Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Don't Be Like Putty...You Need a List

Recently we were out to dinner with some friends and the topic turned to our "lists". No one loves a good conversation about lists better than me. I have a lot of lists. I have daily personal and work lists, weekend lists, a list of things I want to look for the next time I go to Brimfield, a list of music I want to put on my iPod, a list of books I want to read...the list of my lists could go on forever. I'll be honest...some of my lists have sub-lists.

I need my lists, otherwise, I wouldn't remember what I needed to do. Have you ever met someone and the minute they say their name it goes out of your head? That happens to me with everything. I'll think "Oh, I have to remember to do that..." and then 2 minutes later I can't remember what that was. Some people don't need lists because they have a good memory. And apparently some people don't need lists because they don't plan on doing anything. Case in point, our friend who we went out to dinner with.

His wife asked what was on our lists for the weekend. Tim and I both rattled off a dozen things that were still on our lists that needed to get done. My friend said "On my list is to have him finally take out the air conditioner" ...and she motioned to her husband. I should note that it was November when we went out. I'm just sayin'...."So, when I asked him if he could do that he said, 'That wasn't on my list of what I wanted to get done this weekend'. She then asked him what was on his list and he said "Well, nothing. I don't have a list." Let me clarify. It wasn't that he didn't have a list that weekend. He just NEVER has a list.

Who doesn't have a list?! This was essentially our entire dinner conversation. Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode where Elaine and Putty are going on a trip and Putty is literally staring at the back of the airplane seat in front of him. When Elaine asks him what he is doing he says "Nothing" and she gets completely annoyed and yells "You are just going to sit there and stare at that seat?!" This is what I imagine people look like when they don't have a list. They just stare straight ahead with nothing going on.

When we dug deeper my friend said that he doesn't have a list on the weekend because he does so much during the week at work that he just wants to relax and not be constrained by a list. I wanted to pat him on the head and say "It's okay...lie to yourself however you need to, Buddy." Cut. It. Out. I don't want to be constrained by a list either but the fajizzle has got to get done, people. The Christmas tree isn't going to put itself up...my car isn't going to drive itself over to an oil change....and I am 100% positive that  no one in my family is going to start raking leaves on their own.

Here's part deux to this....if you don't have a list, at least do the things that your spouse asks you to do. You can't be selective with the things you are asked to do if you don't have a list. It's one thing if you don't have time because you have other things on your list that are a higher priority. Again, I'll pause here a minute and just say that you can't have "cleaning the garage" as a priority on your list every weekend....and spend all your time out there...moving piles of garage stuff from here to there. That does not count. I'm just sayin'.

I know I'll never convert my friend to be a list maker...it's not for everyone. I'm just sayin'...if you don't have your own list, by default, you are going to have to do the things on your spouses' list that need to get done. My suggestion, Buddy, is start coming up with your own list and "prioritizing".

What's on your list these days?

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