Sweetie was bugging me today. Not that that’s unusual. It seems to amuse him. To be honest, it generally amuses me too. But I don’t tell him that.
We had headed out to do some errands. One of them was upgrading the RAM in my nifty new little netbook. We went to my neighbourhood computer tech guy. He runs a small shop and generally gives me good deals when I’ve mucked around in my computer so much that I need a professional to sort it out.
Sweetie says I’m a geek. There’s some truth in that but I’m not a full-fledged geek. I know just enough to get me into big trouble from time to time. Especially when I venture into my computer’s registry. I can’t help it. It’s like cutting my own bangs. So it’s good to have a computer tech guy I can count on. But I digress.
So there we are at the computer shop and my little netbook has its back open waiting for the new RAM only to discover that it needs special RAM. DDR3 RAM. Apparently that’s RAM that’s so new not many places are stocking it yet. Or at least so says Computer Tech Guy. He can order it for me but it will take a week or so.
“Hmm,” says I. “I wonder if the place I bought Baby Laptop III* might have it.”
Sweetie says, “Well, we’re out now. We might as well go check it out.”
Off we go. And yes we find the special new DDR3 RAM. Except it’s $30.00 more than what it would cost me if I waited a week. But of course I buy it. Because it’s in front of me now and I can cross this particular errand off my list. It saves me another trip. And I can cross it off my list. I won’t have to think about it anymore. And I can cross it off my list.
I’m a list person. I can’t function without lists. Lists of chores. Lists of errands. Lists of calls to make, emails to send. It’s the only way I can keep track of everything I need to keep track of. So I always have a list going. Actually it’s a list of lists. And I dearly love to cross things off. Even better when a list is completely crossed off. (Although that rarely happens. In fact, it often seems as fast as I cross one thing off, I’ve added three more.)
Lists are good things. They help keep some measure of control over an otherwise uncontrollable life. David Wallechinsky, who co-wrote The Book of Lists, says, “People are attracted to lists because we live in an era of overstimulation, especially in terms of information. And lists help us in organizing what is otherwise overwhelming.”
Making lists is considered an essential time management tool. And crossing things off them is every bit as important as making them. Lists can even keep us from procrastinating. Try telling Sweetie that.
We get back in the car and drive off to complete another errand and he’s laughing.
“What?!” says I, suspiciously.
“Do you have a RAM deadline?” he asks, chortling. “Something you need to ram through?” (ha ha) “What was so urgent about getting the RAM now? Why not wait till it came in at the other place?”
This from the Master Procrastinator. If there is the slightest reason to postpone a chore or an errand, Sweetie will find it. I explain that this was an errand I could now CROSS OFF MY LIST. And what does Sweetie say? He laughs some more and reaches over to pat me on the head.
“My little obsessive compulsive,” he says.
Even when I go on to explain that without my lists and the satisfaction of crossing things off we would never get anything done in the house, he chuckles. We would never go on vacation prepared. He smirks. We would never get the groceries we need. (Sweetie likes to wander through the grocery story dropping things in the cart as he sees them. Of course this means when he does the shopping we go back out the next day. With a list.) Sweetie just smiles.
He says he will make a list of all the reasons why procrastinating is superior to lists and crossing things off them. When he gets around to it. I reach over and smack him up the side of the head. And cross another item off my list.
*Baby Laptop III is the third small laptop I’ve owned. This one is the smallest. And it’s running along very nicely thank you with its new RAM. I am obsessed with tiny technology.
Just to be fair, here’s a link to a good article on the value of procrastination (the writer makes a good point): http://www.paulgraham.com/procrastination.html
Also a link to a blog that’s entirely about lists: www.listverse.com
And for good measure, here’s a list of two videos that reference lists:
- John Mayer’s Say from the soundtrack of The Bucket List
- Americans Love Lists from Goodie Bag TV
- The Worry List (saxbergonstuff.wordpress.com)