In Which Everything Gets Crossed Off

While packing up my apartment in Brooklyn a couple of months ago, I found a box of (oh, let’s call them ‘vintage’) notebooks:  pre-Y2K date books, address books with names from 3 or 4 lives ago, college notes from classes I barely remember taking, and pads full of to-do lists.  These were the most interesting.  Before I plunked that dusty old box into the trash, you KNOW there was going to be some rummaging – and it was an enlightening exercise, flipping through my beloved Virgoan lists.  Time capsules they were, my archaeology of agendas.  (Look Mom!  See how I’ve grown!)  Often the same entries appeared, year after year;  some from 1996 remained until 2002, even ’05!  I actually went 7 years trying to get to the DMV to renew an expired driver’s license.  Household chores transferred from one week to the next, unaccomplished.  (Really, who wants to clean the attic or oil the hinge on the back door?)  Call Home was a common sight.  Clean Out Trunk.  And winner in the Most Popular category?  File Taxes.

Well, It finally dawned on me that I’m not really a procrastinator.  I just hadn’t written the right list yet.  It’s a fine craft, I realize. Now I compose effectively.  Order is crucial.  Pleasure ranks.  I sneak in one or two chores and the rest are activities I relish.  Here’s a recent one:

1)  Read a poem

2)  Go for a walk

3)  Tune into Democracy Now! or read BBC online

4)  Do laundry or vacuum

5)  Write

6)  Go to one:  library/gallery/park/harbor/yoga class

7)  Make soup

8)  Empty compost bucket

9)  Do online banking/investing/research

Carpe Diem, friends.

Leave a comment


  1. dad

     /  2 November 2010

    you forgot our cellar, love

    • Kellie Brooks

       /  3 November 2010

      why don’t you start without me? I’ll be there on Thanksgiving 🙂

  2. Cara

     /  3 November 2010

    There’s always some time later to descend into a cellar. Start everyday with a poem like “Morning.”

  3. Hana

     /  3 November 2010

    Kellie, that’s such an incredible idea! I have a new way to make my lists now. Thank you. I may actually start being more productive!

  4. Kelly

     /  5 November 2010

    Writing can not be no. 5 on the list!!!

  5. Kellie Brooks

     /  6 November 2010

    @ Kelly – it may be #5, but it’s where I dwell the longest!

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