Focusing on the List

20 August 2001

So much to do. How is it that my "to do" lists just keep growing? It's alarming, is what it is. I've split off into some separate "to do" lists, which are alarmingly long on their very own. You shall not question the list...but it does seem rather unreasonable, how long they keep getting.

And it's not that I'm sitting around eating bon-bons and reading movie magazines. (I haven't even read this month's Analog or F&SF yet, and Strange Horizons is on the agenda for my lunch hour, when it's usually scheduled for breakfast, for first thing Monday morning.) I do stuff. Some of it is damnably recursive. Food, for example. I made and ate dinner yesterday. But can I take it off my list for today? Noooo. So I'm working on a chicken potpie even as we speak. Laundry. I washed clothes last week! There are now dirty clothes again. People have been wearing clean clothes. I must speak to the management.

I'm happy to have many of the tasks I have in front of me. I'm going to finish that snippy story today. That'll be cool. I'm going to do more line-edits on The Grey Road, and that'll be cool, too, because it means I get to read it again, and I like it again. More Moose work. Etc. Good stuff. But lots of it.

I guess I wouldn't be so freaked if I didn't have the sneaking suspicion that the post office was out to get me. My birthday present -- remember my birthday, July 26? -- from my grandparents is still not here yet. They shipped it to get here two days before my birthday. Also, Timprov's replacement copy of Sneakers has not yet arrived. This is also distressing. Also supposed to be second-day mail. This makes me wonder: what other things am I missing? What perfectly timely and considerate editors am I cursing? Is the post office hoarding Diana's response to my edits of Fortress? Ackackack.

There are other things outside my household that I can't make better just by working really hard, and those upset me, too. So. I focus on the list because it's something I can do. I can get work done in ways that I need to get work done. If I could make the post office or my friends' lives run smoothly (I wonder which would be harder?) by spending time on that instead of making potpie and then just having spaghetti for dinner? Oh yeah. I'd do that in a heartbeat. But I can't. So we might as well eat well and have new stories to read.

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