You know what I haven’t done yet? A single thing on my New Year’s list of things to do. I haven’t bought a new dress. I haven’t painted the hallway (there’s a bigger remodel there that I’m waiting on). Jake still doesn’t have a baby album, and instead of writing a new book I’ve been revising the first one.
I like to-do lists and wish lists actually. I never have a wish list unless I’m pretty satisfied with life. And to-do lists are good because they give me something to look forward to. It would be awful to think you were done in life, wouldn’t it?
Still, I don’t like those moments – usually between 5 and 6 p.m., LIKE CLOCKWORK, when I’ve just finished work and I’m busy with supper and every single thing that’s out of place or left undone screams at me that my long-term to-do list looks exactly like it did months and months ago and it’s bound to look the same FOREVER. Poor Michael. He doesn’t even ask what’s wrong anymore when it’s that time of day, and I open the dishwasher a little harder than necessary and put spoons on the counter with emphasis.
So, in light of that, I am loving the delightful satisfaction of checking things off the list, here and there, the thrill of actually finishing something, of starting one week with a few more things completed than in the week before. Here are some of the things I’ve done lately to get that feeling.
Snapfish – I used to upload all my digital pictures to Snapfish.com with the goal that I would print them out eventually. (I still like albums you can flip through; I’m old-fashioned like that). But, you can probably see where I’m going with this. I stopped ordering actual prints about October of 2003. So I have some catching up to do, and it thrills me to no end to order a bunch and get that brightly-colored envelope in the mail, and then – more importantly – to tuck my memories into pretty albums and put them on our shelves. I love that feeling. And along these lines, I have ordered prints of the photographs from Jake’s birth and his first few weeks at home, so I’m at least one step toward that resolution at least.
Betsy-Tacy – Mom got me the first Betsy-Tacy book for Christmas, because of our blog-friend Katie who loves them. But I didn’t get to it until last week. You may know I once gave Anne of Green Gables to my niece and namesake, Nola Serenity, and wrote in it that when she read it someday, she’d be reading pieces of me. And that’s how it felt to read a beautiful children’s book that I knew Katie loved. And I didn’t realize until the very last chapter when Betsy and Tacy meet Tib that this is the very book Kathleen Kelly talks about in You’ve Got Mail when she says of Tib, “Whose real name, I’m sorry to say, is Thelma.” You know, Anne of Green Gables is mentioned fondly in that movie too, and suddenly it was like sitting down with Katie, Maud Hart-Lovelace, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and Kathleen Kelly as we all just gushed about the literature we love.
Audrey Hepburn – I’ve now seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina, and Roman Holiday thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law Mary who gave them to me for my birthday. My old-movie repertoire was sadly lacking and now feels much more complete. Roman Holiday, incidentally, was my first Gregory Peck flick. I now have a huge crush on Gregory Peck and feel I should buy a poster of him for my wall. Felicity said Michael might not like that, but all he said was, “He’s dead, right?” And speaking of my crush on Gregory Peck…
To Kill a Mockingbird – I finally bought this book that I have never read. I haven’t seen the movie either (with my aforementioned crush). And my life, as a person rather fond of words, feels a bit less fraudulent now. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but since reading it is such a delight, I don’t plan to hurry.
And that’s just the beginning. But it gives you an idea. I also clean the kitchen, sort through the boys’ not-so-endless-when-I-actually-take-the-time-for-it mound of paperwork, do a load of laundry, write in my journal, blog, or download a new song from iTunes. It’s the little things that squelch the five p.m. blues. What are your small, satisfying accomplishments that serve to keep you sane?
*Photo by tellmewhat2 on Flickr.