A Someecards greeting I saw recently sums up my life:
"Men: If you ever wanna know what a woman's mind feels like, imagine a browser with 2,857 tabs open. All. The. Time."
That's also a good summation of the book/movie, "I Don't Know How She Does It," starring Sarah Jessica Parker. I found the main character's incessant lists depressingly relatable.
My to-do list is an evolving, shape-shifting black hole in my mind that can't be harnessed. Writing it down is futile and exploring it is maddening.
I've lived with my to-do list for so long it's become ingrained, a constant buzz of tension in the back of my mind. Whenever I start to give voice to The List, I stress out myself and those around me. Especially my husband.
But sometimes you just have to vomit it out. Maybe that's a therapeutic way to take back its power. Whatever. Here's my list as of 9:08 p.m. Tuesday, random and chaotic, just as it scrolls through my mind.
Speaking of vomit, Bennett threw up. Pick doctor before tomorrow. Have records transferred from the old pediatrician's office. Figure out which insurance is effective, because we're in the middle of switching. Figure out whether the doctors here take the new insurance.
Correction: Hubby did them last night. CANCEL TAX APPOINTMENT
Schedule oil change. For both cars. New battery for Will's? His car died twice in the span of a week.
HANG TOP-OF-STAIRS BABY GATE
Plan Bennett's 2nd birthday party. Car theme? Send invites. Correction: Make friends, then send invites.
Write/send thank-yous for Quinn's birthday presents from December. Too late? (Er, thank you, everyone, for the gifts! Sorry I'm a toad.)
Figure out tornado plan. Where in the basement should we huddle?
Dispose of bucket full of broken plate glass in basement. That would be some deadly flying debris.
FIND WEATHER RADIO. Did it end up in the guest room? The basement? The pantry?
Buy fire escape ladder for the second story of our house. Replace smoke alarm batteries. Test smoke alarms.
Install screen under the ornate heater grate in the kitchen. Figure out whether all the peas, carrots and tiny cars the kids have poked through are fire hazards.
Find big boy bed for Quinn. Loft bed with slide, like his friend's? DIY fort bed? Face reality and get normal bed? Full or twin?
Hang antique door from basement over guest bed as headboard. Clean spider webs off door.
Hang pictures throughout house.
Order pictures from Bennett's 1-year photo session, for crying out loud. Schedule 2-year session.
Organize/back up photos on computer. Get some printed? Or compile into photo book? Trying not to feel guilty because I did that for Quinn's first birthday.
FIND CAMERA. TAKE PICTURES OF MY GROWING CHILDREN
Find preschool for Quinn to attend in fall. Tour it. Sign him up for swimming lessons. Help him learn to catch/throw ball better.
Clean office. Organize filing cabinet. Figure out how to repurpose old dresser into media cabinet for the living room. Or don't. Just get it out of the middle of the living room.
Plan container garden. Basil, oregano, tomatoes. Lavender? Thyme? Watch the yard more closely to see which spots get the most sun. Figure out landscaping situation. As in, how to mow a near-vertical slope? Google this. Alternative: How to build a massive retaining wall?
More container gardens -- need flowers for porch. Especially next to my zen spot, the porch chaise. Plus the flower bed near the street that's sitting empty.
Buy swing set?
Reseed lawn. Weeds everywhere. Bare spots from previous owners' dog are eroding and making small rivers and holes. Google reseeding. Figure out where to buy bulk lawn seed in our new town.
Get dog? Small, medium or large?
Plan/order birthday gifts for Bennett. Buy birthday gift for Dad. And mother-in-law. And stuff for Mother's Day!
Friends' wedding coming up in May… what to wear? BOOK ROOM
Vacuum. There are only a few rooms here with carpet, but it's been more than a month!
Plant lettuce in vegetable garden. Google how to keep Bambi from demolishing the other half of my broccoli plants. Make defense plan.
Figure out why the damn Internet has been out for half the day.
Don't skip yoga again. Meditate more. Relax more. WATCH "DIRTY DANCING" IN 3-D AGAIN
Visit old friend's parents. Call old friend. GET NEW PHONE THAT WORKS. Call cell provider, cancel old plan. Call landline provider -- figure out why it's been out all day, too!
Make piano tuning appointment. Make dentist appointments for me, Will and Quinn. Make haircut appointment. FIND STYLIST
Take break. Go outside, listen to rain.
Check gutters. Need cleaned?
Find spot for future porch swing. Build from pallets? RELAX
Figure out how to install indoor swing for the kids.
Build coffee table. Pick design for expensive-looking knock-off. Figure out if Dad's old barn wood will work. LEARN TO USE POWER TOOLS
Fix broken toilet paper holder again. Fix off-balance ceiling fan. Use WD-40 on kids' squeaky bedroom doors.
Buy master bedroom rug? Dust blinds in master -- they're disgusting.
Install handrails on outside steps. Paint dining room/remove wallpaper border.
Catch up on news. Subscribe to local paper?
Ignore list. Read with kids. Play outside. Walk to park. Go to library.
Do more for me.
Find inner peace.
Go to bed at 10.
Sleep eight hours.