To Do Lists are for Forgetting

I make my To Do lists so that I can forget what I need to get done. Yeah, I said it– what? Once upon a time I was so very responsible and organized (-ish). Why? Because back then Other Self had a paycheck that depended on not missing/messing up deadlines. Now I gracefully bow to my more anal-retentive friends (ahem– make fun of my accidental chili-ing of oatmeal, will ya!) who have a great need to have precise plans. Honestly, I love those people (and there are more than one of you in my life RIGHT NOW)– because even though I am capable of turning off my planner/Control Freak, I still like to know that someone trustworthy has mapped out the route. I can completely be cool with my forgetting the cheese…or the utensils–which I swore I packed and found on the kitchen table when we got home. And… for all of my control-needing friends– I am you for someone else in my life. All of you never-forgetting-important-things, if-I-need-20-extra-minutes-I-wake-up-earlier folks, take a moment and absorb that. Shocked? Or resentful? Or complimented that I believe so strongly in your abilities that I turn off my own only-child-ingrained need to be boss?
/But I only do this for the people that make a plan and then stick to it. You last minute plan-changers drive me completely bonkers and I trust you not at all./

My epiphany of I Write It to Forget It occurred this afternoon as I wrote another To Do list (often coinciding with long waits in places with the sign, “NO CELL PHONES”. Does surfing on your smart phone count as breaking that rule? No, seriously.) And since that list is on a scrap piece of paper that I dumped into a hobo bag full of other scraps of paper, diapers, and crushed cereal bars… Well, we all know what is going to happen to it, don’t we? The same thing that happened to my 2 hours worth of Home Depot/bathroom remodel research– that I wrote on the back of my grocery list. A list that, yup, I threw away.

Then there was that time I loaded all of my Really Important Tasks into the Astrid App for my droid–streamlining my life, right? Snort. Update blog design has been popping up to be ignored for oh, 8 months or so. Thank you note for the August Fire Station tour? I safely deleted that one. Like 10 minutes ago.

Or the Facebook wall post to a friend about getting pictures up soon, after realizing I’d forgotten to upload ones from a January playdate. I was making a joke-reference to college and how she used to have to harass me to get my film developed; equating “posting pictures on FB” to “developing a roll of film” (what, that’s not the same thing?). Bless her heart, she thought I meant getting the pictures printed. Egads– I haven’t actually printed a picture since…um… November 2009.

/bangs head/ Now, a good friend would print them. Especially a good friend who still hasn’t mailed an August 2010 birthday present. And it would fit nicely into my now 10 month overdue “make Z a friends’ photo album” task.

None of these To Do items are even that time intensive–to the average person. I could print the pictures as quickly as it would take me to upload them. Hell, if I used snapfish, I wouldn’t even have to leave my house to pick them up. But I couldn’t possibly just send the photos as-is without editing first. That’s like leaving the house without a bra.

Except it isn’t. But that, my dear friends, is where my personal Control Freak makes a mockery of any of your punctuality and remembering to bring cheese-type stuff. And as much as I love you all, my “blaming it on the ADHD” is not an just a convenient excuse. Any more than OCD, PPD, anxiety, or depression is “just an excuse”. I cannot take the dose of medication I need to attain optimal performance, because I need to be able to not tunnel in and focus. Those silly kids…and their occasional need for my un-tunneled attention. Which means I take just enough drugs to make sure I don’t forget one of them at the grocery store, or to give them their medications. And so that I remember to pay our bills– even though the dude at our water main with a wrench caused a bit of panic that had me looking for a paid receipt. Bet that doesn’t happen to you non-deficient attentioners.

That’s the problem with mental health though, hunh? If you can’t get a positive test for it, people think it’s not real. /shrug/ My husband, who has lived with me both on and off medication for more than a decade, can see the difference.

Maybe I’ll get the blog design updated this week. But it’s the first hint of spring out there, so I doubt it. Peace and Love Grease to you all, though!

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