Have You Made Your Life List?


life listI have made lists the last couple of weeks trying to become more organized. It is hard for this creative person to organize. It seems I never can find anything when things are organized. List making is helping me stick to my tasks during the day.  There are many things that distract me from the tasks I need to do that I don’t like to do. Because my mind is always creating I turn to  the fun tasks on my list first and because of the fun tasks, the tasks I dread never get done until the last minute.

As I gazed  at the books on my book shelves this morning I came across the book in the above picture by Sterling Publishing. Finding this book also coincided with a free book I downloaded by Ruth Soukup from Living Well, Spending Less. It is a free goal setting workbook. I thought it might help me on my journey to pay off my debt and get more organized. One of the first things it tells you to do is to list your priorities. The book advises us to list what actually matters to us the most.

How many of us make lists that actually list what matters to us most as a priority? If I did that my list might be something like this: 1. God  2.Family  3.Health and the daily every day living tasks would follow somewhere down the line. Do you get the picture? Instead, my list today is pay bills, work on budget, website, end of year taxes, buy groceries, organize, interviews for the paper. There are only a couple of the tasks on that list that I enjoy doing.

I looked at my former lists and no where on those lists does it list me, play time, relaxation, time with family, playing with my shysters, writing, which are all enjoyable activities that relax me. When I make a list I am very focused on the list. At the end of the day I feel like I have accomplished something. It leaves me tired and in need of a recharge. There are days I need a recharge before I start my list and my tasks on that list.

It doesn’t feel like a coincidence that at the same time I read the goal setting workbook I found My Life List book on my book shelf.  I also am reading a book on my Kindle by Diane Moody called Confessions of a Prayer Slacker. The book subject is prayer and Moody lists excuses why we don’t pray. Whether you are a prayerful person or not, Moody’s thoughts may hit home. Somehow we’ve equated “busyness” with accomplishment and success. She focuses on the lists we make and the things we rush through to get through the day. This observation resonated with me as I feel guilty much of the time watching my busy friends do all they do for the church, and the community, and I don’t. I don’t want the stress I see in some of them. In the busyness of their lives I never see my friends unless engaging in their activities because they are too busy for lunch with a friend. I feel guilty because I have opted out of much of that and the drama that sometimes goes with it. Perhaps Diane Moody hit the nail on the head when she states, “Have you ever tried to drive your car when the gas gauge reads empty?”

Experiences described in the books I am reading make me look at my list differently. I am making a list and checking it twice but my list is my biggest vice. Perhaps my list and it’s priorities need changing so I can refuel at the beginning of the day before I start my journey down the road to the tasks that drain my tank.

Another little bit of advice from the workbook  was to Eat the Frog. Apparently Mark Twain once said, ““Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” The book advises that if you start the day eating the frog and doing the toughest and hardest task, the rest of the day will be a piece of cake.

For me it is hard prioritizing my list to put the things that matter the most to me ahead of the busyness and the worldly tasks that we need to do to survive in this world and not let the expectations of others determine my list. Perhaps if I eat the frog on putting the important priorities in my life first instead of leaving them last, II would have enough fuel for the tasks that make me crazy. Putting what matters to us most, our lives and our families first, should not be an eat the frog but for some reason for many of us that is the hardest task of the day.

What does my list say about me? What does your list say about you?


Did You Hear The Crash?


Did you hear the loud crash at my house last night. Instead of having a big tree because of the shysters I opted for a tiny tree set on top of my hutch in the corner. It has lasted the entire Christmas season with no problem. I left my Christmas decorations up since we are having family Christmas the end of the month. I guess Boris decided it was time to take them down. Here is what I am thankful for today. How about you?broken ornaments

Bath-Warming Gift? Is This A Joke?


This is my kind of tile. It’s pink.

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf -Published in the Albert Lea Tribune the week of  January 19.

I have been in hibernation mode; at least, that is how it seems. The weather is cold and snowy. My house is warm and cozy. There is no question which is more attractive.

The problem with hibernation mode is the fact I can go a week without face-to-face conversation with anyone except my husband. Social media keep me up on the news of the world and my friends. I chat and converse online, occasionally over Skype, but it is not the same as face-to-face contact.

Along with personal contact, when you hibernate in your home, your life experiences hibernate with you and are confined to your home also. Hibernation mode makes my life smaller. It might not be a problem to be in hibernation mode for some. It might be a lonely feeling for those who are shut in all the time. I do know the more I stay in, the more I don’t want to go out into the world.

For me, hibernation mode is a hindrance when it comes to creativity for this column. My creativity has to come from inside — inside my house that is. I traveled up the stairs, down the stairs, pulling out drawers, looking at my yard and laughing at my shysters trying to find inspiration for today’s column. I had to rule out the shysters because that was last week’s column.

And then — and then — I found my inspiration in the bathroom, by the toilet.

Poop. I can’t believe I used that word in my column, but I did. No, I did not find any bits of excrement by my toilet, but I did find something that I know was a joke, but as it turns out the joke is on the giver of the present. I found Poo-Pourri.

It is widely known, because I have spread the news, that my downstairs bathroom had been in disarray for the last year plus a few months. It fell apart when the sewer pipe broke between the second floor bathroom and my downstairs bathroom.

We had to rip out walls, vanities, cupboards, ceiling, floor and toilet to fix the bathroom. It finally came together in November of this year in time for me to have company for Thanksgiving Day.

December is Christmas and the time for gifts. One of my good friends gave me a gift and in the bag along with my Christmas gift was a bathroom warming present. The name on the bottle was Poo-Pourri Magic Spritzmas. Under the name it announces “Tis the Season to Smell.”

We had a good laugh. She knew I had wanted to put a bathroom fan in my downstairs bathroom when it was tore apart but because my house is vintage or an antique it wasn’t possible. This was my friend’s solution to my angst. It was a joke and neither one of us thought it would work.

According to the label Poo-Pourri is a before you go toilet spray. It is a blend of vanilla, peppermint and natural essential oils that is supposed to create a barrier and stop the smell.

It is kind of like a “little dab will do ya.” You spray a little dab in the toilet bowl water before you go and no one will ever know what you left behind.

I launched an Internet search to find out how Poo-Pourri got started, but its website did not have that information. I did find out there are other scents and other products, and the testimonials are good.

I have to say the joke is on my friend. It is the best bath-warming gift I have received. It is also the only bath-warming gift I have received. My husband thanks her because I am no longer lamenting about having no bathroom fan, and I guarantee the word poop has never graced my column before. And it never will again.

I am out of hibernation mode and relentlessly pursuing other unsuspecting subjects outside of my home. I will be incognito. You won’t recognize me if you see me because the picture that resides with my column is from 2006. I will be out and about, waiting to pounce on my next unsuspecting subject whether it be an inanimate object or a human being. You are warned.



photo credit: neatlysliced via photopin cc