Wednesday, March 2, 2011

To Do List Redux

So this morning I was rarin’ to tackle my ‘To Do’ list…but I couldn’t find it.

Not a good sign.

Sure it was on my computer, but I’d already printed it out and added handwritten additions.

And I wanted to be able to cross off items I’d already done. My friend, freelance writer Sandy Smith, asked me if I ever put completed tasks on my list just so I could cross them off.

You better believe it.

Last night I e-mailed the manuscript due today to our editors and was looking forward to ‘checking’ that off. The lost list included work and domestic tasks.

Rather than shuffle all the piles of papers that have sprung to life during the deadline period, I just printed out a new copy…and tossed on one of the piles.

To avoid un-shuffling said piles, I decided a blog on to do lists was in order and went back to find the one I knew I did over a year ago…yep, I’m in repeats.

The first item was the same.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

To Do List

  1. E-mail editor manuscript due this week: check
  2. Sort out books to donate to library: check
  3. Hang more girly artwork in home office: check
  4. Get caught up on laundry: never
  5. Dip whole body into river of full-time freelance writing: in progress

Has it really been more than a year since I took the item five plunge?

All these months later, I’m definitely entrenched in the full-time freelance writing lifestyle. With my old frenetic life of teaching, advising, writing, and volunteering I needed lists of my lists to keep track of things.

Now, even though things are very different (tho I’m still an aging mom volunteer) I still periodically need a list…or two.

It was nearly three years ago my husband and I decided to make a drastic lifestyle change, giving up lucrative stressful positions at a large university in the mid-Atlantic region of the country to move back close to family, to my husband’s ‘dream town.’ We now live in a middling-size city in Nebraska. He loves his job in this town on the cusp of his beloved West.

And I’ve come to love following my life’s dream of writing fulltime, even though some people still think I sit around eating bon bons all day and watching soap operas….there is James Franco…sigh…but I haven’t watched a soap opera since the early 90’s.

I still miss my students and working at home is definitely work…just work I can do in my pajamas if I want.

Having to do ‘to do’ lists is a good sign…it’s an indication of a balance between my old life and my new.

Truly, I’ll never stop missing teaching college students. I loved ‘em like they were my own children, well, most of them. I do offer up a prayer of thanks every single day I no longer have to grade. I loathed grading, absolutely loathed.

Conversely, I’m fulfilling a childhood dream: being a writer. Of course I envisioned doing it living in Connecticut, surrounded by my ten loving children…sort of a cross between Jean Kerr and Shirley Jackson.

But the prairie suits me just fine.


  1. To do lists are great. I find I get a lot more done if I make one. At the moment, I don't really have one, so I'm not getting much done. I am glad you are fulfilling your childhood dream of writing. It wasn't a childhood dream, but I am working towards my dream of getting published. I've got to go now and make a list :0)

  2. Dear to-do list Lady, I still feel if you lose the list, you don't have anything you have to do! LOL But I am thrilled with your more balanced life on the prairie!

    I have a to-do list on the bulletin board right now...there are a couple more major projects to finish, then I'm good for the year!