Thursday, January 28, 2010

On Being a (slightly compulsive) List-Maker

I haven't always been a list-maker. In fact, if I look back at my early years or if you talk to my parents, they will tell you that I was messy and unorganized. In fact, they'll probably re-count specific instances to you with great glee! But, somewhere in my teen-age years that began to change, and then when I went to college and decided to do my 2 years of pre-requisites and my 2 years of nurses training at the same time while holding a job to help pay my way, I found it necessary to become highly organized just to hold it all together. And then, it just kind of stuck, and by the time I was married had become a slight compulsion.

Being a list-maker has its' benefits. I rarely have a day, week, or month where I don't have a list telling me what I want/need to accomplish. I have lists of groceries we need, lists of clothing to buy for the children for the next season, lists of possible gifts for family for next Christmas, lists of curriculum options for next year, and on and on and on. It means I feel organized. It means that my house is usually neat and tidy and organized. It means that when the forecast began to show that we should anticipate another severe winter storm, my house already held most of the necessary supplies for going without power for a week or more (oh the joys of an Oklahoma ICE storm).

I already had made sure we had enough firewood for a week living in front of the fireplace, a pantry of staples for a couple of weeks, a stash of lamps and flashlights, candles, every medication you might ever need, freshly charged cell phones, full gas-tanks, cases and gallons of bottled water, a box of assorted batteries to power all of our flashlights, radio, weather radio, and CD player, and had made a trip to the store for extra milk, bread, and fresh produce. Then yesterday, we made a trip to the library for LOTS of books for everyone, some stories on CD, and then a last-minute trip to Target for a new puzzle and an Old Maid card game to teach the kids.

This morning it was up quickly to do a last load of laundry (I had to have everything clean in case I couldn't do laundry for a week), bake some cookies (I won't be able to if I can't use my oven), and make sure we had at least 24 hours of firewood stacked dry and covered on the patio.

And here is the downside of being a (only slightly compulsive) list-maker. The storm will begin any time now, and by this evening we may well have an inch of ice, which means that we most likely won't have power, so what am I doing? Dusting and vacuuming, because after all, it's on the list of jobs for today, and if the power goes out, I won't be able to vacuum for heaven knows how long and there won't be enough light to dust well. *Sigh* Sometimes I make myself tired.

But, knowing that being a list-maker is as much a curse as a blessing, I'm working on leveling out the extremes. I've made a deal with Nathan that I will work hard until lunchtime, but as soon as lunch is over, I will "forget all about my work and just be silly"-his words, not mine. And, I'm looking forward to just being silly for the afternoon.

If you don't hear from us in the next couple of days, know that we are happily iced in without power, but we'll be playing lots of games, reading lots of books, eating baked potatoes baked in the fireplace, roasting marshmallows, and huddling in front of the fireplace. (Actually, I kind of hope we do lose power for a couple of days-I think that above list sounds like fun!!!!)

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