Well I did it. I wrote a list.
Yeah sure, I hear you think. What’s the big deal? Why the big sigh and the slight grimace after that sentence Megan? It’s a LIST, not, you know, your last will and testament. It’s a piece of scrap paper on the fridge, not the Magna Carta. Why this thing scares me so much is anybody’s guess.
Well, not really. I know why lists are scary. It’s not what you put on them…it’s what you leave off. You see? Behind every List is an Unwritten List. We carry these Lists in our heads, but it’s when you put them on paper that the Unwritten List looms up, large and overwhelming, with festery talons and time-biting teeth.
Are you getting it yet? Some of you might…some of you who are still mothers of small children might…
My List is pretty straightforward. It has things like Pay Electricity Bill. Call Builder. Activate New SIM Card. Go to Bank. Wish Sonya a Happy Birthday*. None of it is rocket science. I could knock most of it over in an hour or two…and herein lies the problem.
Have you worked it out yet? Have you figured out what my Unwritten List has on it, the one that makes my Fridge List so frighteningly large? Have you worked out the real reason I don’t just write it down and add it to the other one?
It changes. All the time. It has three small pink mouths, nine eyes, one bottom that needs wiping. It needs help washing its hands, and it needs reminding to brush the hair on its three heads. And it EATS! Oh my how my List eats. And not only does it eat, it likes to have long and involved discussions on what it eats, and when, and how much.
My Unwritten List plays violin. It loves to go to the museum and the park. It swims. It eats. It sits on its little pink unwiped bottom and asks to play Minion Rush on my smartphone. And not only that–here’s the big revelation…the one that Stephen Covey forgot–the Unwritten List is the ENEMY of the List.
This is true. I kid you not. As soon as that pen is poised near the fridge to cross off one more thing, then suddenly the fridge door will fly open and milk will fly out, and a voice will scream from the other room “Muuuuummmmmeeeeee!!” This is the Unwritten List at work.
Don’t get me wrong. I adore my three-headed, one-bottom-that-still-needs-wiping Unwritten List. But I embrace my love of it more freely when there’s not a piece of paper on my fridge that’s trying to tell me what to do.
*Oh yes, it’s Sonnie’s birthday today! Not sure if you’ll read this today or not my friend, but HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY!
Oh wow. I can cross that off my list now I guess!