If you wonder if someone is human, check to see if they have a To Do list. Key symptom of humanity. My list is long and noisy. I swear it plays music. Mostly to the beat of, “Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!” Not particularly friendly. Reassuring, on those days when my sense of self is more tenuous, but there’s a price to be paid for structure.
(I wonder if animals have To Do lists? Bees, beavers, ants certainly build structures. Mother lions and elephants have babies to care for. Caribou migrate. Do they make mental lists? We may never know. But I digress.)
I believe it would be hard to find a person on this planet without a To Do list. Mine has been particularly demanding for some time now. The last year and a half, what with unemployment and various other shifts, has been full of Things Of An Urgent Nature.
I woke up this morning, wandered to the kitchen, sat down with a cup of tea. Waved my mental baton in the direction of the To Do Orchestra. Usually provokes the hum and clank of tuning up. Not today. You know that bit in Peter and the Wolf? Where the flute sounds for the first time, just a few notes? Representing the bird in the tree? I heard that sound. I did. I swear.
A little flourish. Then three bars of silence. Silence, and a pause in the beat. Which means I have time to clean up my study. This is not nothing. Time to pick up random piles of paper that have cluttered my desk, floor, and bookshelves. Tell them what’s what. Time to decide, once and for all, how to store my financial reports and 3rd grade notebooks and family photos. The question of just what categories to use is enormous. Currently everything lies together as though each were as important as the other. As though my life itself were one big heap.
I have lived with this mess for a year and a half, and I finally have enough time and space to take it on. Probably I will play Motown and and dance while sorting. Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch, you know that I love you. Hard to take care of big things when many little things are making noise all at once. Have a wonderful weekend.