Saturday, February 12, 2011

Revisiting the to-do list

When I was working I had a to-do list on my computer at work, on my computer at home, and on my Palm Pilot. Every day I synched my Palm Pilot to my work computer, brought it home and synched it to my home computer. Otherwise, I would forget everything I had to do.

When I first stopped working, I was told I wouldn't need to keep an extensive to-do list because my time would be my own. I had trouble with that. What if I didn't have enough to do when I was no longer working? What if I got bored? Back then, I now realize, much of my perceived value was in being busy, and a long to-do list verified that I was.

It's been nearly eight months since I've worked. I have a to-do list on my home computer, but sometime in the next few weeks I'm going to post my Palm Pilot on Freecycle or Craigslist. If I get no offers I'll donate it to the Goodwill. I'm done with it.

My to-do list now reminds me of deadlines - real ones, not ones I've conjured up to create a little tension in my mind - like paying the COBRA bill and buying travel insurance for an upcoming trip and calling the catsitter. It also jogs my brain on projects I have in mind, with no dates attached. But the list is getting shorter, and that is a good thing.

I'm still busy. That's in my nature. Today I'll either go see "The King's Speech," or work on Module 11 of my online ESL class, or walk to the store for tuna cat food and then to the diner for lunch, or install the Rosetta Stone Spanish software so I can pick up some Spanish for next winter's trip to Ecuador. But I can choose what looks good. And none of those options is on my to-do list. Isn't that wonderful?


Linda said...

I keep two lists. One that's a general list of things that need to be done but don't have a date. The other is my daily to-do-list.

DJan said...

Yes, Linda, that's wonderful! You are definitely growing in retirement, finding out what you really WANT to do, not what you HAVE to do. Congratulations on realizing it. :-)

Linda Reeder said...

Yep, you're getting into the swing of it. Except for a few "must do's", most of the rest of it is optional.
I do make a list each day of what I would like to get done, because I don't really want a totally empty day staring at me, but I can make other choices if better options present themselves.

Sally Wessely said...

I have to make lists to make sure I get important things done. When I was still paying my COBRA, I lived in fear of forgetting a payment. That 'to do' was in the form of a sticky note on my computer.

I hope you went to the movie today. "The King's Speech" is a very good movie. You can finish the ESL module later. That's my attitude. Those things that seem too much like work, do not get done on the weekend at my house.

marciamayo said...

I think a list maker is always a list maker. I seldom make lists but often wish I had.

Olga said...

I agree with Marcia on the "once a list maker, always." I have been retired for five years and I make all kinds of lists. The difference now is that I rule the lists, they don't rule me. Nothing on a list keeps me awake at night any more.

Arkansas Patti said...

I make a list of things then pick only one to do each day, other wise, I would be wanting a paycheck at the end of the week. If I get a better offer, the list is trashed. The only things you can't put off these days are doctor appointments. Play comes first, all else can wait. Love retirement.