Monday, April 14, 2014

A life of lists.

I find lists everywhere. I keep a to-do list on my desk at work and add to it or check off completed tasks daily. Grocery lists keep me focused in the supermarket. Repair lists guide my weekends and spare time. Reading lists hold names of books I intend to read, once I've completed these other lists. I write down lists more frequently now because I've found myself to be more forgetful.

And we have these other lists — things to do before it's too late. My wife wants to experience Merle Fest and see the Grand Canyon. I want to see Yosemite, the Canadian Rockies and New England. That's not counting all the places in Europe we've never been.

For decades, I've kept lists of repairs that need to be done around the house — painting, adding an electrical receptacle, building bookshelves, refinishing the floors, repairing the driveway, removing dead trees, replacing the old, rotting pump house. The bigger the job, the farther down the list it goes until it gets transferred over to the new list.

Many of these list items have been consigned to "when we retire," but in a few years, that will no longer be an excuse. Retirement will be busy if we do more than just keep lists and actually begin checking off the "done" items.

Years ago, I had another list, never written down but always on my mind. It was more important than those written lists. My goal was to see all three of my children educated, on their own and married. The final mental check went beside the last of these goals 10 years ago.

With these goals achieved, the others don't matter so much.

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