Friday, 12 September 2008

Must do versus want to do

Since C and O have gone back to school, and I've got plenty of time to myself once again, I've been struggling to organise my days. I'm finding that with so much more time than I've had over the summer, my mind is overflowing with things to do, and I flit between them all.
There are 'to do' lists everywhere - in my diary, on post-it notes on my desk at work, on pieces of paper grabbed from the printer, on the back of till receipts stuffed into the bottom of my handbag, and even on the back of my cheque book (cheques to write: milkman, school dinner money, window cleaner). So many lists, scattered around my life, is doing the opposite of what I intended and merely leaving me feeling disorganised and unproductive.

I was flicking through all my lists last night, trying to make a 'list of lists' - ha! - and just getting myself in more of a tangle. I noticed that my jobs were split between things I want to do and things I need to do.

Must be done:
  • washing
  • cleaning
  • gardening (and there are at least three sub lists under this one - its anarchy out there right now)
  • cooking
  • clean hens
  • find jiffy bags and post office

Would like to do:

  • sew (again, many sub-headings here)
  • write
  • read

So this morning I took a deep breath and raced through my 'must' list as fast as I could before I settled down to my 'want' list (except the gardening, which really needs the whole of Sunday devoted to it).

And after a while I realised that such a division - between must do and want to do - is fairly pointless becasue the lines are too blurred. Cooking a tray of chocolate brownies and a raspberry cheesecake to take round to friends' for lunch tomorrow is a very pleasurable chore. Chatting to the hens as I scrub out their water bowls is enormous fun, but sewing four long apron strings,turning them right side out and then pressing them, is rather tedious.

One of the last jobs on my list, which I am going to do after I've posted this, is to order prints of this photo:

It was taken a couple of weeks ago by my sister-in-law, whose awesome photography just gets better and better. There are very few pictures of G and I which I truly love, but this one has just gone right to the top of that list. If we were ever to get married I can't imagine we'd get a better photo than this. Ordering prints and arranging for them to be mounted and framed is a chore on the face of it, but it will give me and G years of delight. You see - sometimes the lines are just too blurred for everything to be put neatly into categories.


  1. I have a to-do list as long as my arm (and more) but much of it is quite pleasurable once I get down to it. It's the starting I find hardest.... Great photo of you both.

  2. LOVElovelovelovelove that photo of you two! The sweetest! I'd love a larger res image of it! Awesome! Want to vs need to is something i struggle with, only my lines don't seem quite as blurred... clean the office... meh. wash rest of dishes... meh. play with graphics stuff or read a good book or plan a trip - yep! ;)


  3. ahh, you two are very lovely indeed. You would be so proud of list is growing daily as well..washing/shopping/cakes to bake/recipes to try etc.etc, but the top of my list is a large Gin and Tonic!x

  4. Whisper it quietly... my brother looks rather good looking.
    As the sibling relationship requires that this cannot be the case I will assume that your sister-in-law has also become a Photoshop godess!

  5. That is a lovely lovely photo.

  6. Today is my one day when this dilema really kicks in - the want to do list hardly ever wins. I am catching up on the washing, hoovered and have mopped all floors, sorted out scrap fabrics for school, start cooking the korma for tea, going to piano lesson before picking F+T up.
    Then no doubt it will be homework + finish cooking tea!
    Only then will I possibly get a chance to move on to the want to do list.... quilting the family quilt, reading the new Coast mag!
    But then again, who knows!


Even though I often do not have the time to reply to everybody, I really appreciate all your comments so much - thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts on what I've written.