Tuesday, January 01, 2008
I am a list-maker. Grocery lists, to-do lists, Christmas present lists, bill lists, etc. My day runner is a list of birthdays and special events that stretches out for eighteen months. When teaching, my lesson plans are in a binder sorted by daily lesson plans per week, followed by my monthly "overview" calendar with appointments, meetings, "duties," and grade and assessment deadlines highlighted. The next divider tab protects the updated assessment summaries and checklists that keep me on track when working with individual students.
Being a list-maker means I'm also a fan of the checkmark. Specifically, I'm a fan of checking items/actions/goals OFF of lists with the flourish of a brightly colored Sharpie. Ah, sweet satisfaction. And checkmarking *before* a deadline? Sublime. I know, it's an illness. Not to worry, I've made a resolution to get out more.
Yesterday provided me with a huge deadline: the end of 2007. I woke up and made my list. I needed to clean up my web browser, and decided to update and synchronize my blogs. Check, check. I wanted to purge my desk of any left over 2007 junk mail and get my tax paperwork pile sorted...check, check. Erased the December family calendar from our markerboard and put January's events up, and there was another check. Finished the last of the thank-you cards for friends and family (oh, another pink checkmark!) and baked gingerbread cupcakes for our evening dessert (CHECK!). Laundry was done and put away, bedding freshened, bathrooms cleaned, refrigerator re-stocked... five checks in a row.
I not only needed to get the chores done, I needed to check them off before January 1. Closure achieved. Fresh start ahead. Totally symbolic, I know, but it's what works for me.
Day 1 of 2008 was checkmark-free. I watched movies, got caught up on blogs, cooked some tasty meals, and otherwise relaxed. None of those activities were written down anywhere, and there was no looming deadline to observe. The kids played at the park, husband worked on Harleys in the garage, and the cat napped.
It was a good way to start the year. Don't worry Pink Sharpie, I'll return to my regularly-scheduled list-making tomorrow.