This is the to-do list I made for myself throughout the workday on Friday. It’s a typical sight for me—as my brain goes through things that I need to accomplish, I eventually think, “I’m never going to remember this…” and grab whatever scrap of paper might be closest. Sometimes I’ve got three or four similar lists going at a single time—sure, I can say I need to run to Target, but if I don’t write down what I need while I’m there, I’ll probably just end up buying half of the $1/$3 section in the front and leaving without anything of actual value. Yes, it’s chaotic, but does it work for me? That’s an enthusiastic “kind of sometimes… I guess.”
But as you can see, there’s not much crossed off of this list as of today.
And, no, that’s not because I forgot it on my desk when I left for the day. I’ve done that enough times that I’ve started snapping photos of these lists on my phone so that at worst I’ve still got most of the list available to me at all times. (That’s a little life hack for those of you who, like me, struggle with what I can only assume would be diagnosed as some sort of attention deficit or are just a little forgetful.)
Truthfully, my to-do lists often look like this—or sometimes worse—by the end of a weekend. And while I don’t think it’s all that uncommon, I like to hope most people’s fare a little better than mine typically do. I mean, I do set a pretty low bar…
It’s not that I didn’t do anything over the weekend—I did plenty. It’s just that some of the things I did weren’t on my list as of Friday. Admittedly, that often happens because I’ve forgotten to add things to a list—I’m already spotting things that got left off of this one—but that’s not always why they’re not there. For example, I reorganized and cleaned some of my craft space in our dining area. While it’s been on my radar for weeks to get this done, it wasn’t a high enough priority to have made it onto the weekend list yet. However, this was stressing Kirk out (and honestly, it wasn’t doing me any favors either), so it needed to be bumped up.
But most of the things that I do aren’t on my list because they’re just not exactly list-worthy. A lot of those are daily things like feeding Nolan and Kirk. Or endlessly chasing down stray dishes that somehow wander off with a certain teenager. Or feeding Nolan. Or putting some miles on the car to give Nolan the sensory input that he craves. Or feeding Nolan. Or running errands. Or driving more. Or ordering cat food. Or tasks like getting Nolan showered. Or feeding Nolan again.
Some of the things that don’t make the list are the kinds of things that weekends were made for… Things like trying to take time to relax with an activity I enjoy like reading Reddit or making crafts. Heck, this past weekend I even got to visit with friends to celebrate progress on a project we’ve been working on for months. Not only was it nice to see people and healthy to spend time outside of work/ home, it felt like a good thing to do for my mental health. Heck—Nolan even did a good job while we were there (even with an unexpected visit from a dog), so I’m going to say it was good for him too.
But mostly, these lists are at the mercy of Nolan. I’ve often said things in our house happen at Nolan’s speed, and that couldn’t be more true than of with to-do lists. Usually when we refer to Nolan Time, we use it to talk about accomplishments… “When will he learn to do this on his own? When he wants to—he’s on Nolan time.” He’s not going to learn anything until he decides it’s worth learning—and that makes sense. But where Nolan Time (or Nolan’s speed) really impacts our every day. Need to go to the grocery store Saturday morning? Okay, but first Nolan’s going to want a car ride, followed by a can of soup, followed by time just hanging out with his favorite parents (unless he can go for another car ride? Please?). And maybe some tickles please, Mom?
And really, who can say no to spending time with a kid like Nolan? Certainly not this girl. And certainly not when it’s both the best and the most important thing I do all weekend—even if it’s not on the list.