I always feel virtuous when I clear my TO DO list ... when I pay my bills ... when I accomplish a major cleaning job. It is a kind of catharsis ... the purging of guilt and worry ... a wiping clean of the slate. I think it likely dates back to my teaching days. At the end of the school year I would leave my classroom clean and ready for the August onslaught of a new set of students. Student papers had all been handed back. Exam marking was finished and the results sent off to the Ministry. All the paperwork had been done. All the files were closed. All the books in the book room were accounted for. I had handed in my keys. I felt free for the first time in almost eleven months.
Today, after balancing my cheque book and paying a few bills due tomorrow and in the next two weeks, my TO DO list still stares down at me with reminders to make THAT phone call that I have been avoiding since June, and to clean THOSE windows, one each day. Unfortunately, there is also a reminder to re-examine my tax returns to figure out why I owe Revenue Canada money and why Revenue Quebec sent me a cheque (a much smaller one, I am afraid). I would rather clean windows with Q-tips than deal with taxes, so I know which chore will be left till last.
But, I have cleared the most pressing items, so I listen to the stream rushing down the mountain, the rumble of distant thunder, the soft thumps from the bathroom where a small cat and kitten play, and the muted snores of a sleeping dog ... and I think, "That's enough for today. I am going to paint the second stool and the ugly fluorescent orange rocking chair with a coat of primer, and the dogs and I are going to go out for a walk once it is possible to dodge the raindrops."