Last week I attended a meeting of about eight local writers. We were talking about how to rev up our writing skills in the new year. As part of the discussion, two of the writers, one about my age and one at least 30 years younger, put me to shame. Both of these writers told us how they organize their days by making lists the night before of the things they want to accomplish the next day, then they mark off the accomplished tasks as they are competed.
As I listened, I wondered how I’ve wasted my life. I’ve never made lists. I have a calendar, yes, but sometimes forget to check it. As a result, I’ve missed occasional appointments, assumed times that weren’t right, and I sure as heck have put off things these other writers would put on their lists. For example, I know the vacuuming needs doing regularly; I have several vacuums, but it’s a rare day when I have the fortitude to actually vacuum all the rooms of my home. When I do vacuum, I expect (and get) some kind of wonderful reward such as a trip to the refrigerator or an outing to a favorite casino. (Sadly, I occasionally undertake the rewards even when I never touch the vacuum.)
Last week was the PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) trade show in Las Vegas with lots of interesting products (and some samples) on display. I’ve attended this show in the past and could attend again, but heck it’s cold outside and maybe the heavy coat I’d need to wear while walking from the parking building to Mandalay Bay’s convention area would be too heavy once inside the convention center and I’d melt. So I didn’t go on Tuesday (went to see the “Little Women” movie and enjoyed it), Wednesday (had to get mentally ready for an evening HOA meeting)..and even Thursday (the dogs needed me). Good judgement or laziness or procrastination? All of the above.
So if I live an unorganized life, what is my excuse? I say because I am occasionally creative, I can’t be bogged down with conventional things such as lists and housekeeping skills. But wait, my two writer friends are very creative. You mean, it’s possible to be creative and organized?…oh sh….
In the middle of our discussion about lists, I asked the group, “But when do you have time for Pickers?” (I was referring to a TV show on the History channel called “American Pickers”, one of my favorite pass-the-time shows.) Almost the entire group said, “What? Never heard of it…no time in the schedule for TV.” One writer observed he spends his free time reading classic literature, in fact, re-reading the books he had read and loved in high school. (He brought with him an example, “Of Time and the River” by Thomas Wolfe). Me, the only thing I remember from so long ago, except for Dick and Jane, is that story about a whale.
I do read new books now and then, but I also often flip through a couple other TV programs that make me feel better about myself. One is “Hoarders”, and though my three dogs and I don’t always have a pristine home, I now, thanks to “Hoarders”, have seen worse. And those shows about large folks needing weight loss surgery tell me I’m thin….in their world.
So life goes on…without lists, floors that need vacuuming and a skipped convention or two. I occasionally find things in life that get the creative juices flowing, thank God. I type a couple paragraphs, reward myself…and then keep typing. The dogs are asleep in the corner; Amazon delivers another package, and all’s right with the world.