One of the really useful tools for getting organized is the list. You know – lists of things to do, or lists of things to do later but not right now thank you because other things need to be done first, or lists of your favorite types of pizza…I’m good at getting off track. Let’s see, where’s my list of things to do on Sunday October 12 – oh, yes, write a post.
But sometimes the list abandons you, or you’re forced to abandon it. For instance, yesterday I was supposed to be busy most of the day making sure a book sale went smoothly. It’s a big deal, most years – my town closes about half the length of the main street to fill it with booths for authors and publishers and people selling food and used books, and schedules workshops for would-be writers and readers – and meanwhile, my church (which is on the main street) fills our front lawn with tables loaded with used books to sell.
Last Monday, all was well. Tuesday, the weather forecast called for rain all day Friday but okay weather Saturday. Wednesday, rain Friday afternoon and night. You can see where this is going. Sure enough, what really happened was that the rain started late Friday night and didn’t stop until the middle of Saturday afternoon.
Instead of making sure the sale ran smoothly, I spent Friday afternoon and evening phoning everyone who had promised to help and warning them there probably wouldn’t be any sale. Come Saturday morning, I was busy fielding phone calls from people who got up, looked out their windows, and wanted to be really really sure they didn’t need to come out and get soaked.
When you make plans and commit to them, you never know what might happen to destroy your best intentions. It might snow; you might get sick; a family member might get sick; there could be an earthquake, or a fire, or…well, fill in the blanks. The world is full of disasters large and small.
So lists are useless, right? Not so fast. Sure, you often wind up having to change plans and improvise. But not always. And it’s a lot easier to improvise if your lists helped you keep other parts of your life sorted out. Even I know that much.
Time to make my “stuff to do Monday” list. See you tomorrow.