Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wild Plums and To Do Lists

I have no good excuse for my absence; except that once you skip one week it becomes dangerously easy to skip the following ones.  I think this probably goes for most anything in life: writing, exercise, cooking etc.  Sadly, the things that we so easily find excuses to skip are things that make our days better, those things that we have chosen as extras because we enjoy them and gain from them.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in trudging through the days, working too much forgetting to pay attention to all of the extras that really make up your life.

I know many people have the opposite of this problem, and I often envy them.  For whatever reason I have the tendency to put so much focus on work and the things I feel “have” to get done, that I stop paying attention to the things that I truly enjoy.  I also often allow my to-do list to taint the times that I do just take-it-easy.  I am very aware that this is really unhealthy and it is something that I am constantly working on, though it is an incredibly slow process. 
What my usual to do list looks like

Though I would like to blame it all on (the lack of) money, I know that I would probably do this no matter how much money we had.  I have worked two jobs for the last four years with a six month hiatus after we moved where I was unemployed (and as you read here was anything but a happy experience).  My current two jobs do not have set schedules so I never have any idea what my weeks ahead will bring.  I also have the tendency to always say yes to shifts, and though this is great on payday, it is not so great the rest of the week.  We moved into our new apartment at the beginning of the month and at the same time I said yes so many times at work that I did not have a day off for our first two weeks here.   As a result my to-do list is getting pretty overwhelming and I never really got to properly unpack. 

I woke up this morning extra early because I knew that it was supposed to reach 100 degrees by mid day  and I wanted to get things done. Last night I went to sleep going over my to-do list and woke up with the same items flickering through my head, though I work  from 3-11 tonight I viewed my morning as the perfect time to get all these things done.  After having my coffee I took Murtry (my dog) out for a walk, again trying to get it in before the major heat of the day hit.  And here is where my day changed.  I spent the first part of our walk rushing Murtry along, trying to get him to stay in the shade, not really taking anything in or even seeing my surroundings.  While I was busy looking down I saw a little yellow fruit on the ground, and then another and another.  I look up to see two little trees tangled in the bushes and vines along the side of  the road, one heavy with little round purple fruit and the other just shining with these bright yellow orbs.  Wild Plums!!!

The New List
Normally I don’t just assume that I can eat a random fruit that I have never even seen before, but thanks to Hank Shaw and his awesome blog I knew exactly what these were.   I filled a bag with these little beauties as happy as I can be, entirely forgetting the things that I was supposed to get done today.  As I finished my walk popping plums in my mouth and letting Murtry decide our pace I started thinking (as I often do) about my problem with just letting go and enjoying right this second.  Why can’t I treat these things as important as the other to-do’s on my list?  I do actually know there importance and yet when it comes to the day to day I so easily brush them aside.  I would like to tell you that I came up with an answer and that I am all cured but I know this is not true.   I did make myself a brand new to do list, placed at the very beginning of my planner, a list that will never get crossed out and will never be finished.  Thank you plums.


  1. Isn't it amazing the things that can wake you up? I'm so glad you found the plums. To-Do lists are wonderful when they reduce stress, but sometimes the list just disappears and its wonderful.

    Welcome back.

  2. I can completely agree with your first para that you skip one week and then it just snowballs into more weeks..Be it blogging, reading, cooking and to cry out loud...those are some of the best activities..! You ve got a nice space and liked the food fiction, history and movies..Even my recent most passion is food fiction/writing..

  3. I love it when the simplest things can put it all back into perspective for us! Yeah, plums.