The most sure-fire way to ensure I will not accomplish something is to tell people that I will do it.
Logically, the exact opposite would occur. I would feel responsible to complete the project, go to the whatever, buy the widget, see the movie, write the blog post. However, in reality, if I tell you I will do something, I won’t do it.
Several weeks back, I said that I had a post to write about the thrills of homeownership. Of course, I never wrote it.
However, due to my new to-do listing, I keep being confronted by the fact that I owe the internets a blog post regarding the big hole in my backyard. I have pictures of it. I have thoughts and angry funny comments stewing in my brain, yet my stubborn side doesn’t want to put it down on paper.
Instead, let’s talk about this to-do list project.
First off, I am a major stress-aholic.
I take on way too many things and then freak out about them.
If my home, life, car, relationship, pets, clothes, backyard, aren’t in tip top shape, I worry about them.
If there is something I can worry about, I will.
I always have things on my mind. Things I MUST COMPLETE NOW OR DIE. Things I MUST CLEAN OR DIE. Things I MUST DO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT OR DIE.
I may be a bit psychotic. (If Not Craig is reading, I would appreciate your silence. K.Thx.Bai.)
I also read a lot of blogs. And some of those blogs frequently mention, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. A book - slash - way of organizing - slash - living by David Allen.
Recently, the stress of buying a home, planning a wedding, having a puppy that likes to destroy furniture, clothing and various cleaning implements all while peeing on my brand new floors 10 times a day, became a bit much for me. I decided to check out the book.
Of course, like any internet addict would do, I also googled “GTD” as it is known by its followers (yea, fo realz, I swear it has a cult following.) and read many, many things about it.
I then began to use one of the most highly recommended applications.
Remember The Milk: this is an online to-do list. You can email to-do’s to the list, you can have daily reminders emailed to you, you can set the tasks to recur on whatever frequency you so desire, you can postpone, you can organize your to-do’s into all sorts of lists. It is an incredibly useful tool.
I began using RTM like mad. Adding all sorts of tasks. Things big like “Plan a wedding” and things small like “Watch Glenn Beck 1/19 on Fox” Important events like changing the air filters in my house and fertilizing the lawn and getting the dog his shots. The ever-critical items like dusting the tops of my kitchen cabinets. I have been adding huge tasks and ridiculous minutiae to my RTM page.
Then, as is my modus operandi, I worried that maybe I wasn’t listing all the things I needed to remember. I thought of a ton of things while driving home from work. What about those tasks?
The point of GTD [for die-hard GTD’ers, I am a newbie, so I will be oversimplifying I am sure (for non-GTD’ers, see it is a cult – I am fearful of being caught and exposed for my lack of GTDing-ness.)] is to get things out of your head and onto a list of action items, any little task, idea, desire, needs to be captured so it is not swimming in your brain, making you panic at the thought of forgetting the thought. So before I even finished the first chapter of GTD, I thought I was going to be a big failure because I wasn’t capturing the items that happened to occur to me when I was over 2.5 feet from a computer (which only occurs during my commute, because I have an illness.)
In order to stop the panic attacks, I searched for something to capture these driving induced to-do’s and I found Reqall. Which may very well be 100x greater than sliced bread AND New Kids on the Block combined.
You call ReQall. And speak, tell them what is worrying you, what amazing task you must accomplish, like “Look for Yoda’s vet records and ensure that she will not die due to being vaccinated 10 days late.” Then Reqall transcribes what you said and emails it to you, so you can add it to your to-do list.
I know I am sounding like such a freak already, but I swear, this is a true story. One night I got home and checked my email to find 10 Reqall messages from myself. Ya’ll, I live 20 miles from my office. I apparently called in tasks every 2 miles.
The super awesome added bonus to Reqall is that if you don’t speak clearly, or have an accent, or a static-y connection, Reqall provides built in entertainment. Apparently, I need to write a blog post on the poll on the arts and remember to take TV dinner store tomorrow.
All in all, this freakish behavior of mine is getting my life organized, my head is feeling less full of stress and garbage and overall worry about ensuring that I check the whirlpool tub's shutoff system three months from now.
