TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. A VERY SHORT STORY.


I'm fine. I'm busy. I'm doing all those zillion and one things you all are doing, too. Laundry, cleaning the kitchen, making beds, paying bills, going to rehearsals, the odd task of sifting thru birthday cards from 20 years ago, preparing music for church, recording vocal parts, the very exciting job of cleaning the cat box, driving places, eating a meal here and there, (usually while the driving is happening), answering 6 month old emails...

...and then really useful stuff like sitting for half an hour staring out the window with the cat on my lap as we watch the birds hop around on the patio, or peck at the oatmeal we tossed out onto the lawn cause it was too old for human consumption. Or flopping onto the couch to watch an episode of "Castle" or "Downton Abby" or even go into complete decline with terrible dialogue, over-the-top characters in the very out-of-date "Murder She Wrote". Or deciding to do something productive like meditate and journal and instead find myself taking a very cozy and luxurious nap curled up on the sofa.

Meanwhile, back in reality, time flies by faster than the proverbial speeding bullet or Superman and you realize you still have the other half of your huge "To Do" list before bed. By then it's so late in the day, and you get so tired just thinking about it, you skip the list and go directly to your room, pull down the covers, crawl in and hunker down into your pillow thinking that will solve your problems.

But no, your conscience (or Jiminy Cricket) kicks in as you lie there, thinking of all the things you didn't get done, and it takes you another hour just to fall asleep. But before you do, you promise yourself that tomorrow you will get your act together, you will check off ALL the things on that darn piece of paper.

Yes, piece of paper. For those of you who are so, I don't know, hip and actually living in the year 2016, the TO DO List cannot be properly checked off on a mobile phone, sorry. It must be a beaten up piece of paper that you've been carrying around for 3 months, with some things scratched out, and more added on. It almost disintegrates in your hand as you hold it, but you cannot throw it away because it is THE LIST, and before you die, you must complete it. It may be an impossible mission, but you are determined to see it through one day, and then, yes, then, you will feel proud and pleased of your accomplishments. The Nobel Prize of “List Completion” will be awarded to you, and your family will beam with delight as they see you receive this accolade for finally, finally, finally actually completing something you started.

Back in bed, your eyes flutter as you begin to drift off into slumber to think of happier things, like retiring, or never having to pay another bill, or do the god forsaken taxes when the little guy on your shoulder whispers in your ear and says, "Who are you kidding?" Sadly, you blow out a breath of exasperation, roll over, nudge your husband so he stops snoring, and dream of another day where there are enough hours in the day to do the haunting-agonizing-never-ending "To Do" list completely.

You get the picture, right? If the old clock on the wall would just pause for a few hours, or even an entire day, it would allow me time to catch up and then I could, would, maybe, get back on task with, well, everything! Sigh. One can dream, can't one? Meanwhile, I think the dishwasher needs emptying...

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