All my to-do lists end with: “and then fail spectacularly at all of the above”

I have an obsession with lists. Especially but not exclusively to-do lists. I started making to-do lists when I was 12 or so, writing them on post-it notes that I would stick on or near my bed before I went to sleep so it was waiting for me when I woke. I especially did this during the summers, when I was younger and both determined and actually very good at getting as much productivity and fun out of the summer days as I could. I was that person who woke up at 6 or 7 in the morning all through the summer, forbear of wasting it. I did this even through high school. It didn’t start to change until college, and part-time jobs, when my depression got progressively worse, and I was more isolated from friends who had moved away for college, and “wasting the day” seemed less of a worry when all I really wanted to do was sleep.

I still write lists compulsively. I’m just not so good at doing anything about them these days.

some actual lists I’ve written in the last week include:

Monday’s To-Do List:

  1. do a load of laundry
  2. Call help desk to fix problem with [redacted] account password
  3. pour bleach down upstairs toilet and bathtub to kill the goddamn silverfish
  4. pour bleach down my throat
  5. write 1000 words
  6. or don’t, whatever

Tuesday’s To-Do List:

  1. Pay [redacted] account fees
  2. dishes???
  3. fuck the dishes
  4. email K–
  5. no seriously, email K–

Wednesday’s To-Do List:

  1. Get out of bed
  2. EMAIL K–
  3. just get out of bed
  4. never mind…

Thursday’s To-Do List:

  1. Possible reasons to get out of bed today include: you have to feed the cats; maybe there’s a tennis match on?; so you can crawl back into bed in a couple hours
  2. try not to die
  3. youre having lunch with your brother tomorrow, as long as you’re still alive

I made it to lunch with my brother, just barely. I’m not sure what kind of motivation will get me through the weekend though. And I still haven’t emailed K.


Silent Sister


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