It’s pretty much old meme for me to point out that I still have not fully unpacked from my move or to talk about how not polished my day-to-day is, but I still haven’t unpacked from my move and Yule Goat is still on the mantle next to Santa and I still run around like a crazy person most mornings. I go to work with my hair wet sometimes. I’m a classy lady.
Some things are changing, though. I’m not ever going to have a perfect little life. I’m pretty sure I don’t actually want perfection, but a little more order and organization would be nice. I would enjoy getting to the point where I’m not running out the door with wet hair on ten degree Kansas mornings in the winter.
I recently read a post over on the NPR blog about the culinary tradition of mise-en-place and how it could be applied to daily life. I’m not sure why but a little light bulb went off in my head. I read the article a few more times, listened to the audio twice, and decided that I could apply the idea of mise-en-place. Wylie Dufresne’s bit about his list is what really stuck out to me and in short order I was looking through my desk at work for a notepad that would serve as a touchstone for my list. Now, I have a lot of balls in the air that I am juggling at any given time. I work a full time job, I have a part-time job, I write for two websites, and I have a handful of other things that I do. There is absolutely no way I could write out a list, throw it away, and then re-do it the next day. But I could do a fresh list each day so I numbered down to twenty on my little pad and took five minutes to write down twenty things I needed to do that came to mind. They weren’t in any special order so I just worked my way through them. The professional ones were cleared at work as much as time allowed and then I came home and worked on the personal ones. A few weren’t happening that night, but they stayed on the list so I couldn’t forget them. When I got to work this morning, I made a new numbered to twenty page of my notepad, transferred the unfinished things and rounded out the list with new items. I plowed through those items and for the first time in a long time I feel relaxed. I still have a lot on my list, but I have it written down. I’m relaxed. I’ve been able to jot down in the margins of my planner things that I will need to make lists for next week and when I sit down tomorrow morning before heading out on a day trip there won’t be much to transfer. I’m getting things done. Everything I need to do is in its place. It’s on my list and right now I feel like all I need to take on the world is my list. And maybe a cup of coffee.