Eff you, To-Do…

GAH, I feel like I have so much to do all the time.  My poor Teux Deux list keeps getting longer and longer because I can’t seem to check things off…

  • Laundry
    • Dear God, do I need to do laundry…  Not just what I need for the week, but ALL my laundry. I keep putting it in piles on the floor of the spare bedroom, so they stare at me and remind me to wash them. But they’ve sat there long enough that Maggie has appropriated some of our towels as an impromptu dog bed when she’s mad at us and wants to pout.
  • Meal Planning
    • According to Real Simple, if I plan simple meals every weekend and then prepare the ingredients for the week, lunch and dinners should be a snap!  Whatever. You don’t have a picky husband who won’t eat leftovers or take his lunch to work. A snap, my ass….I want to know how I went from my self-esteem being damaged by Cosmo for years, to it being chipped away by home and lifestyle magazines…
  • Craft Projects
    • I have about 15 thousand links to fun, quick and easy craft projects that would make excellent gifts and cost just pennies on the dollar for what I would pay for the same item in the store! I just forget about those same projects whenever I have time.
  • Read
    • SO many books.  So many. And lots more I want to get. I read constantly and still I’m behind and have books everywhere.
  • Mail presents/cards
    • Sitting on my floor I still have my sister-in-law’s Christmas presents, her birthday present, a set of kid’s books I promised to send to an old friend’s daughter, two Christmas cards that made their way back to me because of wrong addresses…  I am excellent at buying presents; it’s just the getting them to the people I bought them for that I’ve got some problems with.
  • Bake/Cook
    • I’ve got a gazillion recipes I keep meaning to try, plus my giant red Mark Bittman “How to Cook Everything” just chillin’ in my recipe stand, beckoning to me every time I go into the kitchen for tea or to make another damn sandwich.  My happy housewife aspirations are slowly being choked by my inertia and sloth. And backlogged episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras.


    • Between APW, my classes and this blog, I feel like words are spewing from my constantly. And only 30% are worth sharing with anyone. (Okay, it’s really like 20%, that extra ten is made up of fart jokes and words such as “like,” “seriously,” “y’all” and “really?”)  It’s wonderful, horrible and exciting all at the same time.
  • Spend time with Jethro
    • There’s this weird urgency to spend time with my husband before we start making tiny humans. Like if I don’t pack as much time in with him at over the next couple years, the minute I poop out a baby it will all end and suddenly we’ll never talk to each other again except to see if the other pi9cked up milk and diapers. Now, I know this isn’t true, I know it, but I still feel the need to add this to my to-do list.  If only to remind me that this is probably the most important item on my list. Except laundry.  I seriously need some clean pants.

Alright, own up.  I am not the only slacker with crap on their to-do list. What do you have to do that you should be doing instead of reading this?

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29 comments on “Eff you, To-Do…

  1. Elisa
    February 18, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    ALL of these things are on my to do list minus writing. And I feel exactly the same way about them.

    • kindofamess
      February 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

      YAY! See? This is why I wrote this, so I know I’m not alone….

  2. Kerry
    February 18, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Hey lady, this is my first time reading your page and I’m digging it.

    And thanks for calling out Real Simple. I love them, I really do, but at the same time I want to punch them in the face because of the constant “okay if that is simple and I can’t seem to do it if my life depended on it than how screwed up AM it?” feeling. Also because every time I look up a recipe on their website it only has a half a star review from readers because it inevtiably has one too many fat grams or an extra percent of sodium over the recommended range. Then I get all panicked and wonder if I’m wasting my time cooking it (but it’s usually tasty).

    Also, presents? Sigh. That is all.

    • kindofamess
      February 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

      Yay for new readers!

      Real Simple wrecks me. As does the Food Network magazine….

  3. Amanda
    February 18, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Wait… he won’t eat leftovers?! Good lord, I don’t know what I’d do with a man like that… Thank Jeebus that my husband isn’t *that* picky!

    And what is it about magazines that can make us feel so inferior? I love Martha, I really do, but her magazine makes me feel so boring, so blase. And don’t get me started on the millions of wonderfully crafty, perfectly put together, totally original bloggers out there. How did I end up so boring?! I think these people must just come from an alternate universe or something…

    • kindofamess
      February 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      I have told his mother on countless occasions that I wish she’d beaten him as a child. His sister? Perfectly behaved. Jethro? Brat on a stick.

