The List

Note: Also posted on my other blog.

I build my life around lists. The only way I can fight off the crippling panic of an approaching deadline is by writing a to-do list, no matter how massive with sub-bullets and sub-sub-bullets and so on. Seeing a physical representation of everything I need or want to do is soothing. Without it, all the things tumble around inside my head, disjointed and scratchy, and seem much bigger than they are. Trapping them in a list makes them manageable. And then I can start marking things off. There are few things as satisfying as scanning a list to find the next thing to do because most of the items are scratched out.

But there is one list that never gets written down, that never seems to get shorter. It’s the “I’ll get around to it” list. It consists of things that I want to do, but these things have no real deadlines. No in-built urgency. So I can make excuses, decide that I’ll find time later, that there are more important or more enjoyable things that need to be done now.

Learning to drive is on that list. Yes, I’m 29, and I don’t know how to drive. I have my learner’s. I actually had to renew it earlier this year. I promised my mom that I would learn to drive this year, because she wants to give me her old car. And it would be a wonderful thing. I wouldn’t have to wait to get a ride places. I could find a better job farther away from home and convenient bus routes. I could fill up the back of the car with tables and displays and boxes of jewelry and vend at more markets. Out of town markets. Even outdoor markets. More markets would mean more chances for income, which would help pay for the car’s costs.

But driving lessons are expensive. Like, “my entire paycheck” expensive. And getting behind the wheel is terrifying. Cars are massive weapons hurtling down a road that may or may not be in good shape, between other massive weapons that may or may not be in good shape and driven by people who may or may not be fit to drive. It takes just a second of distraction or exhaustion or panic for a car to kill someone. And so I keep putting it off.

Both of my blogs wound up on that list. Everything else just became more important or easier to do. I didn’t have an idea for an update. I’ll get to it later. I didn’t have time to write that larger article. I’ll get to it later. Later. Later. Later. Always later.

Never done.

So I’ve been making plans to get both blogs functional again. Because if I don’t just do it, I’ll never find the ‘right time.’ There will always be something else. Something in the way. Some of the latest include physio, money troubles, and this massive writing thing I’ve been working on all year. I’ve been prioritizing the writing these last couple of months, placing it far above everything else. (I will write more about this later.)

There are other things, too, that I’m trying to do. To get my life in order. Little things that build up and press in on me. Dishes and laundry and taking out the recycling. So I am making lists. Daily lists and weekly lists. Next step is a schedule, so I don’t get carried away doing one thing to the detriment of the entire list. That’s going to take some tweaking, as I figure out how much time I need to do each thing.

But this is the struggle of any work-from-home situation. Time management. I’m used to having a work environment, and someone above me assigning tasks. My home has always been free time, time to watch movies or read or go on day trips to the science center. So making my home environment productive is a challenge. But I have to do it if I want to succeed with my writing and my jewelry.

I’m going to do it.

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