My To-Do List

bucket-list“You need to get organized.”

It is what my wife tells every time I neglect to do something she wants me to do.

She mistakenly believes the reason I avoid doing what I do not want to do is because I am disorganized.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

“I am very organized,” I say in my defense.

“Do you have a to-do list?”

Of course I do.

Here is my list.

Things I must do but avoid doing

Each of these tasks are items rapidly headed toward critical but are not quite there yet.  My definition of critical comes with the companion of regret.  Since I don’t regret neglecting any of these things, they can wait until I do.

  • Call the septic guy to pump out the tank.
    This should have been done in 2016, but they say you have a year or two of grace before the tank overflows into your yard.
  • Renew the license on the truck.
    Since we live on a dirt road, the registration tabs are never legible.  The only time anyone can read them is when I am on pavement and it rains, which rarely happens.
  • Knock down the big hornet’s nest in the milk house.
    It is best to do this when the nest is frozen.  I should have done it last winter but I didn’t.  I successfully avoided going in there all last summer and can possibly do the same this year.

Things I do not want to do, so I avoid doing them

These are the sort of tasks that you bounce off whenever you approach.  I generally steer clear of them because I do not like bouncing off things.

  • Finish painting the living room.
    This is one of those ‘you promised’ things that I never promised.
  • Clean out the shed.
    One of the reason we bought our house is because it came with a big, beautiful pole shed.  The shed is still big and beautiful but only from the outside.  Inside, it is packed with a bewildering collection of stuff, junk and things of dubious origin.  My stuff is stuff, her stuff is junk and the things of dubious origin may or may not be owned by my buddy Stan, but he stores them there anyway.

Things I absolutely refuse to do

  • Clean the cat litter box.
    The cats are not mine. They are hers. Unfortunately we have a conflict here because cleaning the cat box tops her list of things she absolutely refuses to do.  How the box actually gets clean is a mystery. One that neither of us is willing to discuss.  We are stubborn that way.

Things she should do herself because if she counts on me to do them, they will never get done.

  • Call the septic guy.
  • Renew the license on the truck.
  • Knock down the big hornet’s nest.
  • Finish painting the living room.
  • Clean out the shed.
  • And for the love of all that is sacred, clean the cat litter box.

Author: Almost Iowa

62 thoughts on “My To-Do List”

  1. I don’t mind cleaning cat litter box. I do mind cleaning what should have been in the cat litter box but wasn’t. It tests the friendship.
    Lists….Yes they work well for me, when I manage to find the one I wrote in a fit of inspiration. Trouble is, I put it in a safe place….So safe I cannot find it.

  2. Thank you for this. I have a new home-life philosophy: “My definition of critical comes with the companion of regret.  Since I don’t regret neglecting any of these things, they can wait until I do.”

  3. My dad had the chore of knocking down a hornet’s nest one summer. I was a bit of a wanderer as a child, and having no idea what he had just done, I wandered right into the vicinity of the very angry hornets. A handful of stings and an elbow that swelled up to twice its normal size! Take care with that one, lol!

  4. Like my brother learned in college with roommates: the person with the lowest tolerance does all the cleaning. The last time I had roomies, I cranked the tolerance as high as I could possibly manage. It was quite the disgusting pig sty when I left!

    Fortunately, hubby and I have a pretty good his/her chores that (mostly) covers everything. For the things it doesn’t, I have blinders.

    1. Like my brother learned in college with roommates: the person with the lowest tolerance does all the cleaning.

      It didn’t work with Stan. No one could keep up.

  5. The last list cracked me up! I’m an avoider too, Greg, although I also like to avoid the “regret” thing because that makes a lot more work, which I like to avoid. Everything else can wait. 🙂

  6. I have been banned from doing to do lists. I managed to attack every to-do list with gusto until it became apparent that not to do what I had done was a better and cheaper alternative.

  7. Here’s how it goes here:
    1. find the to-do list
    2. try and remember what I meant when I wrote down “replace those danged things”
    3. crumple up the list in frustration and throw it away
    4. find the “danged things” in the trash as I’m throwing away the list
    5. start a new list

  8. To dew lists. The dew bled the ink and I cannot read it anymore. There is an app that will make the list on your smart phone bleed. Now that sir is a smart phone app….

  9. If you ever do knock down the hornet’s nest make a paper bag shaped like the nest and hang it in its place. They will not build a nest near one that is already there. I know this is an outrageous thought doing two impossible things however this does work.

  10. I usually start my conversations with, “You know what we should do?….” I know sooner or later, he is gonna figure out that ‘we’ does not really include me…..

  11. Okay, here’s another woman’s take on this list: Call the septic guy – I will do that. Severe issues result in my cleaning up stuff I don’t want to clean up. Renew the license on the truck – you drive the truck you renew it. Knock down the big hornet’s nest – I’ll do that too. Hate those suckers. Finish painting the living room – I’ll do that too because I’m probably a better painter than you. Clean out the shed – Okay, once ‘you’ get the truck licensed, back it up, I’ll load and you haul. Just don’t ask me what my criteria is for getting rid of said stuff. Cat litter box – I don’t like cats. Consider the cats and the litter box are gone as well. There – to-d0-list done, and I can get back to my coffee and book. 🙂

  12. To-do lists are overrated. You get too involved with them and your life becomes dull and plodding. Predictable. Clearly you’ve avoided that… just like that shed that needs to be cleaned.

    1. “When are you going to do what you promised to do?”
      “I never promised.”
      “Okay, what will it take to motivate you to do what I promised myself you would do?”

  13. I would like to help, but the best I can do is recommend several apps and bits of software to allow that list to follow you on your phone and haunt you with pretty colors. At least that’s what mine does.

    There might still be time to get that hornet’s nest.

    1. I like the idea of pretty colors for the list. The colors could reflect my motivation.


      Any color containing an element of an unmotivated color = unmotivated.

      As for the hornet’s nest. It is too cold. Soon it will be too warm.

    1. All men are trained in the use of the list. It is one reason guys hang-out with other guys. We compare lists and techniques for getting out of doing things.

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