Notes. Well, I sent five our six to people who shelled out lots of money and a grandma or two who might have had a heart attack if I hadn't. So, give that one up. Thank yous shouldn't be mandatory.

Andrea and Tiffany! I, too, have always had trouble with the word separate! But alas, I never had a Ms. Sweet to set me straight.

My only advice to you Brandy is this ... do something small today. Clean out the fridge. Getting something done and feeling that sense of accomplishment may give you the boost you need to tackle one of the larger tasks.
Loved the word "tackleable", btw. : )

I also love you. And I will be praying for your summer to be productive (and reproductive? Think of how much the to do list would grow then!!!!). But mostly I will pray that it will be full of the God stuff.

P.S. I started a blog! Did you know?

JMS said...

It's easy when you've been teaching full time for 5 years and 3 years of seminary before get a lot of stuff built up in the ol' noggin that's just ready to get out into the virtual world! :)

I love the fact that you teach aerobics and do Zoomba. But deep down I wish you were a kickboxer... ;)