A Square Notepad

it came off of something or other , I don’t remember. Anyway, it occurred to me that it might be the perfect low/no stress “to do” list? Filled, it will take only about six items.

Right now, those are:

  • trash cans (they got washed outside, need to be brought in),
  • limes (make syrup),
  • rug (next piece of that work),
  • laundry room (background cleaning, where the rug is going to go),
  • start memoir clean up (due for delivery to editor in 2-3 weeks) and
  • laundry.

That list is more than enough. I’ll divide the tasks based on how long/how much of me or how many resources are required to finish them, as below:

ONE SHOT/5 MIN: (tier one, unless overwhelming in number, do these 1st or 2nd): trash cans


SIMULANTEOUS: (tier two, do concurrently with other tasks, do this  1st or 2nd as needed swap w/ 5 min tasks): laundry


MORE INVOLVED: (tier three, longer tasks, can be completed in one smaller chunk of time, can be put off usually, if req’d): lime syrup


INVOLVED/NOT GOING TO FINISH: (tier four, longer tasks, a piece can be completed, but will not be finished today): laundry room, rug, memoir

What is realistically likely to happen is that I’ll bring in some of the trash cans, then work on the garden a little since I’m outside (not on the list), then come in and start some another task, maybe on the list, maybe not.

In order to get some of these done, I can “trick” myself or back myself into a corner: I strip the bed, for example and haul the sheets down to the laundry room. The problem here is that I’m starting to get stressed about the “shoulds” and “have tos” when the point is to find ways to do this stuff that doesn’t involve stress!

I wish frequently that I was just a different person! I know people who do this stuff and other tasks simply because 1) they can’t stand to live otherwise or 2)they really enjoy the result. They don’t have the judgement pass/fail thing that runs through (even still) everything I do.

I can approach that 6 item list with no stress. I can even enjoy thinking about how I might do things as above? But then it suddenly transforms into something nasty and all the old crapola surfaces.

The cleaning idea has been working. I am mostly doing the 4 items a day: dishes, kitchen counter, toilet, bath sink. I do them once or many times during the day, I do them however well or badly. Sometimes I don’t do all of them, but mostly I do. I can handle that without the judgements. I suppose that I just have to take the success I’ve gotten, be grateful for it and try to add to it a bit at a time, as I can?

It’s just bizarre, but I’m undoing brainwashing, fighting a fight-flight response, I guess it takes time and patience, although it seems like it should be easy!


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