I remember writing last January on ways I've learned to make traipsing through one's daily - and, inevitably, lengthy - list more interesting.
I suggested rolling dice, even culling random numbers from an almost unlimited number of sources.
It worked for me. It made those daily lists far less onerous.
It also made everything a chore.
Recently I was given a gift I couldn't start to understand until I experienced the joys of watching it unfold before me: I decided to see if I could go a whole day without a list. What would I do? Worse, what would I forget?
There were certainly many moments of uncertainty, as in "What am I doing?" But those were far outweighed - and quickly so - by the freedom I now experienced. My mind had no trouble telling me what had to be done soonest. Next? That was there before I could ask the question. And so my day passed.
And the next. And the one after that.
Mind you, I was never idle. Perhaps had I put down "sit down, relax and read for joy" on a list, it might have gotten attended to. I didn't. It didn't. "Tom Jones" can wait till tomorrow ... or whenever.
So far I haven't forgotten a thing that needs to be done.
I must confess I'd love to write down why I'm going from Room A to Room B with such determined speed. Only by the time I found paper, I'd have long forgotten what I wanted to note anyway. It'll come to me.
Spoiler alert: I do carry a Day-Timer though I down-sized to the smallest version which is next to useless except for scheduling future events. The daily pages allow only a few lines which I use for reminders of special anniversaries to be remembered (card sent, call made) and for other things which can't be delayed: reschedule the vet, and such. (And even that is currently five days behind.)
So far my listless life is working! I find I really don't need a list to tell me when to do the laundry. If I should forget on a Wednesday, certainly the overflowing basket will remind me on Thursday - or soon. Ditto the ironing. It's not going anywhere and, eventually, even when the mercury skyrockets, it's easier just to do it, to get it out of my sight.
Point being - things do get done.
OK, friend, I could have called last Monday to arrange a dinner date. No list, no call. Guess that means I'm content for another night of whatever I pull out of the freezer. I promise in time I'll get hungry (for good food, even more for your company) and I will call. Or perhaps you'll call first. Fine! I'm definitely game.
There is a plus side to this as I've also discovered and which I never anticipated. Who gives up a lifetime habit expecting something better?
I've found time to do what means most to me - like write this. And yet the rewards are greater still.
Today I bought a small charm: P-E-A-C-E.
That's what I get by tossing my lists. I can't explain it beyond losing all that pressure that came with 20-some items staring throughout the day as I realized (and accepted ) that I'd never get through them all. I had been setting myself up to fail.
Take away that pressure. Self-imposed, right? And there's tranquility - by any definition.
Will it last? I find the temptation to reach for pen and pad hard to resist as I finish breakfast. So far, I'm beating it. So far, it's gone. And I can hope.
Go see for yourself.
Susan Crossett is a Cassadaga resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org