I haven’t instituted most of the GTD actions, primarily, because I haven’t read more than half the book yet. However, perhaps, the action of reading about organizing my life, has created a calm in me. Simply getting all the craziness out of my head and into a nice little program that I can check at work and at home, at 3:00 AM and 3:00 PM, has helped me chill a bit.
I will keep you posted on how I do with GTD in the future. If I join the cult and if they have a cool handshake or maybe robes. And by saying I will keep you posted, I mean you will never hear me talk about this again.
January 19, 2009
The most sure-fire way to ensure I will not accomplish something is to tell people that I will do it.
January 7, 2009
I tried to think of the right answer. Unable to think of that, I spoke anyway.
He had asked if there was a chance that we would get back together. After hemming and hawing, standing in the entryway to Kohl’s, waiting for this call to be over, I said, “Maybe. I just need some time. To figure out if this is what I even want anymore.” Little did he know that I had already bought furniture for my new apartment, an apartment that he didn’t know I had leased. I was moving on, trying to shop for new clothes for my new life without him, while he asked questions that I couldn’t bring myself to answer with honesty.
The next few weeks were difficult given we were in the same apartment, living completely different lives. Well, no, the new reality wasn’t that different. We had been living different existences for some time. After six years together, we were staying in separate bedrooms since I had a 9-5’er and he was working at a bar at night. Once every couple weeks, we may have shared a bed. Only to have one of us get up in the middle of the night and go to the couch or the other bedroom, unable to sleep with the intrusion of a near stranger into our personal space. We lived on different planes, shared friends who would tell me what this man, who was living under the same roof, hoping to live the same life as me, what he was up to. We rarely talked on the phone. We didn’t have anything to say to each other. The only remaining thing we had in common was a rent check, our dirty laundry, touching more frequently than we did.
I never gave him the right answer, the honest answer, the answer he deserved. My actions spoke for me. I moved out, I stopped answering his calls. He was not the future I wanted anymore. I didn’t know how to express this to him without hurting him so I didn’t say anything. I didn’t have the right answer, the one that he wanted.
This is a part of Grace's experiment. The first two sentences were stolen from Night of the Avenging Blowfish, by John Welter.
January 4, 2009
I know I said I had a post today. This is Not it.
This is a complain-y post written right before I go to bed.
Raising a puppy is a pain in the rear.
He has been ever so trying this weekend.
We thought he was so very house-trained. Shocked in fact, the first couple days.
Lies. It was all lies. Deceit. Perpetrated by that evil tiny thing in order to make us believe he was good. When in fact, he is an evil pee-er.
May I take a break from this complaint to praise the homebuilder for putting tile on the bottom floor of our home.
Thank you. I heart the tile.
However, to return to the complaining, I cleaned up puppy pee 7 times yesterday. 7 spots.
Let me repeat.
Seven times in one day.
After a perfect first week, he is warming up to us, getting comfortable and letting loose.
Don't get me wrong, he is still really cute. And can be very sweet.
The constant training. A drain.
Beyond being on constant Pee Watch, we are not allowing him upstairs due to the cats, litterboxes, and wall to wall carpeting.
We don't have a baby gate there, and it is extremely hard to put one there due to the stair railing being open, and the cats knocking it over, so I am trying to teach him it is off limits.
He runs halfway up the stairs, to the landing halfway up the stairs. I chase after him, saying "No" in my stern voice, and "Down" I stomp on the stairs to make noise that will startle him.
After running up the stairs 74 times, he understands that he is not to be there. It is off limits. But he still wants to sniff cat butt, so he persists, hoping not to be caught. However, due to my newly attuned dog watching abilities (see 7 puddles in one day), I have seen him and have ran after him.
We have done this, I swear, at least 70 times this weekend. He has the idea, "I am not allowed up there," he gets that. Yet he can't stop himself from pursuing cat ass.
I understand the allure. Well, no. Not really, but whatevs, he is a dog. Albeit the purported smartest breed Ever. (Don't trust me, Wiki says so.)
I know, I know. He is a baby that requires lots of training. I have been to the library, I have books. I am working on it.
But oh my, I fully and totally get my reluctance to get a dog. Cats are soooo easy. They require zilch zero training. Their mothers teach them how to use the litter box. Then you May have to train them to stay off the table/counters, but that is it.
