Great List of Accomplishment

When summer began?or as soon as I got excited about summer beginning, which was back in March?I made a list.

I make a lot of lists. They are not especially successful, unless you count making the list itself as Task Number One. (I do.) But this time it was going to be different; I’d be with it. Organized. Forging ahead, chasing dreams, blah blah blah.

I made the list. The Great List of Summer Accomplishment. Why do I always include the words ?great? and ?accomplishment? in my list names? I’m sadistic, or a sucker, or just plain dumb, I guess.

The problem was that the list was big and long and sprawling?hence the ?great??and this characteristic kept me from accomplishing the ?accomplishment? part. I was overwhelmed. I needed to subdivide the list, so I got a great planner to help me tackle my Great Accomplishment Monstrosity.

Actually, that name kind of describes my planner. It separates tasks into categories, days, and hours, and there’s all kinds of columns and rows and general blank-lined goodness just waiting to organize my life. The problem: This planner is so awesome that it takes considerable effort to set it up. But I did it religiously, until I kind of stopped cold turkey because it was complicated and tiring and there’s so much more to do in life than filling in a planner. Also, pretty much the only thing I was doing in life was filling in the planner, unless you count Constantly check Facebook as Task Number Two, and even I don’t do that.

So it was back to the list drawing board. Instead of tasks, I made a new list of goals. These were more general than specific, which caused problems when I tried to figure out whether I could legitimately cross something out. Like Teach my child a passage from Shakespeare. How long is a passage? How many tears constitute success? Does it count if she memorized one line before the Shakespeare session descended into iambic pentametering of today’s top 40? I mean, it was fun?aside from the tears part?though possibly less educational. Then somewhere between Shakespeare and Go birding I lost the list, and that was it for Great Goals of Accomplishment.

Since goal setting was clearly too arduous, I tried merely thinking about goals. This was fun. I spent a lot of time researching great places to go and great things to do, alternating with ordering massive quantities of books off Amazon. I was successful in all these endeavours?meaning the research and book buying, of course. Somehow nothing ever made it past the ethereal thinking stage, which meant that I had fun, though the intended beneficiaries of the fun did not.

But I really didn’t feel guilty, and That’s when it hit me. Making lists is how I have fun. I get a rush from list making, the same way normal people do when they skateboard or run marathons.

And That’s why, when I realized summer’s almost over and back-to-school season’s upon us, my first thought was to get a list going. Because It’s in making a dream list of stuff I’ll never get done that I can cope with the future and relax and enjoy the living I’m doing right now.

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