The Flotsam List


I have two to-do lists. One is a focused list that captures steps I need to take to complete projects and accomplish goals. The other is what I call my "flotsam" list ... you know, all that other odds-and-ends stuff that somebody needs to remember to do, and heaven knows if I don't write it down it will dribble out of my head like melting ice cream from a cone on a hot summer's day.

Friday, the day before we were hosting about 40 teens for a birthday party, I had A LOT to get done. So naturally my doctor diagnosed me with a sinus infection (I had no idea I was even sick, so...) and gave me a dose of steroids, prescription drugs for allergies and sinuses, an inhaler (what?) and a dose of antibiotics. So now I am stressed, high on meds, have accidentally shot myself in the eye with the inhaler, and still have A LOT to get done.

I was baffled when I looked at my flotsam list and saw the word "relax." I mean surely to goodness I don't need to write that down? I know I get more accomplished when I'm not freaking out. I know I tend to get sick if I'm super stressed and running around like a crazy lady. So seeing that I'd written a note to myself to relax and then FORGOTTEN I HAD DONE THIS was wildly alarming. Also, who was this Melissa and why did she need to relax?

Then I looked again and realized it was actually a prompt to e-mail my friend Melissa regarding spring season lacrosse for my daughter. Melissa re: Lax. Very poor handwriting, I recognize. But a well-timed message nevertheless. Because as I sped around town gathering cupcakes and a helium tank and a PA system for music, I kept looking at that list and giggling. Which helped me keep things in perspective ... I mean, it's a party for a bunch of kids. Who are pretty delighted to just hang out with each other and aren't paying much attention to the decorations. And indeed, everything got done and the party was, according to my daughter, a success.

Which now allows us to focus on the bigger concern: the fact that I am now apparently subliminally messaging myself. This could not be good.

But I suppose if I'm going to subliminally message myself, at least it's to relax and not that it's okay to consume any and all Halloween candy in my house. Because that's not okay.


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