Monday, May 10, 2010

'One of these things is not like the other.'

Imagine for a moment that you are in a room full of 6-year-olds. Now imagine that you ask for one volunteer to go to Disneyland with you. It's easy to envision the excited cacophony that would ensue, each first-grader jumping, squealing, raising his or her hand high enough to (nearly) grab a handful of moon rocks. They so badly want to be the chosen one.

It's kind of like that every time I walk in my front door. Except my willing participants are not excited kiddos, but tasks yelling at me to be completed. It makes it rather difficult to look forward to coming home from anything. Friday morning I dropped off Lee and his preschool carpool-mate Lily to have their heads filled with wondrous things by someone other than their mothers. A few blocks from home I started the process of deciding what I'd do with the two hours of 'free' time that I had in front of me. There were so many options to consider that I did the best thing I know: I made a list.

Possible things to do before the preschool pickup:
-walk through now-vacant apartment 404
-check rent
-ready deposit
-go to bank
-pick up YMCA enrollment paperwork
-drop off 6 big boxes of donations at the church parking lot across town
-11:10 preschool show
-vacuum living room
-plant primroses that have been waiting over a month to go into the planter box on the property
-weed the front bed
-balance checkbook
-load 6 big, heavy boxes into the van
-vacuum property common areas
-walk grounds to pick up trash
-post online ad for Riah's van
-balance checkbook
-pay bills
-pick up priority mail boxes at post office for ebay stuff
-plan healthy menu
-vacuum last-last-weekend sand from van and remove towels we've been sitting on
-gather tax info to file (we extended)
-remove dead rat under the porch (thanks, neighborhood cat)

In a way, the list is daunting. It's nowhere near my insanely overwhelming Master List of Things to Do, but it's relieving that these are merely options of things I could choose to do in this short amount of time, not things required to complete by a certain time. There's no way that they'll all get done, but they all sit and holler at me to be completed. All day, every day they and their Things to Do compadres yell at me to be worked on. Sometimes I just want to stick my fingers in my ears, close my eyes and scream at the top of my lungs for them all to just shut up. Except we don't say that at our house. It's not kind.

Here's what DID get done:
-tumble back seat and shove 6 big boxes into back of van
-check rent
-ready deposit
-walk through now-vacant apartment 404
-call tenant to notify her of the apartment's condition
-call power company to put power in business name
-call tenant to ask that she take power out of her name the day she moved, not a week prior
-call tenant right back because I forgot to get her forwarding address
-call blind company to find out why they charged us for a vertical blind header repair and replacement
-show tenant in 502 where the extra storage is
-rearrange 3 storage units so that I'm taking up only 2
-move shelves out of the unit 502 wants to put into my bedroom (yay!)
-sweep out that storage unit
-begin to remove moving boxes, coat hooks and full-length mirror from 404
-go down to maintenance office to find fully-charged drill to finish the job
-notice that it's 11:00
-drop everything and go to preschool show
-drive across town to drop off boxes
-wait a bit because the trailer's not there yet (we were 20 minutes early)
-kill time at Subway getting lunch
-make note to never, ever feed Cora a part of a sub with too much mustard in a restaurant booth
-clean up the best I can
-be thankful I'm wearing black jeans that don't show mustard...much
-go back to church to drop boxes
-pick up YMCA membership paperwork
-go back to church to drop boxes
-wait for truck to bring trailer
-get call on cell from Wendy at 12:20
-rush home to get fax for the tenant she's moving in 10 minutes

Okay, the boxes never did get dropped off, as the trailer never did show up. I eventually had to rearrange them to un-tumble my back seat so I could pick up Abby from Student Council meeting, after which I eventually deposited the rent checks. You may have noticed that List A did not precisely match List B.

My life kinda works like that. Every day. I did get 7 things from List A finished. The others weren't on that list, but they were either already on the Master List or were about to add themselves. Some tasks jump to the top because they are a high priority (clearing up the mis-billing), others get chosen for reasons inexplicable (like blogging right now).

As I sit and think about my list of today's possibles, I wonder: how do I get picked to go to Disneyland?