List Bartering

What if we all just swapped our to-do lists? Chances are, the actual content of them would be pretty similar. Grocery. Make dinner. Return some emails. Write some emails. Call some people. Do some report. Hem some pants/take to someone who knows how to hem some pants. RETURN the clothes that have been in the trunk for 6 months. Edit some pictures.  Our lists are mostly interchangeable.  But what if you and I swapped lists.  Then I have this list of things to do – for someone else.  Immediately I am helping someone else and that feels much better than doing all this stuff that has to get done around here.  Also, if you hand me a list of things, each one of those things does not include a host of other ‘things’ related to it that also have to get done, or considered.  It’s just a thing, on a list, that I can do, to help you.  To ourselves, our lists (ok, my lists) have baggage of their own.  So it says right there that I’m supposed spend time going to the grocery today to get food for us all to eat and live.  But what that list doesn’t say is “when are you going to have time to sit down and plan your meals for the week so you don’t just pick everything that looks good off the shelves and spend way too much money on food you say you’ll eat but you know you won’t cause you just feel like eating bread and pickles for lunch instead of cutting up those vegetables and making yourself a nice salad”.  And it doesn’t say, “but you have all this other stuff to do, and maybe you can just put it off one more day because we can just call tonight “Chipotle Night” and if we say it with enough enthusiasm it will be ok and perhaps seem to be on purpose although we know we’re not fooling anyone – just like when we’re having OATMEAL !!! for breakfast”.   With every list, their is a justification and rationalization hierarchy.  What has to be done now?  What can wait?  What can’t really wait but we’re putting it off anyway because we just don’t feel like getting it done right now even though now we’re going to think about it alll daaaay?

If I had your list, and got to just let go of my list – oh how wonderful. I think.   I’d go to the grocery for you, probably discover new foods from your list, and maybe even throw in a little treat and not feel guilty about it at all!  Then I could write some lovely emails for you without over-analyzing what the recipients will think.  I will even edit some photos for you, and make charts for you.  But I would like to take my own pictures 😉

I know it’s just in my imagination, but that just sounds nice.  Maybe if I can just pretend that my list is someone else’s, then I can just get it done with out all that extra worrying.

Whaddya think?

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  • Katie in MA - I just finished organizing my List of Books To Read. I have three separate worksheets: by author, by title, and a little thing I like to call The Queue. The Queue is a list of the books I want to read divided loosely into three categories: Books I Really, *Really* Want To Read, Books I Really Want To Read, and Books I’d Like To Read But Can Wait A Little While. There are a whopping *57* books on the list right now. But it’s a really nice list.

    Sure you want to swap? 🙂

  • JaNae - Love this post….made me think! Which of my lists would you like…. The list of things I really need to do, but don’t want to OR The list of things I really want to do, but can be put off in order to work on the other list?

  • Karyn - …………..hmmmm tough decision. I’ll take your “list of things I really need to do, but don’t want to” if you take mine. =)

  • mommyknows - I think I might get more stressed about your list. I mean what if your grocery list calls for extra lean beef and I can only find lean. What do I do, do I call you, do I sub, do leave it off the list. What if I leave it off and then you have to go to the store again. What if I sub and you hate the extra fat and have to go to the store again. What if I do piss off your email recipients?

    See I am stressed already. Better stick to my own list 😉

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