Moronic Musings

and other junk as it occurs to me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

TheTricky Art of Doing The To-Do List

If you were to enter our house, step over the unpacked boxes of junk we don't really need but keep anyway, maneuver to our kitchen and look at the front of our refrigerator, you would see three things.  A magnet in the shape and image of a Little Brown Dog, a printout of a generic shopping list template found somewhere online, and a very neatly handwritten list entitled "Things to work on @ house."  It is this third item about which I will aimlessly pontificate in this particular entry.  Here is the list as it is written:

Things to work on @ house:
-Light outside our bedroom
-Pull out drawers in kitchen
-Door for girls' bathroom
-Organize attic
-Cover windows in our bedroom
-Walkway in front of house
-Paint front porch
-Doorknobs -- Re-key
-Ceiling fan in bedroom
-Mower wheel
-Fix girls' bedroom door
-Fridge leaking
-Fill in holes in yard

Many people keep lists like this.  I would bet that you, Dear Reader, most likely have a list such as this on your own refrigerator or counter, or maybe just in your head.  For most people, lists are helpful reminders that enable them do what needs to be done.  For me, the Potentate of Procrastination, such lists are very nearly the bane of my existence.  They hang there and mock me with all the things I have yet to accomplish.  To me, the very average list above might as well read:

-Build full-scale replica of Great Wall of China out of toothpicks
-Cure common cold
-Win Olympic gold medal in decathlon
-Find constructive use for dark matter
-Time travel and stop invention of Disco
-Eat just one Lay's potato chip

You get the idea.  What happens when I read it is that all of the individual items turn into a kind of lumbering monster; the ogre that gleefully dares me to come trip-trapping over its bridge.  Each time I cast a wary glance at the aforementioned agenda, I have a keen sense of what Sir Edmund Hillary must have felt when he first gazed upon the vast icy wall that was Mount Everest.  I also have what I believe to be an accurate idea of what must have been going through his mind at that very moment: "What was I thinking when I said I'd do this?!"  I'm with you, Eddie.  How about we forget about that silly old hill and go grab a Jamocha shake?

Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm thinking when I look at it.  BUT... if you truly read my list, you noticed that I very adeptly made use of the "strikethrough" feature on a few items when formatting this post, meaning yes, I really and truly have completed some of the tasks.  You math majors out there may have already established that I have accomplished just under 25% of what is written there.  Hopefully, by the end of the day I will have completed at least two more.  There's no guarantee, but it's my goal.  Herein lies something that it has taken nearly all of my adult life to learn: you accomplish things by actually doing them.  Okay, that's oversimplified, but it's a nutshell truth.  Remember the old proverb "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step?"  That's what I'm talking about.  For many people, this notion is a given, like "breathe in, breathe out."  To me, not so much.  It has taken years to realize that one simply cannot complete an entire job all at once.  Breaking it down into manageable tasks is the key.  So here I am, taking one step at a time.  Now that I'm getting that, I hope to keep it.

In case you're not an inferential reader, I'm not just talking about my to-do list.  I've been learning to apply this lesson to life.  Maybe you can give it a go, too.  Stop trying to do too much at once, because then you can't see all the details and may miss lots of great stuff.  Try just taking it in bit by bit and relishing as much of it as you can.  Kind of like enjoying an expertly prepared meal spent with someone whose company you enjoy completely.  Who doesn't like that?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Job, A Home, and A Little Brown Dog

I just typed in my blog's URL, logged in, and took a look.  To my horror, I realized that my last blog entry was dated June 4, 2010.  Yes, Dear Reader, two months and a week have passed since I last graced this site with my mildly mind-stirring mutterings.  I should be (and, therefore, am) ashamed.  So what follows is a quick look at the what and why of my absence.

Last Tuesday, August 3rd, I started my new job at the Georgia School for the Deaf.  I am now one of two brand-spanking new staff interpreters.  I should clarify by stating that while I am neither spanking nor new to the interpreting field, I am a completely unknown quantity to most of the faculty and staff of that august institution.  Suffice it to say that the learning curve will be steep for all involved.  Even so, I am having a great experience and look forward to building fantastic relationships and a successful career there.

As part of the whole new job thing, Jen and I have moved from our dear old dusty crackerbox in Oxford, Alabama to a nice new place in Jacksonville.  I'm still left with a commute, but it's all country roads and is a pleasure to drive compared to the hour-plus interstate grind I've been making for the past several years.  The new place is a palace compared to our old digs.  It's not perfect, but it already feels much more like home than either of our previous residences.  As I told Jen, I intend for that to be our second-to-last move; the last one being when we finally buy a place in which we'll live out the remainder of our happy days.  Jen says that she'd be totally fine with buying this new house, but we'll just have to wait and see if that becomes a possibility.

Finally, we've had a bit of a speed bump in the pet department.  It seems that while we were moving out of the old house, Ginger, our miniature Dachshund, found her way over to the vacant lot beside the house.  The lot is densely overgrown and is a home to lots of fallen trees, critters and debris from years of neglect.  Poor Ginger apparently somehow hurt herself while down in that nearly impassable jungle.  When she came out, she acted as though she had done something to hurt her ribs.  A few days later, the kids noticed that she was dragging her right leg behind her.  By that evening, she had lost the use of both hind legs.  Jen took her to the animal hospital and they kept her for two nights.  She's coming home today (Tuesday), and we'll be looking at the reality of dealing with a pet who is physically disabled.  On a lighter note, Jen told me in a matter-of-fact way that, if it came down to it, Ginger would have one of those doggie wheelchairs.  I kind of chuckled, and she gave me The Look.  "I'm serious," she interjected.  I instantly affected a properly rebuked mein and replied "Sure.  I just don't know how much those things cost," to which she immediately shot back "A hundred and fifty dollars.  I've already been checking around."  The moral here: don't take a woman's love for her Little Brown Dog lightly.  She. Will. Cut. You.

So that, Dear Reader, is that for this update.  I hope to begin making new entries on a regular basis once again soon.  I simply need to make sure that my schedule is relatively stable and that I keep my Honey Do list short.  Thanks for reading and as always, I appreciate your comments.