Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One simple step toward changing your life forever (or not)

Nothing is more useful than a good list.

We can wake up on any given Saturday morning, stressing about a week's worth of chores that have accumulated like the oil strata on a teenager's scalp. It's time to take a deep breath, have four or five cups of strong coffee and simply put it all down on paper. See? Our blood pressure has already receded enough to leave that throbbing vein in our forehead a distant, harsh memory. Here's what we need to do today:

1) Mow the lawn.

2) Look closer to see if it's a potentially cancerous melanoma or merely a liver spot.

3) Check the attic to make sure no one is living there, since that's what one of the kids thought last night. If so, confiscate his branding iron and hockey mask.

4) Fold laundry.

5) Watch at least three infomercials, just to make sure I'm not missing out on something life-changing and awesome.

6) Avoid issue with children about why it's okay for me to eat pie for breakfast, but not for them.

7) Clean dryer lint trap, to wrap up chore list in a highly satisfying manner.

Checkity-check-check-check and the list is history. Once everything is crossed off, it goes into the garbage—not the recycle—the garbage, with all the other irrelevant nastiness. The weekend is now mine.

My younger daughter, our ten-year-old, seems to have inherited the family's penchant for list-making. Although hers is more of a life-goal schedule, it shows ambition, and I can only imagine the accomplishment she'll feel when this substantial docket, which I found taped to her door, is satisfied:

We may have to work on some sequencing.

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