Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Have Nothing .... To DO

I know I have mentioned to all of you in the past about my quirk for to-do lists. I actually carry a small notebook with me at all times, and keep a running list of things I need to get done, and cross out items after I accomplish them. I’m one of those people who will even write things down on the list after I do them, if they’re not already written, just for the pleasure of crossing them out.

The notebook contains not only things I need to do, but appointments I have, phone numbers I need, web sites I want to check out, items I need to buy, prescriptions to fill, grocery items we’re out of at the house, songs I want to download, blog ideas, scrapbook layout ideas, etc. This notebook, needless to say, is vital to my existence. Like Diet Dr. Pepper. Like air. Pretty much EVERYTHING is in it. It’s basically a poor man’s version of a Palm Pilot or Blackberry; phone book, address list, appointment schedule, to-do list, all rolled in to one. Usually it is in my purse, so I can grab it whenever inspiration strikes, or to make a reminder note, or to jot down a web address or billboard phone number, or whatever. Occasionally it is loose in my car, and fairly often I bring it inside to my computer. Regardless, it is always within arms’ reach, because it is like OXYGEN for me. Without it, I am but a lost soul, wandering the earth, with no idea what time I should be at the dentist, or what I need to purchase from Target, or what classroom donations the teachers want, or which phone calls need to be made the most urgently.

Without It? Lost. Soul.

Speaking of "lost", I lost my notebook this weekend.

Let me repeat that, in case the gravity of the situation isn’t quite clear:


I am 99% certain I lost it at Kroger, because I had it when I went grocery shopping on Friday morning. I don’t use it as much on the weekends, so I didn’t notice it was missing until Monday afternoon. I remembered having it on the dog food aisle, and setting it down so I could pick up a case of Alpo with both hands. *squinching up my face, thinking really hard* That is my last memory of it.

I went back to Kroger first thing yesterday morning, and asked at customer service if anyone had turned it in. Naturally, that would have been too easy. No simple lost and found for me! So I went back to the dog food aisle and got down on my hands and knees and moved every single case of Alpo off the shelf and searched for it. I’m not even kidding. That’s my level of desperation -- germ phobe that I am, crawling around on the floor of a public supermarket. (Why couldn’t I have lost it in the Purell aisle???) I think I might have left it in my cart without realizing it. I would have gladly hand-searched every cart in that store, but I was afraid I would be arrested by management for harassment of the other shoppers.

We have turned the house upside down. I offered five bucks to whichever kid found it first. None of them found it, but Brayden found an old diary of hers, Kendrie found two matchbox cars under the sofa, Kellen found nothing because the lazy little shit said he didn’t need any money and he wasn’t looking, and Blaine found a disgusting, congealed, rancid sippy cup of milk behind Kendrie’s dresser. Blech. But no notebook.

Ya’ll, I’m not kidding. What am I supposed to do? I have no idea what I should be doing when, or where. Blaine, Mr. Always Practical, suggested I just get a new notebook from my stash (yes, I have a stash because I go through them every month or two), close my eyes, and try to mentally and visually recall what was on the old list. So I squinted my eyes shut, and tried to remember what was printed. *squinting, squinting*

Something about a book that I wanted to buy. And oranges. I think I needed to buy oranges.

That’s all I could come up with.

I’m pathetic.

Instead of hyperventilating every time I think about it, which is what I did much of the day yesterday, I’m trying to see this as a positive thing. It’s quite freeing, actually. All the restraints and pesky, obligatory to-do items are now gone. Vanished. I should feel liberated, right? Like those kids who burned things in the 1970's, only instead of draft cards and bras, I'm suddenly without order and function.

So what if one of my kids misses an orthodontist appointment, and I can’t rsvp to that birthday party because I’ve lost the number, and I’ve misplaced the list of every single song title I got from my girlfriends last weekend to download off iTunes. None of that really matters, right? Who needs the promotion code for my photo order? Who needs to remember that I'm a month behind on thank-you notes? Or that I promised to proctor tests at the school next month ... on what days .... ???

Blaine asked me if I wanted to go to lunch on Friday and I said, no, I had too much to do before we leave on our Spring Break Vacation on Saturday morning.** He asked, “Yeah? What all do you have to get done?” and it suddenly occurred to me. Nothing. I have nothing to DO. I’ll probably miss getting my hair cut and forget to go to the bank and not remember who I should paypal money to and never remember to make hotel reservations, but I am FREE and CLEAR for lunch on Friday! Whoo! I’m free!!

Egads, no I’m not. I’m all butt-clenched just thinking about it.

PS. If any of you find a black and white floral notebook, I swear I will pay you five dollars.

