The To-Do List
September 14, 2021
When 4:45 pm rolled around yesterday, I was sitting at my desk in the literacy center with quite a long to-do list. I was busily writing down all of, or most of, the issues that had come up after our assessment training just completed at 4:15. A small trail of teachers had stopped me after the meeting for suggestions or questions, and then some had dropped into the literacy center after as other things occurred to them.
As the silence settled, I thought about the to-do list, so many important things to accomplish, concerns to settle, details to work out… I looked at my open notebook, my desk scattered with post-its and pencils, my laptop with fifteen tabs open and I sighed. Should I stay just fifteen minutes, a half-hour, another hour and wipe this to-do list or should I go home and do all of the at home things waiting for me there.
Yesterday, I left the to-do list for today, they seem to go together. In the breaking light of a new day, I began considering that to-do list anew. Puzzling over some details, shifting ideas in my mind, thinking over the coffee maker, the hair dryer, the dog walk. I nod to myself. This is a to-do list that can get done today. I put on that extra bright sweater, find my cloud mask, fill my coffee carafe, hug the dog.
I drive to work resisting the temptation to listen to a practice related podcast, shifting the channels on the radio to one peppy upbeat song after another, thinking still about the to-do list, but it’s shrinking in my mind just like that bad word in Elbert’s Bad Word. I glance down at the sparkle shoes, I really do feel like the good witch in Wizard of Oz in these. I let cars in as I pass in traffic. I think, do you think these small good deeds multiply or accumulate?
At school, I turn on all the lights in the literacy center, arrange the flowers in the vase… on top of that to-do list waiting. I plan my first consult as I touch each blossom.
The to-do list is still there. I haven’t done one single thing on it… yet. But the plan is forming.
There will be a new to-do list today to replace every single item I accomplish on this list.
But, so is the mindset we create about to-do lists.
They can get done.