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I Had Way too Much to Do and My Brother-in-Law was Coming and…

     I had way too much to do and my brother-in-law was coming and I swear I had an entire year’s worth of doctors’ appointments and haircut appointments scheduled for the time he’d be here, plus a big mystery lunch with a client and budget revisions and month-end reports due and so I sat down and I made a list.

     It always helps to make a list. Best thing to do when you have way too much to do. Helps you see it isn’t really so bad. ’Course it is. Really bad. You know the minute you turn the paper over to continue your list on the other side.

     The list made me feel better, tho’. Turns out I was right. I had way too much to do. So obviously I couldn’t get it all done. Something had to go. A whole lot of something’s.

     The experts say you should organize your list with A’s, B’s and C’s. A’s to be done before sunset, B’s to be done before sunset in Hawaii, and C’s to be done before the next eclipse of the moon. C’s are good candidates for elimination.

     So I set out to organize my list and right off, I organized the obvious. Marked my brother-in-law with a big red C.

     Okay. That’s not gonna work. Tough to eliminate a brother-in-law. I crossed out the C and circled him with blue ink to indicate he’s part of the list, but can’t be organized. Or eliminated.

     I continued on. Mystery lunch with client. No way I’m gonna miss this! Give it an A. Budget revisions.  Have to finish them before next month’s revisions come in. So that’s an A. Definitely an A. Clean up the website. Can’t send out the announcements with all those hyperlinks not working. A. Send out the announcements. Well, that’s obviously an A. Won’t get any hits on my website if no one knows it’s there. Do the taxes, balance the check register

     And so it went. When I finished, there wasn’t a C to be seen. After an intense search I found two B’s. There were a hundred and ten A’s.

     List-making is truly a great way to organize your life when things get frantic. To sit down and write a list is so calming. Somehow, getting a project down on paper makes you feel like you’ve already started. It’s on its way! It’s on the list! Finally, it will get done.

     It will - if it doesn’t get scratched off the list in a moment of pique. If it doesn’t sit there and look at you every day for the next two months as you work your way around it. Sometimes - wonder of wonders! - it gets done when you weren’t paying attention. You just did it one day ’cause someone e-mailed you asking for the results and needed them before – um, sunset.

     Then, the next time you go to your list, you let out a shriek – “Oh, yeah! I did that!” and you grab the nearest writing instrument and draw a huge magnificent line all the way through it. A line so huge and magnificent it crosses over into the line above and the line below and you eliminate three projects all at once.

     Or… you never do it and the list gets old and worn and all the other A’s are lined out and the B’s, too, and you mean to transfer it to a new list – you really mean to transfer it to a new list – and you eagerly scrunch up that old piece of paper and throw it into the trash, or if you’re a ’specially good person you don’t scrunch it up but you carefully put it in the recycled paper bin - and either way, you never remember to transfer it to your new list.

     Some things just weren’t meant to get done.

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