Comments on the comments:

Jadine, no it is not too late, and yes you should watch it. I used to be a fan of reality tv, until the mean-spirited, cold-hearted, backstabbing manipulating psychos of Survivor ruined it for me. What I love about DWTS is that there is no ruthless maneuvering to get oneself ahead of one’s opponent. The dancing is lovely to watch, and I SO enjoy the behind-the scenes footage of the stars trying to learn the dances. The recap show is WAY too long, but those television stations are doing their best to suck all the almighty advertising dollar into their wallets, I suppose. It is a family-friendly show, and you truly should watch it.

Although, was I the only person who lost their flipping cable signal RIGHT AT THE VERY MOMENT THEY WERE ANNOUNCING WHO WAS VOTED OFF????? I was all, “Oh, hell no, this isn’t happening!” but it WAS, and we wound up having to mute the television so we could read the verdict on the closed captioning, with no picture!! So I didn’t get to see the reactions and was totally bummed. (I take this way too seriously, don’t I?)

Kati, can I just say how much I adore you? Because you are a fabulous role model, and Kendrie loves you, and mostly because you don’t beat me about the head with your crutches when I continuously spell your name wrong.

Anonymous at the Gym -- ha! Listen to what happened to me this weekend (well, besides the fact I lost my bleeping NOTEBOOK but I think that topic has been covered) I took Kellen to a birthday party (one I was able to rsvp for back when I still had my notebook … oh, sorry, I just can’t let it go) and it was a group of ten or so rowdy boys, playing outside, being rambunctious, doing what boys do. They were tossing a football, sort of near my chair, and the grandmother hollered, loudly, in front of all the adults at the party, “You boys be careful and don’t bump into Kellen’s mother --- there’s two of them sitting there, and you need to watch out!” and at first I was like, “Two of them? Two what?” and then I realized she meant two people, as in she thought I was pregnant. (sigh) But at least it got the boys out of my way.

**Yes, we’re leaving on another vacation, but I have good news this time! Blaine is coming with me, which means I will have his laptop, so should have internet access the entire time. Not that you’ll want to hear every detail of our trip, but at least now it’s a possibility. Although, really, I can give you the summary now, and just save us both the trouble:

Vacation begins.
Kids fighting.
Mom pulling her hair out.
More fighting.
Even more fighting. Over every stupid thing under the sun you would think my children left their brains back at home.
Vacation ends.


Anonymous said...

Oh Kristie, I soooooo understand about the notebook! I have an organizer that I have been carrying for at least 5 years and I call it my Bible! It has EVERY important detail of my life in it and the calendar is packed with every appt, to do, rsvp, PTA request, etc etc. Also, every phone number, coupon, invitation, etc. I have seriously considered a Blackberry but I can't bear the thought of not having my penciled-in organizer! I carry it with me every place I go and leave it in the console of my car if I'm going into the mall or something (and then worry about my car getting stolen!) I would be completely LOST if something happened to it. We share sooooo many of the Type A personality traits! I always laugh at your entries because they are so much like me! Have a good vacation with your family!
Rhonda in Texas

Care said...

Oh my - I hope your notebook shows up! I am that way but with sticky notes. Those horrid Post Its. I'm addicted. I have millions. It is a sad sad thing. Hope you have a fun vacation. Are you sure you aren't travelling with my kids? Because your summary-in-advance sure sounds a lot like every vacation I've ever taken with my trio!

Lisa H. said...

I think it's funny that I bought a notebook for my lists, numbers, and everything today because I always have some random piece of paper that I write lists on and I keep losing my lists. It makes me crazy and I usually find it as soon as I start a new one. Usually it's not a big deal but yesterday I had Mike jumping through hoops at work trying to get a meeting rescheduled because it conflicted with stuff going on at school...then HOURS later after he got the meeting cancelled but did not yet have it resceduled...I realized the school stuff was not until the following week. UGH! NOW I have a notebook!! I hope you find yours!!
Lisa H.

Anna in IL said...

Do you remember that episode of Friends where someone steals Monica's credit card, and uses it to do fun things like dance class, and then Monica stalks the woman to the activities, to see what fun things she COULD be doing with her life?

What if someone found your notebook and she winds up at all of your ortho appointments and procters the tests for you? I think that you should start a new notebook, and like Harriet the Spy, keep track of everyone that you see, and if you see the same person too many places, then you will know that SHE is the one!

But seriously, hope it turns up. Keep checking back with Kroger. My coupon book turned up in the Target lost and found almost two weeks after I lost it. And for Pete's Sake, when it turns up, put a "if found, please call" sticker on the front of it, for future emergencies! (Or maybe a GPS tracking device... yeah, that definitely sounds like a plan.)

