I’ve got things to do

When I don’t have any particular plans on a weekday night, I like to spend a portion of the day figuring out what I’m going to do with my time. Making a mental list of what I’m going to do after work helps me avoid getting on the computer or sitting in front of the TV all evening: if I tell myself, “Tonight when I get home I’m going to put my laundry away and sweep the patio,” I’m much more likely to do those things. I’ve found I can be the most productive when I pick just a few chores and intersperse them with more interesting things. No matter how many times I say, “Tonight when I get home I’m going to clean my whole apartment,” I’m probably not going to do it; it’s too big a task and it sets me up for failure.

Last Thursday I didn’t have any plans, and I’d bought an old teak bar cart and some sandpaper on my way home from work. I decided that I would unload the dishwasher and pay the electric bill, and then sand and oil the bar cart while watching “Lost.” When I got home, a friend called and asked me if I wanted to take a dance class with her that evening. I told her I couldn’t go because I had plans, and then I wondered if sanding and oiling a bar cart while watching TV really counted as plans. Was I really so nerdy and reclusive that refinishing old furniture sounded better than going out?

I know people who go out a lot on weekday nights. Hell, I used to go out a lot on weekday nights. But I’m slowly realizing that it’s all right if I’d rather stay in; just because other people want to go out every night doesn’t mean I have to want that, too. I like sanding teak and I like watching “Lost,” and it’s okay for those things to count as plans.

Here are my plans for tonight:

  1. Go to the farmers’ market.
  2. Go to Room Service and maybe Uptown Modern or Home Girls to look for a coffee table (the bar cart, though beautifully sanded and oiled, is likely too tall to be a coffee table). Uptown Modern will probably try to murder me in the wallet, though.
  3. Unload the dishwasher and vacuum the carpet.
  4. Use the iTunes gift card I got for my birthday.
  5. Finish sewing cloth napkins while watching a PBS documentary.
  6. If there’s time, finish writing my ultra-bitchy post about Iron Man.

9 thoughts on “I’ve got things to do

  1. I also would like to see #6 get done, despite — or maybe because of — the fact that I thought Iron Man was okay.

  2. I make lists too, but I write them down cause I can’t remember anything for longer than a few minutes. Unless I am really excited about what I am suppose to remember and can’t stop thinking about it. I usually loose the lists before I get home. Then nothing gets done. One of these days I will email myself and I wont loose the list. Then, its world domination baby!

  3. Kudos on putting effort into your great style of writing.

    I hope (someday soon) to have a voice for my blog, rather than rambles and how-about-its. You’re on my list of “look at these people who do better.”

    Thanks, and godspeed.

  4. Indiana Jones was much worse than Iron Man so you can’t have that much to complain about… well… maybe you can.

  5. You know, if someone told me they didn’t want to come hang out with me because they had to sew napkins and watch a show about depression, I’d either be insulted or start calling around to the helplines. Not saying it’s not a fine thing to do and all — I notoriously feel this way and do such things myself — you just might want to watch how specific you are about exactly why you’re staying home.

    I would post more but I’ve gotta go oil the cat and finish translating Moby Dick into Klingon.

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