HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
August 13, 2007, Herald Journal

The never ending list


I wonder if there is a person who has everything under control both personally and professionally. From housework, miscellaneous errands, and getting in quality family time, to socializing, household projects, and possibly down-time scheduled in there somewhere.

My dream would be to have a clean house every day of the week. Not just to the naked eye, but all the closets, drawers, and shelves would be neatly organized, and even under the appliances would be free of dust bunnies.

That way, I would be much more carefree on the weekends and could enjoy my days off instead of focusing on what cleaning must be done before recreation or leisure time.

In addition, I wish my list of projects that I would like to do would have more of a forward progression than a stalemate.

I’m way overdue for a painting project. I love to change the color of the walls. My husband teases me because I’ve painted the kids’ rooms about four times in the last five years. He says we don’t have to worry about the house ever coming down because it has so many layers of paint!

The kitchen was painted twice as soon as the house was built – before we even moved into it! I’m gearing up for its fourth paint job.

In addition to our everyday tasks and wishful projects, we then need to worry about keeping in touch with our friends and family, attending parties, scheduling grandparent visits, and sending out birthday cards.

Everyone I run into has the same story. They mean to call, they mean to get together, but time flies by and we get more and more behind.

My friend had a baby in June. She lives just blocks from this office and I’ve only seen the baby once – because she brought her here to the office! I did stop by her house once and she wasn’t home, but why I haven’t made a point to go there right after work and visit eludes me.

I do believe the quality of life “back in the day” was much better than what it is now. We’re all so pressed for time and we live by that clock on the wall. I do not wear a watch and one reason for it is to try to not be a slave to time.

Yes, I need to be punctual for work, appointments, and the like, but I really do try, when appropriate, to disassociate from that ticking time bomb.

The never ending list of things to do and the clock that keeps reminding us that we need to get those things done, work together to bring us down!

Simplification is a constant goal for me. I think the fewer items a person owns, the less mess. When I walked through the old houses on display at the Wright County Fair, I thought about how it would be easier to take care of a house that had fewer items and how all we really need are the basics.

Making our priorities a priority takes a little more planning than it rightfully should.


My 6-year-old picked up my hairspray and squirted some towards his face. My 8-year-old said, “Now he’s going to grow hair on his face!”

I thought about this for a second and asked, “So, what do you think hair spray does?”

“It grows more hair,” he said.