the list of 10,000 things

It mocks me, this list, taunting and teasing, growing exponentially while I sleep.

Much of this list I wrote myself, although there are things on it not added by me, things like a house that needs painting, a faucet that needs fixing, a dog that needs a bath.

Others things are self-imposed, opening an etsy shop for my images, making jewelry for two shows in November, losing ten pounds, cleaning up my garden. All projects I chose to start, all now inscribed on my list of things to do.

And I’ve had this crazy cold for over a week now, it has not kept me in bed, but rather half-functioning, feeling like my head is underwater, making me cranky and sleepy all day long, and I think it’s feeding on my words.

I sit here in my studio while outside the sun is shining, just outside my window the monkshood are blooming, one of my favorite flowers mainly because they bloom in autumn, but also because they are purple, the truest most beautiful purple. Just now they are surrounded by pink and white anemones, all backed by the golden tones of an autumn hydrangea.

I feel like this photo, just now. A bit hazy and out of focus, a riot of thoughts and ideas, with quite a few things that need weeding out.

There is too much to do, always, and I wonder if it is me, if I am too much a workaholic, too much the over-achiever. It doesn’t feel that way, it feels like it’s all necessary, this scrambling to make a living as an artist, this life I love that I lead.

For there is beauty in my life, there are flowers and love and many blessings. There is joy and passion, art and writing, and all this living, full and round and bursting at the seams.

And there is this list that mocks me.

But it is just a list, a flimsy piece of paper filled with words of my own design. It threatens to overwhelm me, this list, beat me down with its jabbering demands. Some days its wins, a little.

Other days, it cowers in the corner.

Because it knows, this list, that when all is said and done,

it might very well be bigger than me,

but I can still take it.

12 Responses to “the list of 10,000 things”

  • whollyjeanne Says:

    oh yeah, you can take it. or not. i have a love/hate relationship with lists. especially to do lists. feel better. and hey, add this to your to do list for today: have a marvelous monday on the couch nursing that cold.

  • Liz Says:

    This might be one of my favorite pictures of yours. I often feel hazy but if you drop some purple in there, it just has to get better.

  • Michael Douglas Jones Says:

    I long to be a minimalist with a minimal list, but that sounds like some impossible tagline. I wasn’t going to take the time to read this post this morning, because I had five different lists in front of the keyboard. I keep a pen with paper in every room, so that I can add to my lists every time a to-do pops up, so this morning there were five lists from five rooms. At least I’m not a listing ship alone in this sea; you have righted me straight up this morning and I now see my lists for what they are.

  • Skye Says:

    I am a huuuuuge list-maker. But I have learned to ignore its pleas, whinings & the occasional threat…I do what I can or will & just keep rolling things over to the next days list. Deadlines move to the top. The rest of the list wears a chastity belt!

  • Liz Says:

    Whew. I hear you loud and clear with this post. I counted down the days I was sick in the first trimester… over 100. 100 straight days of nothing but crawling to and from work and sleeping. And barfing. Things really started to slide, which freaked me out. But then, after a while, I remembered how little most of that ‘list’ mattered. It was freeing in a way. But don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled to feel better so I can, you know, clean the bathroom or fold towels. 🙂

  • beth Says:

    i took a few lists today and tore them up into tiny pieces…..breathe !

    and that nasty cold…..i hope you are feeling whole again soon !!

  • Kathryn Says:

    A close friend of mine lives by her lists while I shut down at the mere sight of one. Over the years I’ve tried them but they always scare me, overwhelm me and leave me nothing but a quivering wreck so I choose to ditch the lists and what gets done gets done. :0)

  • Lynna G Says:

    The impossible to do list. I have one of those. I hear you. It is just a piece of paper. Thanks for you blog. I am really enjoying reading it.

  • elk Says:

    aw hang in are amazing!!

  • jo miller Says:

    Awesome perspective, as always!
    ‘ the truest most beautiful purple ‘ – Like that!

  • Marcie Says:

    Love Beth’s response. Tearing up that list into tiny pieces. Such relief!!!

  • Debi Says:

    come to florida and we’ll burn it on the beach. i have matches.


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