Monday, March 31, 2014

Time To Get Under Control . . . Where Is My List?


Do you make lists? I don't.

My late husband always had a little book with him, one that organized his day, plans, and thoughts. I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off, never quite sure what I needed to do.

"Write it down." He told me this daily our first years together as a couple. "Make a list. Get a book," and he'd stop writing in his to show me a worn leather folder, the size of a check book, "A day timer."

My reply was always the same. "Who would remind me to look at it." I'd never think to reach in my purse, look on the desk, or do whatever needed to be done to grab it and see what my list for the day was. So I did the next best thing, I placed my list where I would be sure to see it. On the bathroom mirror, on the medicine cabinet above the sink, not a slip of paper, or a post-it, but in lipstick. I'd see it every time I brushed my teeth. I brush my teeth more than the average person I am sure, so I knew I'd see my list without having to search for it. When I completed something, I'd wipe it clean and start over again.

There was some flack with that idea, but he got used to it as I got a bit more organized.

He made lists in Outlook on their calendar and every day a reminder popped up for him on the computer, yet he kept his day timer by his side. If he'd had a cell phone I am sure his calendar would have been full there too.

Me? I am spiraling down in disaster these days with what I am to do and when.

Last spring I did a bit of renovation on the house, replacing the old bathroom fixtures with new ones. The medicine cabinet was the first thing to go. My handyman Mighty Joe hauled if off to the dump. Years of lipstick lists had kept me on track. Did I put in a new medicine cabinet? No. I found an old Eastlake window an antique dealer friend of mine had fitted with a small mirror in the center and had that hung over my sink, where the old cabinet used to be. It is beautiful. You don't put lipstick notes on an antique. So two things became painfully apparent as I brushed my teeth every morning, noon, and night.

1. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with my day, what were the important things to accomplish.
2. I had no idea where my makeup, ibuprofen, and other items were. I no longer had a medicine cabinet.

I adapted. I started sending e-mail lists to myself every night before bed that I'd get first thing in the morning to remind me what I needed to do.  It was a great idea. I slept like a baby. The weight of worry off my mind. The next morning when all my e-mails came in, I'd forget to check the one marked 'list'.

Then one morning while drinking coffee and reading e-mail in Windows Live Mail I looked to the far right side of my monitor. There was a sidebar with a weekly calendar next to the window where I read my messages. It was a light bulb moment.  I could open up the larger calendar, make my lists, and they would show in the sidebar on each day of the week. How difficult could this be? All I had to do was remember to turn my head to the right when I was in my e-mail. I found a small sticky note and put it on my monitor with an important message to myself. Look right when in e-mail.

I know better. You don't write in lipstick on a monitor. It was hard enough finding an old post-it,  but this was as close to my lipstick theory as I could get. The first thing I do every morning, before I brush my teeth, is to check my e-mail. This may work if my note doesn't fly off into the dust bunnies on the floor I keep trying to remember to sweep up.

Yes, I have a cell. Yes it has a calendar. So what is your point?


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Post-Op Delirium

Photo from Pinterest - Love the colors
Photo from Pinterest - An art studio for my painting.
     Yesterday I had my post-op visit with my doctor and I am good to go. Still need to pace myself, but I think two weeks indoors has played with my psyche. I’m thinking funny thoughts today. Wildly crazy visions of a new life. I was on Pinterest looking at mid-century modern flats in New York and European rooms in Paris, enjoying the views of tall ceilings, huge windows looking over the cities, colorful furniture, and walls of art and mirrors. Even a lovely French style sofa with tattered velvet covering made me sigh, such perfection in its faded elegance.
     It’s not that I don’t have my own house filled with color, art, and tattered furniture, which I love. It is just that two weeks recovering from surgery has left me daft. So much to do around here, and so little desire to do anything, except think of extravagance and change.
     My internet service crashing as I was looking at photos didn’t help either. I called to be sure they received my payment (I was late, but hey, I had surgery!) and it was not my issue, but a neighborhood issue. Give it an hour I was told by a tech. I am. But waiting is boring, for a gal who is bored recuperating at home for two weeks already. So I let my mind play games. I’m moving to new city, in a high rise, and going thoroughly modern Barbara.
      These are the thoughts that crossed my mind as my internet crashed:
       Move to Paris, if that is not possible, try NYC.
       Sell my old cupboards and cottage furniture, upgrade to modern with a hint of antique.
       Change out all my vintage oil paintings for prints and watercolors behind glass to reflect more light.
     Sell my car and buy a bike for city life.
     Dig out my paints and canvases, I feel a still-life coming on.
     Get a cat. Hahaha. That is just a joke. My six dogs are looking at me suspiciously as I giggle and write this.
     Wait, is that the internet connection coming back? My goodness, it is.
      Never mind what I just wrote! I think I’ll go back and look at more photos on Pinterest, you know the ones I post to my boards on painted cottage furniture, garden style art, farmhouses, and walls full of oil paintings.  The cottage in my mind is still a dream, the flat in Paris, well, that is a wild fantasy brought on by too much time alone!
      Six dogs won’t make it to Paris or NYC. And I don’t go anywhere without them. I can drive again, my doctor told me so. I think my big adventure will be tonight, dinner out. Anyone care to join me?