Dogs - you have to train every little detail. Their ability to destroy shoes, shirts, furniture, knick knacks, cats....you have to work with them every waking moment to ensure they aren't hellions.
Please bear with me. There are sure to be many many more posts of this nature.
Oh, and his name is Colt. Colt McTrouble Last Name Omitted to Protect the Innocent.
January 3, 2009
I wrote this days ago. And then the topic of my next post occurred and I was without internet. I will have the next post up tomorrow or 3 weeks from now if the internet fails me again. So yea, the post was timely, posting was not. It ain’t my fault.
1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Got engaged, bought a house. These will be recurring themes on this list. Sorry, 10 months of the year were kinda slow.
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I have no idea. If I made any resolutions it has been 365 days since I made them. I don’t know what I did yesterday so, maybe we should be moving on.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister being at the top of the list. No, wait. The kid is a year and a half, which would make it impossible for my sister to have spawned in 2008. So scratch that. Unless she had a child that she hid from us. So in that case, yea.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My BFF’s father. In a horrible awful accident that brings tears to my eyes as I type this. That really, really sucked. Her family is doing remarkably well given the craptastic hand 2008 dealt.
5. What countries did you visit?
Jamaica. Loved it. Definitely would return.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Size 8 jeans on my ass.
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
January 16 – the date that I got Not Craig a job in Houston. Just 3 months after I made the scary decision to go back to Houston without him, thinking it would be at least July before his coming to Houston was even a possibility.
Early September - The entire week of Jamaica. Which now upon doing a review of my blog, I find that I didn’t discuss the actual trip much, except the huge bruise I received. Given all the hurricane related posts around that time period, I completely forgot. I blame Ike. Which I guess means those damn hurricanes may be etched into my memory.
November 23 – I got engaged to my best friend.
December 8 – We closed on our first house.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Convincing this awesome guy that I was so cool that he should spend the rest of his life with me.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not being nice to Not Craig every day.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Back issues related to my driving like a dumbass.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
The house. I may say the puppy in a couple months. But he peed on my carpet last night, so he is not at the top of the list.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Not Craig’s. He put up with me and still wanted to marry me. I am pretty sure he is taking drugs.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My own a fair amount of the time.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Have you ever put a down payment on a house?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Have you seen the days etched in my memory up there. I think all of those are extreme excitement worthy.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
In Your Eyes. Not Craig was super cool and played that when he asked if I would be his forever.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? .Lots happier
b) thinner or fatter? Lots fatter
c) richer or poorer? Lots poorer, but working on building that nest egg back up.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Slept. This has been one helluva exhausting ride.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Ate. Complained. Paid attention to the Britney Spears saga.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Already done. I put together a million piece playset. It was an extremely bad idea.
21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
22. How many one-night stands?
23. What was your favorite TV program?
I would prefer to say Heroes. But somehow I always missed it. The only shows I really saw were The Dog Whisperer and House Hunters.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Election years are a bit tumultuous. And then this whole economic BS. Hate is a strong word….
25. What was the best book you read?
I did a very poor job on completing my reading list this year. Oops.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
IDK. My BFF Rose?
27. What did you want and get?
Love and happiness.
28. What did you want and not get?
Is it wrong of me to not have anything to say to this. I think I got darned near every single thing a girl could want.
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I know I saw lots of movies…but I have no idea what they were. I couldn’t tell you what the movie was about on the drive home from the theater immediately after watching it. I do however now the phone numbers of all my friends growing up 20 years ago. My brain works in mysterious ways.
30. What did you do on your birthday?
Looking back, it appears that I freaked out about a hurricane hitting Jamaica. Amazingly, all that worrying didn’t move the damned hurricane. I believe there is a lesson there.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Space travel. Or a caramel apple.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
LMAO! ROFLMAO. Thrift store chic? 1996 coolness. I have never been stylish. Ever. Nope. Not me.
33. What kept you sane?
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Election year. What a stupid question.
36. Who did you miss?
Family. My BFF’s Dad. Most recently, Cass.
37. Who was the best new person you met?
Yikes. I am such a hermit. This is bad. I am going to have to say that stupid dog that is whining in the background. Because I haven’t met anyone new. I must get out more.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Nothing in life is more important than spending time with those you love. Even if that time is at Wal-Mart.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
The Humpty Dance is your chance to do the hump.