With the holidays coming up there is probably a mile long list outlining what you are going to do this year to make the season perfect. What you’re going to buy, who you’re going to invite to the big dinner, and how your going to keep grandma from drinking all the booze again this year. I know that list. I’ve made hundreds of lists just like it, because I’m a list maker. I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily a list follower, but I definitely like to write down my plans for the day, maybe even the week…I don’t do months….That is entirely too dedicated. When I get home from work I like to write out things that need to be done; placing small square boxes next to each line in the hopes that I will be able to mark that all-powerful check next to the task.
If you are like me.. You even write down stuff you have already done..just so that you KNOW you will be checking something off. Notice: This list does not have standards. You are allowed to write down the most meaningless things, and still feel accomplished at the end of the day. For instance….I often write “shower” down on my list of To Do’s… but only after I’ve taken it. There is nothing worse than writing down a daily necessity, especially something so wide-spread as brushing your teeth or taking a shower, and not actually checking it off. (I’d like to take the time to say that I brush my teeth at least twice a day, sometimes more…This also goes on the list.) Here is an example of a normal every day To Do’s list when I get back from work.
- Go to the bank-Remember to ask the lady about that thing….(I don’t usually remember)
- Walk the dog (To the mail box up the street counts)
- Brush your teeth ( Check!)
- Clean the office….(This room is really a hap-hazard storage area that has been on my daily To-do list for about 6 months now…. It is still a storage area…I figure if I call it the “office” enough, maybe it will magically become one over night…)
- Go through mail…4 weeks worth.
- Bake a cheese cake for Allen… HAH!… baking at home….what a joke.
- Shower (check!)
- Unpack work stuff.
- Pack for work!…Sometimes I like to throw in unnecessary exclamations, because it gets me more excited…. maybe.
(Yeah… I really haven’t unpacked yet…)
- I usually have a long list of people to call… But I usually separate them out into individual tasks… More checks at the end that way..
- Laundry… (I don’t have a washer or dryer at my house… So I have TONS of clothes … it saves on laundry bills..)
- Brush your teeth again! (Check! Damn, I’m good!)
Your list might be similar… Or completely different. For me, it is a way of keeping my self accountable when I have no driving force, such a boss or a pink slip, to keep me productive. We all have plans, and we sometimes are driven, inspired, or possibly forced into seeing them through. What about the things we have no control over?
How does a list prevent a large bank of fog from keeping my plane grounded? Or fend off a freak snow storm which keeps my relief in anchorage? Would it be possible to add that to my To do’s? …
- Control weather.
- Force plane to leave at gun point if needed.
I work 4 weeks at a time, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week…. and when its my time to go home. I’m ready. So, of course, planning to get out of here on time, I made my reservations for the early flight, packed 3 days ago, and then unpacked, because I still needed my toothbrush… I have had trouble sleeping for the past week and a half, and I’m happy to report that the board is clear of ship jobs for Crew change day. My plan of leaving on time was unfolding nicely!
I woke up this morning to find things were still trucking along swimmingly. I went on a line boat to assist a barge, and allowed myself to take joy in the little things. I didn’t have to shovel snow off the deck, I admired the moon (no fog), and the waves barely tickled our underside as we made our way across the bay (no wind)..This morning..my best laid plans were fool-proof. At approximately 12:00 pm…that all changed.
I am writing this post, looking out the port-hole at skies filled with massive snow flakes, through a visibility of about 4 feet. Thank you weather god for hearing my pleas…..Sigh.. guess it goes to show that all best laid plans are not all concrete ones. Whether they be a christmas list a mile long, a To Do list you never finish, or dreams of departing Valdez, Ak after 4 weeks of manual labor…sometimes… It’s just going to snow. I am now frantically trying to find someone who is driving to Anchorage, and just hoping I make it back to Homer in time for Sushi dinner.
Cheers! Here’s to planning those things you can’t control, the turn of events which hits you between the eyes, and dealing with what life gives you…