To Do Or Not To Do

Years ago, upon buying our first house, it didn’t take long to come to the realization that home ownership was a work in progress.  Modifications and maintenance is never completed.  Things break, fade, bend, scratch, rot, leak, and just throw in the towel with amazing regularity.

This, I suspect, is what gave rise to the ever popular “job jar”.  I for one, was never a fan.  When I was still working, I had an employee that (and this is going to date me) jokingly labeled his desktop baskets “IN” and “FURTHER IN”.  That’s how I see the job jar.  The stuff on the bottom stays on the bottom.  But it has other disadvantages.  When you pull something out, that is what you are stuck with doing, especially if she is watching.  Apparently double dipping is not an accepted practice.  That is why I prefer lists.  Not only is everything visible for perusal, but I have often been able to justify a selection based on the time available to accomplish it, time be a subjective thing.

We have a list hanging on the refrigerator door.  I find it preferable to receiving frequent verbal reminders, although, addition to the list does not preclude well placed comments if restitution is not administered.  It is Our list.  By that I mean she adds to it and I am expected to remove the entries.  And I do, over time.  In reality, I get a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment when I am able to cross something off.  For instance, the first entry for some time (make that a long time) had been “repaint the front bedroom”.  When I completed that task, I strutted around, accepting any accolades that she chose to share.  I’m not proud, but I’ll take whatever I can get.

I am, however, somewhat dismayed by one thing.  While a job jar can only get so full, a list can keep getting longer.  The longer the list, the more pressure to do something.  And it doesn’t make any difference how fast you work.   It is almost like the depletion of pending tasks is a challenge to find new ones.  There is no advantage to speedy completion.  So, that being a given, I have a tendency to drag my feet a little.  This in itself is an art. There is a fine line between “long enough” and “too long”, and finding that balance is an acquired skill.  Most of the time, the long enough is when a verbal reminder accompanies one of the items.  You just know it is going to go downhill from there.  Time to bite the bullet.

My timing however, is not without flaws.  Failing to show obvious progress in a timely manner can result in what I call the time warp.  What seems like just a couple of months ago to me, in reality has been much longer.  So you can appreciate my surprise when I was  recently reviewing the available options and noticed a new item added to the bottom of the list.  To my chagrin it said “repaint the front bedroom”.


About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
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8 Responses to To Do Or Not To Do

  1. having done more renovations than I can remember, I’m a bit lost in this damnable state of disability

    Liked by 1 person

  2. laurie27wsmith says:

    I told my first wife that if she gave me a list of things to do then I’d gladly assist her in compiling one for her wifely jobs. Never saw one at all. 🙂


  3. Here is a major conundrum when it comes to lists and different personalities – imagine this, if you will. One partner considers the making of a list to be a type of meandering, wishful, fun activity – the reality of ever completing said list not the point at all. The other partner thinks of things written down as WRITTEN DOWN – as in stone. Making a list is stepping into the world of obligation to complete. Let me tell you – this partnership can get pretty rocky when it comes to lists. Just saying.


    • oldmainer says:

      I have no idea, in your relationship, which is which:) I our relationship, we both consider a list an obligation. It is the time frame that meets with dissension. While one thinks it is an obligation to do them immediately, the other sees it as a period of research and development where the time frame is subjective. However, somehow, it all gets done, eventually. I have been known to encourage her to add something to the list as a means of buying time without constant verbal reminders..


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