      I like to pretend that those perfect bloggers have piles of overflowing dishes in the sink, or they wear the same underwear every day, because all their effort is in blogging.
      Doesn’t stop me from wanting to be them. :-/

  4. Kristy
    February 18, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    I feel like my to-do list is a mile long. I need to file the title on my car (since I own it outright now!) and have needed to for several months. I need to talk to my wedding photographer about finally getting an album. I need to plan out next week’s menu so I can go to the grocery store. (Yes, I actually do that every week, and yes, it does actually make my life easier. It makes answering the “wtf do I make for dinner tonight?!?” question possible because otherwise, DJ would live on chips & salsa.) I need to iron a bunch of clothes. I need to finish laundry (I finally tackled the monstrous piles last weekend, but there’s still a bit left). I need to wash the dishes before we leave this weekend. I need to pack for this weekend. I need to put out extra food for the cat before we leave this weekend. I need to get a few blog posts written. I need to finish a craft project I’ve had on my dining table for 2 weeks now. I need to finish building 2 bedside tables (that I started, oh, a YEAR ago).

    The one thing I’ve crossed off is schedule a massage: that is happening Monday, and it is SO needed.

    • kindofamess
      February 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

      You are amazing with the meal planning. I try, but I haven’t gotten the hang of it yet… AND you’re making tables?!? I bow down to you and your superior skills!

      • Kristy
        February 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

        I have so many cookbooks that it can get overwhelming, so I’ve decided to take the Julie & Julia approach with my Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution book. (So far, everything’s been easy and delicious.) I’d recommend that, since it also cuts down on your recipe sources.

        (All I’ve done to build the tables is buy the wood & cut it to size… Don’t be too impressed, haha.)

  5. Ms. Bunny
    February 18, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I should be working. 😉

    I need to go through my ever growing pile of papers and sort them into the file cabinet. I should be working on my wedding dress. I should probably actually find a doctor here. Ugh, all I want to do is sleep.

    • kindofamess
      February 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

      I vote sleep.

      It’s tiring being as fabulous as you are.

  6. Jo
    February 18, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    I actually have my list in Google Docs called “Ever-List”. It has all of these things. I constantly just post things there that I run across that I want to try, places I want to go, ideas I want to write about…as well as things I have to do.

    It’s giant.

    • kindofamess
      February 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

      That is SUCH a good idea. I might steal it.

    • Blaire
      March 20, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

      Evernote.. excellent for list making, life listing, etc.

  7. cransell
    February 18, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    My perpetual To Dos?

    Finish the quilt for our guest room that I started 2.5 years ago. Every few weeks I work on it for an hour or so, but most days I get home and think I’d rather read or watch TV.

    Exercise. I’m trying to go to yoga class once a week this year, but I haven’t been in weeks. And I wanted to at least take a good long walk every day or two, but again, most days I’m tired and I just don’t wanna.

    Jo – We have a “Forever To Do List” for our house in Google Docs. Stuff on that list does get done, but it also feels like there is always, perpetually more to do!

    • kindofamess
      February 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

      Ooo, exercise. I was excellent about working out a few months ago, but now I’m all out of shape and dreading that initial getting back into it.

  8. Jenny- Adventures Along the Way
    February 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Wow. This rings very true for me. And I also use Teux Deux (and love it, though every day I move many unfinished things to the next day.) I always have the problem that I overestimate how much can realistically be done in a given amount of time.

    I have been so tired of feeling behind. This year I decided I want to figure out how to make some changes in a positive direction. My to-do lists are really overwhelming, but I have started breaking tasks down into 25 minute increments. I had been feeling so overwhelmed by a number of huge tasks that seemed impossible, and by smaller, more routine tasks I simply don’t like doing, and I realized it is easier to tell myself, “You only have to clean the bathroom for 25 minutes. Then you are done and can do something else.” Or, “You only have to work on that health insurance problem for 25 minutes right now.” Or whatever. (It’s called the Pomodoro Technique.) And sometimes, but not always, I will do multiple 25 minute intervals in a row working on the same project, after I have started, but for me I find the hardest thing is simply getting started. With anything. This method is helping me actually make slow progress on accomplishing these things that are important to me.

    And for laundry….I don’t know if you have a washer and dryer at home or not. We do have a washer and dryer, thankfully, but I also was having laundry pile up and then I would have 5 plus loads to do at once. I have recently put a new system in place in our home that uses this armoire thing with 3 drawers in our bathroom (where our washer and dryer are). I took out the sheets I had been storing in there and moved them elsewhere, so that I could use the drawers to store dirty laundry. (And a small laundry basket that stands beside the armoire.) Each drawer and the basket is labeled for a specific load (for us: Whites, Darks, Reds, and Other). When my husband and I have things that need to be washed, we just stick them in the right drawer. It takes almost no effort. Really. Otherwise my husband would not be a fan. For me, this small adjustment in our process has been AMAZING because whenever I do laundry, it is ALREADY sorted. I just look inside a drawer to see if it has enough to merit a load, and then I do it. All I have to do is move it from the drawer to the washer. Somehow this makes the whole process infinitely easier for me to start. A couple weeks ago, I made a chore schedule, which also includes 3 days where I do a load of laundry. I decided I would rather do a few minutes six days a week on chores, than several hours straight in a major clean-up blitz every other week or two or whatever. This has kept our house in a state where I would not be embarrassed to have surprise guests show up. (Our apartment was NOT like that before.) It is hard to stay on schedule, so I tell myself….”You only need to work on that for 25 minutes and then you are done,” and that helps. I split the bathroom into two days because I find that room to be the most overwhelming. I don’t want to be legalistic about cleaning or anything but I also want to try to figure out how to handle this stuff in my life. So far I am liking these new methods we are trying. I guess if that changes, we’ll need to modify the process. 🙂 But for me the hardest part is starting things, so I am trying to make things easier to start. 🙂

