Monday, April 23, 2012


Lately, the word "check' has become one of the most important words in my personal lexicon. I am task oriented—I can spend time dreaming big or small, and I can think abstractly as long as there aren't too many visual distractions to turn my head, but where I really shine is when I am faced with a list of tasks to complete.

I have taken to writing actual lists because I'm afraid the mental lists will be adulterated, what with all the visual distractions and the insidious ravages of aging. And I've been keeping these lists on the Stickies features of my Mactop. The application creates what looks like Post-it Notes, and you can assign different colors and fonts and font sizes to different notes as you organize them by importance. Right now, the sticky note that is front and center is blue, large and filled with big, bold type. These are the things I need to do in the immediate feature, as opposed to the other notes that are just for occasional reference—the cost of the shirts I'll be ordering for the community band, our wi-fi network password, and a recipe for a bleach-cleaning solution for the dog's potty area (it's astro turf and can get pretty rank in the blazing heat, not that we've had blazing heat lately, I say as the bitter wind whips through the chimney and howls like a wolf, and snow is pelting the northeastern part of America during the last week of April. The last week of April!, I repeat because I warned people this would be happening, and I don't think anyone believed me, certainly not the pool people who wanted to open early on account of the "early spring").

What was I saying before I got distracted by the astro turf and the last blast of winter in spring? See why I need to write these lists down in bold type and keep them in front of my face?

Most of what I do these days revolves around the community orchestra (see Tuscarawas Philharmonic in the side bar). I create the newsletter and shoot and develop brief videos about each concert, practice my horn, and take care of smaller tasks that come up unexpectedly. It's like a job except that it doesn't pay beyond the satisfaction of knowing I'm working for a worthwhile organization, and I get to say "check" a lot.

You see, one of the perks of being a task-oriented person is being able to say "check' when a task is complete. You begin with a long list and feel daunted, even though you know you can handle it all, and then one by one, you check each task off the list until the page, or in this case a virtual sticky note, is blank. Satisfaction. Job well done. Check.

Not everyone gets to do that, apparently. The other day, a friend told me she was jealous because her job entails what feels like an endless cycle of work, and nothing ever seems to be finished. Imagine never being able to say "check." It would be like always eating but still feeling hungry, or like always wanting and never being satisfied.

Yesterday, I was able to remove several things from the list. I wrote an article for the newsletter (check) and painted two wooden easels I'll use for an orchestra-related event (check). Finalized a design for an orchestra T-shirt (check). This morning, I laid out the first page of the newsletter (check), printed order forms for those community band shirts I mentioned (check), left a message for someone I want to interview for the newsletter (check), made an appointment to have the dog groomed on Saturday so I can shoot the video without barking interruptions (check), called the landscaper (check) and took care of a typesetting job that has been waiting for my attention (check).

I mean, really. Check. Check. Check. I feel as though I'm on a roll. I feel as though I am on one massive task-completed-move-onto-the-next-one roll, and when I reach the bottom of this hill, my page, my sticky note will be clear. I'll also have nothing to do, but I know how this works. It won't be long before I fill up that list again.

And once again, I'll be able to say "check." What a payoff.


dive said...

You multi-multi-tasker!
Wonder Woman's got nothing on you.

Scout said...

Naw, I just like to say busy, and I like saying "check."

Scout said...

I meant "stay" busy. The word "busy" is not very satisfying to say.

dive said...

Hee hee

dive said...

… or should I say "Check"?