TO DO LISTS

I love to-do lists. I have lots of them – on my iPhone, my desk, next to the bed, in my diary…there are three next to this laptop as I type. And I have a diary. As I get older, I rely on them more and more because my memory just isn’t what it used to be. I mean, the other day I was positive Bear’s appointment was on Friday and geared my whole day around it, only to forget the referral and turn up a day late. In his words: epic fail.

Image: Copyright M.Mulligan

Everything goes on my to-do list(s), from the things I have to do or else to the things I don’t really feel like doing. A sample from my current list: move money from account for pizza oven (must do), book suit for Bear’s Year 12 ball (must do), get quote from limousine company for ball (put off), see doctor (must do but would rather put off), haircuts for kids (must do or school will ring me on first day and refuse to let them attend classes), go to op shop with niece (must do)…

Some days I am really productive and achieve lots of things on my list. For me, this works best when I write everything down that I need to do, such as shower, get dressed, brush teeth and hair, make coffee and breakfast… check, check, check, check. Try it, it really promotes a great sense of achievement when you do it this way. If anyone asks, what did you do today, you have a ready list to read out: “Well, today was hectic, actually…” So much better than writing a list, getting distracted and beating yourself up when you don’t cross anything off.

I also have a to-read list, a to-watch list, potential birthday/Christmas present list, with a few dozen lists in my head including the places I want to visit in Italy one day. I even email myself reminders. No, it’s not anal, all you non-list-makers. I prefer to think of it as organised, ticking all the boxes, so to speak. I’m a “J” person, according to Myer-Briggs. Figures.

Blue Eyes is also a list-maker. He has a short-term to-list, a long-term to-do list, and an assortment of other Post-its next to the bed and in his lunch box. His memory is worse than mine and sometimes he forgets things even when they are on the list. Like the chicken for tonight’s dinner.

What I don’t get is why the Fab Four have not followed in our footsteps. They forget what I said two minutes earlier, they can’t find anything, they forget to bring home lunchboxes, shoes, jumpers, pencil cases, sports bags, calculators (the last four were all Music Man). They forget to do the jobs they have been doing for the last few years, they forget that they promised to walk the dog…I am sure if they had to-do lists they would find things much easier. Of course, anything we say we’ll do/buy/make for them is not forgotten. Funny that.

And even worse than their selective deafness, they seem to be blind when it comes to reading the to-do lists I leave for them in the school holidays. I started with notepaper. “I didn’t see it,” each one said. “Did you actually mean for us to do those things? I thought you just wrote them down,” was the next day’s response. I put notes on the fridge and pantry door. Didn’t see them either. Now I have a whiteboard. Apparently, they didn’t look on that side of the bench the first time I put it out (Miss Attitude has since figured out that if she rubs things off then they don’t really need to be done).Neon lights, perhaps?