Lists and More Lists


My editors advised me to list my goals, which, they said, would solidify them, make them more doable, allow me to see progress, or in most cases, no progress at all. They assured me it was the way go, but they are considerably younger than I, and I’m reasonably sure their need to write out lists is quite different than mine. They probably don’t even need a grocery list.


I spent the weekend list-making, among other trite things, and wrote down a few items that need my attention today. Here they are, and in no particular order: Get the mail, which entails going outside, and walking down the street (Bonus! This is part of my 10,000-step goal, so I left going outsideand street walkingoff my list). Clean the bathroom for the cleaning lady who will drop by this week because I don’t want her to see how messy I am. Make my bed, which is useless, who sees it and who cares? Call for a hair appointment. But then I crossed out the word call, and substituted textbecause she doesn’t answer her phone but luckily, she’s a great hairdresser. Write 2,000 words, which is my daily goal, sometimes I finish, sometimes not. Yesterday was a 946-word day, not my best, but I did some corrections, which slows me down to sloth speed. And the last thing on my to-do-today list was to eat less than I had the day before, which is not a great diet strategy, but remember, this is a goal list, not lifestyle alterations. I also have some goals that are in the negative: Do not forget things, like my list when I go to the store, and the biggie, do not fall down. They are in my brain, but I don’t add them to my written list. Maybe I should.


My long-term list, which, my editors tell me, must include completion dates, is more difficult. I can’t say I will lose twenty pounds by Christmas, because who knows what wretched event will cause me to eat a half gallon of ice cream? I might be able to walk 10,000 steps six days a week, which gives me time off for good behavior except I can’t walk outside when it’s raining or snowing and my doctor told me that because of COVID19, a gym was a no-no for people my age. Rats. Maybe I should add calling my brothers… like maybe on Thanksgiving or maybe Christmas. Those are both good dates. I would like to win the Pulitzer prize, but oh, dang, I have to get published first, so I can adjust that one to finding a smart agent who sees beauty in my Wrinkly Bitsbooks. On my list, I also promised to clean the garage, which is different from cleaning the bathroom because my cleaning gals (it takes two to keep me in line) don’t care a lick about the garage. That’ll happen sometime, not today, not tomorrow, but how about Black Friday?


I agree that lists and goals are important, and now you have mine. They are out in plain view, and I’ll work on them. I’m up for it, would love to achieve them all, and will, except for Pulitzer, so I’ll hold onto hopes for the brilliant agent idea. Doable, hopefully, but in the meantime, I’ll continue to take my editors’ advice because it’s good to be excited about going somewhere and doing something, even if it’s just to the grocery store.

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