    But I still haven’t figured out how to make more progress with my creative projects. And those administrative things like figuring out insurance and doing taxes. ACK. That stuff is perpetually pushed to the next day in Teux Deux. 😦 Let us know if you figure out some good methods for work for you guys..

    • Jenny- Adventures Along the Way
      February 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      Oops. Sorry that was a whole novel.

    • kindofamess
      February 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      These are BRILLIANT ideas!! I might need to implement them… Especially the 25 minute one, that’s fantastic.

      Although Jethro hates it when I come home and say, “So I was reading online today and I think we should….” 🙂

      • Trisha
        February 18, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

        ha! Tony is that way too. APW has become ‘That Website’ to him. As in I’ll mention something that I read online, and he’ll say “You’ve been at That Website again haven’t you?” The reply is always “Of course. Every day.”

    • cransell
      February 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      We pre-sort the laundry too. I have a hamper with two bags – one white and one green. The lights go in the white bag and the darks (and reds) go in the green bag. I still sort out the reds, but it really makes things easier – and I can just do a quick whites load on a week night if I need to without having to dig through all the laundry. Recommend.

  9. Colleen
    February 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    My biggest to-do right now is dishes; like ALL of them. Besides that, I need to catch up laundry, make an appointment for a physical (and convince Husband to get one), put away the 3 Christmas decorations that were previously overlooked…. We also need to start baby-proofing. Cora isn’t mobile yet, but she’s got the eye of the tiger about walking. Once her legs cooperate we’re going to be in big-time trouble.

    FWIW, I totally support your to-do of spending time with Jethro pre-baby. We have a cadre of awesome, familial babysitters and realized pretty early on that I/we need alone time together in order to avoid The Crazy, so we have a date every week. But it is different than pre-baby when we could dilly-dally (not a euphemism. But also it could be.)

  10. Trisha
    February 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    We still haven’t put up our art. It’s all leaning against the wall right now, looking at me with disapproval. We’ve lived here for over a year. At first we needed to borrow a ladder from Maintenance, then it was closer to moving out then in. At this point, we’re moving in a couple of months, so why bother.

    Also going through a couple of boxes mostly full of papers, organize my massively messed up music folders (thanks iTunes) and clean out my closest.

    Oh, and tomorrow I need to make wings for a photo shoot on Sunday. I’ve had all the materials for over a week.

    • Trisha
      February 18, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

      Oh, and I need to get my name changed on my passport. The wedding was Memorial Day Weekend.

  11. lani
    February 19, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Your last line made me close the window and get back to my laundry/dishes/packing that I need to do, because I REALLY need to do them. But then, I thought “I should read the commments first”. Ah, procrastination!

  12. Jessica
    February 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    I know exactly how you feel about the making simple lunches/dinners. My FH won’t eat leftovers either and his work provides him lunch. Which means I have to only buy lunch stuff for myself and cook new meals every night! I still would rather aspire to Real Simple standards then Cosmos.

  13. Alia
    February 26, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    Oh man, so many of the things on your list are on my list too. I have a pile of books on my end table to read that just keeps growing. Next to the pile of books is a pile of photo albums reminding me to scan in some photos that I want to post online. The house is kind of a mess and needs a serious cleaning, there’s a buttload of dishes in the kitchen, laundry to be done. I also have a bin where I toss important papers that need to be looked at, responded to, or filed, and that bin is getting a little scary, so I need to actually go through and address the stuff in there . . . *sigh*. The worst part is when I wake up feeling productive, and I open my laptop to check my email while I’m having breakfast, and then the cat comes and lays on my lap and I think “Ohh, she looks so cute and comfortable, I don’t want to disturb her by getting up, a few more minutes on the computer won’t hurt.” I think we all know how that one ends. :p

  14. jae
    April 13, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    i love having a to do list and marking off each.. it makes me feel accomplished when i’ve checked off everything… im a mother of 4 work fulltime and have religious and sports activities for three of the four kids and counseling sessions that are twice a week… im a lil ocd though so i never have dishes in the sink.. and cause there’s so many of us i do laundry basically everyday… i liked reading the posts cause it tells me i need to calm down and im not alone… it’s just hard for me cause i am obsessed with always getting everything done… i have to remind myself the things will still be there tomorrow and that im not superwoman…

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