My life seems to be guided by lists: to-do lists, to-be-read lists, goal lists, kid lists, calendar lists, blog-idea lists, grocery lists, lists of lists!
The to-do list today was a variation of the following:
Laundry (mostly, putting it away)
Call dermatologist to reschedule appointment
Water vegetables so they don’t die (thank goodness it rained!)
Fax real estate documents to the bank
My kids unceremoniously dumped all of their school supplies on the dining room table yesterday when they returned home from school after cleaning out their desks. I am my own worst enemy because I think what proceeded this deposit of rubbish was my statement “please don’t dump it on the floor!” I didn’t realize the dining room table was the next best alternative. In addition to my above “to-do list,” I planned on tossing, sorting, recycling, through their school things so I could reclaim my dining room. But when my morning started I realized this was my last day sans children for three consecutive hours for the remainder of the summer. I’m really looking forward to my kids being home, but I wasn’t going to squander my last three hours of freedom on their superfluous junk.
Instead, I made a date with myself. My date coincides with my creativity boot camp. “An Artist’s Date” (as it is called in my training manual) is a block of time, an excursion all by yourself at least once a week, to “nurture” your inner artist (sounds silly, doesn't it?). It can be anything you want to do…from bowling to sitting at Starbucks with the newspaper. I decided to treat myself to my favorite activity…browsing the shelves of my favorite used books store. My used book store is a fundraising branch of our local library system. They have used books, gifts and a gourmet lunch counter. I prepared in advance by studying my Goodreads list to see if there were any titles that I was in desperate need of adding to my “to be read” stack. I came up with at least 20 selections.
I could spend hours staring at book shelves. I become transfixed by all the spines. I came away from my hour retreat with three $3 paperbacks – Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky, Crow Lake, by Mary Lawson, and A Woman of Independent Means, by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey. My original plan included lunch too, but the business crowd descended on the boutique restaurant, and I wasn’t willing to stand in line.
My to-do list reads much like it did this morning. Hopefully, I can knock a few things off the list tonight after the kids go to bed (or recycle a few hundred pieces of old homework!). Or I can postpone the to-do list one more day and extend my date with myself as I break open one of my newly purchased books! Which one do I start?? Hmmmm...