Why To Do Lists Suck

Since August has officially begun I thought it was time to update the TO DO LIST I so optimistically dashed off back in January. I wouldn't have given it a second thought, except that a friend happened to mention my list to me in a passing conversation... And it was only afterwards, when my red cheeks had faded and the coughing and spluttering had died down, that I
a) remembered I really had in a fit of insanity written such a list, and
b) probably should check whether anything I'd said had miraculously happened without me even knowing it.

I consoled myself (pathetic I know) that it is ONLY AUGUST for Pete's sake, and there is still heap of the year left to climb Mt Kilimanjaro or whatever stupid things I'd said I might do.. I mean that's the whole problem with TO DO Lists, or New Year's Resolutions, or whatever you choose to call them. They can hang over you, like a BIG DARK CLOUD. You are trying to live life the best way you can, remembering to dress yourself in stuff that isn't stained or see-through, eating balanced meals and treating the kids' head lice etc, and then suddenly you remember, Hey, I said I'd read War and Peace by April 1. Der. Now I'm a big failure.

Yes, well, someone should have reminded me of this when I wrote that list. Because I'm feeling like a failure (mostly on account of actually forgetting I even had such a list) before I've even remembered what was on it. Anyway, let's get the update over with. Then we'll both know why To Do Lists suck.
  • No I haven't yet learnt to use my sewing machine. I do have it in a very neat and safe place under Archie's bed - where it is waiting, ready to be pulled out and used. Just haven't quite got there yet...

  • No, I haven't entered any short story competitions - unless you count the 25 words or less competitions, of which I've entered a few, but so far unsuccessfully, so probably shouldn't count them. Doh.

  • No, I haven't re-read any of the Narnia or Harry Potter series. The new book pile beside my bed seems to grow rather than diminish even though I'm reading whenever I can, so getting back to some old favourites hasn't happened. I'm keeping a list of books I've read this year (+ reviews) on Shelfari. Can highly recommend another children's fantasy novel though, The Dream Merchant by Isabel Hoving was a fantastic read.

  • Have I made something crafty, that could feasibly be sold on Etsy? Well yes I have. I have made several (yes, that means way more than one) bunting sets. Using vintage Golden Book pages, I was pretty happy with the result. My friend Kat is holding a craft stall at her kid's school on Election Day to raise funds for new play equipment. Maybe my bunting will go towards a shiny new swing, or something...

  • No I haven't painted a picture to hang on our wall. I did buy some art supplies back in April I think. Hmm, maybe they're under Archie's bed? Will have to check. Here is a painting of a Tuscan village my talented Mum painted years ago that I am currently displaying. Does that count, us being related and all?

  • No, I haven't hung a collage or any pictures on our wall in the TV room. Why was this TO DO list so freaking long? Next time, someone stop me, please.

  • Yes, I did clean out the tupperware cupboard. But no pics, as I think it's probably a mess again. These things are cyclical. Right Martha?

  • No the kids aren't learning any music. Arch did pick up a recorder in the op shop we visited this morning, But he was blowing in the wrong end. The lady behind the counter took it off him and muttered something about hygiene issues and putting them out of the reach of children. See what I'm up against?!

  • Grow something in the garden? YES! Punch in the air yes! The kids and I took mattocks, shovels and dangerously pronged forks to the little garden beside the pool fence on a sunny Saturday last month. We pulled out all the old ratty stuff and replanted it with lovely new ground cover daisies and an ornamental peach tree. Exhausted but proud. Oh, the flowers on the left are just some winter flowering things I stuck in a pot at the back door. The less strenuous sort of gardening I usually prefer.

  • Now finally almost at the end at this interminable list (won't be so verbose next February, that's for sure). Yes I have been taking Arch to the park fairly regularly. The glorious winter sunshine has made it preferable to staying indoors. It's been fun. Instituting an exercise regime has not been as doable or fun, but hey, it's only August. Still four months till the end of the year people.
I'll keep you posted on my progress..or lack thereof.

Have you kept track of your New Year's Resolutions/Goals for 2013? Let me know if you have some successes to share (and I'll be happy for you, I will I promise). Let me know what isn't going so well. With the end of year still a little way off, I'll happily give you the 'buck up' speech I've been giving myself.

Who knows, it may be far more effective on you!


  1. I'm sure if you saw a list of what you HAVE done, you would be quite impressed. It is just hard to keep track of things as they happen. (I hear there is this thing called keeping a journal...) :)

  2. ..or a blog? Yes it is probably more helpful to concentrate on achievements than failures - I'm trying to like the fact that Shelfari is telling me I'd better get a move on if I'm going to reach my goal of reading 50 books this year! Seemed so doable when I set that goal so am resisting any urges to revise it down! :-)


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