Monday, August 29, 2005

Life and the List

My youngest is off to Kindergarten, without any fan fare, trauma, or tears from me or him. Since I am a SAHM (stay at home mom) I have more time to myself now. I feel this pressure to DO something with my extra time. He has only been in school a week and a half though, and it seems I've spent most of my time doing things on "the list". The list that has grown exponentially over the summer, as I figured I'd have time when school started.

I've always been a list person. There's something very gratifying about accomplishing things on the list and then "checking" them. My list style has evolved over time. I used to write them on the backs off envelopes, scraps of paper and then loose them, only to find them weeks later stuffed in the seat of my auto.

When I went to work for a transportation company in the early 90's, the folks there were rabid about their Franklin planners. Once one of the managers lost his planner and was close to panic when someone called to say they found it. Apparently, he had put it on the top of his car and drove off. He wasn't the most together dude. In fact, the only thing I saw him organize well was the work softball team. And he was fired shortly after I started. So he wasn't a good endorsement for Franklin planner. However, as a rite of passage, I too, soon had one. I even got to pick my cover. La de da de de. I began to use it some. NBD, I thought. It didn't take long to become dependent on it. It really did help me stay organized and juggle many balls at work and home. And I was able to sleep at night knowing that the next morning I could count on the "list" to help me prioritize my day.

Even after I quit work to stay at home with my first son, I dipped into the tight budget to order another "year" for my FP, to stay on top of things. Of course, the content of the list changed from work related issues, such as "Preventive maintenance on tractor X" and "call references on applicant x" to "get diapers" and "call pediatrician". I joke that if I didn't write "brush teeth" on my list, I would forget, however, I can honestly say that I have never put it on my list. Sadly, though, in the dark sleep deprived days after my first was born, the teeth were sometimes neglected until noon.

Now the list is on Outlook in my computer. Way better than FP. And I have a palm that I synch with outlook so my list can be with me at all times. The list likes it that way:) Your probably wondering what in the world a SAHM needs with a list? How hard can it be? Yeah, I'd be asking the same question if I were in the working world. Here's a sample of what's on my list this week: call carpenter about attic fan, call draftsman, reserve t courts, new mattress, door installation, call about guardian ad litum, pay bills, schedule Dr appt, boys journals, video tape house contents, look at will info. The last two have been on my list for years. Ok, nothing earth shattering, but getting them out of my head clears it for other things, like sweet dreams.

The rest on the working world may have passed me by these last eight years, but I do know one thing skill I still have thanks to the list - organization.

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