I am terrible at waiting for holidays. I love booking them, I don’t even mind paying for them. But the week prior to departure, I am a scratchy, anxious, unravelling mess of Lists and Snark.
With four more sleeps until our family holiday, I find myself in a flap. Think Chicken Licken, in a flap over imminent disaster. You see, I wrote myself a Big To Do List. The Mother of All To Do Lists. It includes such To Do hits as:
- write a Will
- clean husband’s car (yeah … why doesn’t he do it himself?)
- refit car seats
- replace mailbox so neighbours can check mail without having to use a stick.
All of this, plus pack for a nine day holiday for 5 people.
The items on my list are my To Do List All-Stars. Why? Because they have been living on my lists for all eternity. They are difficult, annoying, cumbersome, unfulfilling, dog jobs. Jobs you wish someone else would do for you. Jobs you can get away with not doing, if you try hard enough.
Suffice to say, I avoid important jobs like nobody’s business. I give myself all the time in the world to get them done, and then never do them.
But now, with holiday imminent, these open-ended items have been given a deadline. If I get them done in four more sleeps, my list will be empty. And then I am free to frolic and bask in my holiday glory. I will skip with the lightness of a child, unencumbered by grown-up stresses and busy-ness. Happy times, yes?
You’d think the idea of a no list would make me happy. That I’d be free from the chains of domesticity and doing, I’d be free to just be.
But how can I just be? That sounds lazy and perhaps even boring. Having Things To Do makes me feel important. It reminds me I have to get up and do things, or the child protection people will come and take my children away. But most importantly, having Things To Do gives me something to avoid. And in avoiding them, I find far more interesting and fun things to do with myself, like rearranging my dairy products. Checking the front porch for a parcel delivery, or watching Mad Men until I my boobs turn pointy like Joan’s.
I must have something ‘To Do’ on my return, a close bracket to round out the fun and resume normal programming. So, on the back of my “Before we go …” list is an “After we get back …” list. And on that list is a cast of new All-Stars to keep me going into 2011 and beyond. A whole new cast to get to know, and then avoid. Keepin’ it real folks.
What’s the biggest star on your To Do List? And what makes it so enduring?
And yes, off on holidays to Tasmania. If I can work the autopost feature, you will get a post next Wednesday too. You’re welcome!
I’ll say ‘hi’ to the Tasmanian cheese for you.