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Skipping The To Do List

I have operated off of a to do list nearly every day of my life for as long as I can remember. I have one on my phone. It currently has 45 items on it…

It has had 45 items on it for…a while…


And that’s separate from my work to do list. That one only has 14 things on it. So that feels ok.

To do lists are necessary. I can barely remember what I walked into the room for at any given moment. There’s no way I’m going to remember 45 activities. Plus 14 more. Without a to do list. Can you imagine the chaos? I might not even get showered without a to do list.

No, really. Without strictly enforced parameters, I might not get showered.

Plus, it’s super satisfying to hear that little clicky sound when you’ve checked off an item.

But also. Forty five items on a to do list. Plus 14 more. Is…excessive. Unrealistic. Ridiculous. And apparently leads to the Zeigarnik Effect. Which is exactly as stressful as it sounds.

Also. Apparently I’ve started grinding my teeth at night. Like, aggressively just jaw-clenching grinding them down to nubs just all night long. Woke up the past two mornings with my jaw fully clenched. I’m thinking…yeah, that’s…that’s probably stress.

And I know the source. And I’m not entirely prepared to eliminate the source. Yet.

I’m just edging myself perilously close to permanent lock jaw. (I assume. I don’t actually know what causes lock jaw. But this feels close.) I’m also tired. Just always. Just always tired.

I mean, it makes sense when I’ve run 35 miles up and down 8,000 feet of mountains. But when I come home from a six mile run at the Cove. Where I wasn’t even forced to run half of it. I should not struggle to get myself off the couch when I get home.

So, this morning I decided to try something new. This morning, I ignored my to do list. I ignored the voice that said I had to run and strength train. First thing in the morning. That I had to clean and launder and bill pay just right from the jump.

And instead decided to do just exactly what I felt like doing all of the day.

It started off well. Read a few chapters of various books while enjoying my coffee. And then drove on over to Lowe’s to pick up paint supplies for my bedroom oasis. It’s a thing I read about. And I’m absolutely doing. Because I need an oasis.

To do list paint supplies

Came back home feeling all adult. With my oasis paint supplies.

It all kind of falls apart from there.

Because that’s about the time that I remembered that I don’t know how to paint.

Which is when Fall Risk decided to point out that ain’t no man coming into my bedroom, anyway. So, it doesn’t really matter how it turns out. No one’s gonna see it.

…it’s possible she didn’t say all of that. But it’s what my brain heard.

I’m stressed, remember? Stress makes me sensitive.

Took me 30 minutes to get the edging tape. Or whatever it’s called. In place.

Paint tape applied

K. I don’t wanna do this anymore.

But I kept going. Because Rogue and Fall Risk said I had to.

Got the outer edges painted.

Deep teal partially painted wall

Whyyyyyy are textured walls a thing???

Which is when Rogue started talking about roller depths and shit. Like there’s some difference between the $9 brush, tray, roller kit I bought and whatever bullshit she was talking about.

But I kept going. Because they said the color looked “fun!”

Also, who picked these colors? Puke brown? Why, though? Because now I have to also paint that.

But it’s fine. Stage one of Bedroom Oasis is done. And I do love the color. It is fun. Now that it’s done. And my mom is excited that my “Latina is finally coming out.”

The remaining stages have to wait for supply arrivals. And apparently more paint.

But this freeballing to do’s thing seems to be working. It’s 1:30pm and I don’t feel like I’m about to collapse. I haven’t slipped into a nap coma. I think my brain might even manage some pleasure reading for a bit. Because I’m fully awake. At 1:30pm. Without even the hint of a need for a nap. And that is something I haven’t experienced since the start of cross country season.

I wonder what would happen if I just deleted the to do list entirely. And just only did the things my brain naturally remembers to do.


Just reading and writing and running and looking for my happy place.


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