Anonymous said...

Where are you going on vacation???

Anonymous said...

You need to look at the bright side - when my palm of 2 years crashed (i didn't know you were supposed to "sync" it...) I was lost for a few weeks or so - people would call asking why i wasn't at X appt - but, you know what, the world was still FINE.
Then, 2 years ago i lost all the contacts in my cell phone (A LOT!). And, I realized if i really wanted to talk to anyone or if they wanted to talk to me, we WOULD connect. So, yes, this thought process can be a coping mechanism to accept the loss. For me, it made me realize how UNimportant the things that i thought were SO important were.... and I could hang out in the carpool lane an hour early and read a book!
mary cron schulman

Two Kids and a Husband said...

OH no...I need to take a page out of your book (haha how whitty am I?) seriously though...I am totally opposite. Bad memory ... so bad actually that I have tried using a notebook and a daytimer and....I forget to pull it out of my purse to use it...just never dawns on me to get it...then I end up asking ..what time do we need to be there?, did we get the bananas?, why do I feel like we are forgetting something...sigh...I need to learn to use a notebook...

Two Kids and a Husband said...

OH no...I need to take a page out of your book (haha how whitty am I?) seriously though...I am totally opposite. Bad memory ... so bad actually that I have tried using a notebook and a daytimer and....I forget to pull it out of my purse to use it...just never dawns on me to get it...then I end up asking ..what time do we need to be there?, did we get the bananas?, why do I feel like we are forgetting something...sigh...I need to learn to use a notebook...

Tracey said...

Kristie, did you put....'If Lost, please call 555-2222' or your address in your notebook and a big THANK YOU ? I do this with my notebook, *just in case* and hope that some lovely kind hearted Calgarian will return it...I have three times left my wallet on top of my vehicle or on my bumper and three times, it has been returned to me, money and cards all intact. I just bet you might get that notebook back...if they can track you down! Think positive! Enjoy your trip, and please update!!!

liz in sumner said...

(((SIGH)))I so feel your pain...I have a notebook too, although I think of it as more of a ball-and-chain! It gets worse - it has "pocket" type pages in it, and in these I have things like: bills for the month that I've already paid, bills that I haven't yet paid, my car insurance card to prove insurance coverage in case the WSP pulls me over for something like tossing a cigarette butt out of the car window (seriously, I DON'T do that any more!!), and my registration for my car....also, the all important passwords cheat sheet for all my many online computer accounts, both work and personal (don't tell Boeing computing security that I write them down!!-but seriously, how can any NORMAL person be expected to remember fifty million different account names and passwords), and, MOST important, the account names and passwords so that I can go online every day, check my 401k balance and swear at the stock market and how it's affected it, and check my dead-beat 13 year old son's LATE ASSIGNMENTS at school! Honestly, can someone explain to me why it's more difficult for him to turn the assignments in than it is to do them in the first place???!!!! It also has wonderful stuff like what time and in what room the parents meeting is for 7th grade football that for some insane reason my son's school feels should be a spring intra-mural sport (try finding football equipment in March sometime!!). So Kristie, I'm right there with you, mourning your loss. Enjoy your vacation, and if you blow through Seattle, pull out Blaine's laptop and email me at - I'll treat you to a latte (of which about 20 punch cards for 20 different latte places are in one of the pockets of my notebook)!!

liz in sumner said...

I apologize for the length of my last "comment"....I think I've gotten hooked on commenting because it's kind of like vicarious blogging!! Oh - and I still love Survivor - BECAUSE of all the scheming and's so much fun to watch - kind of reminds me of Boeing when a management position opens up!

Anonymous said...

Love reading your blog. . . . Check out, a list making website. You can print out your list or access it from your cell phone if you misplace it.

Kathy in California

Karen said...

I Love reading your site and i think we must be twins because I have a notebook too. I hope you find it.

kim said...

Oh man, this really is not a joking matter! I hope you're a little less anal that I am, because it would take me a very long time to stop obsessing. Mine is one of those month-at-a-glance calendar things (about the size of one of those oversized paperbacks--good for old eyes--HA!) with post-its stuck all over and paperclips on the pages for extra stuff. I shudder at the thought of losing it, so you have my heartfelt sympathy. TRY to have a good vacation and TRY not to think about it--HAHAHA! I am so relieved that we (your adoring public) will NOT have to go Kristie-less...YAY FOR LAPTOPS!

Anonymous said...

Kristi - I can sooo relate to the lost notebook issue. I lost mine the day after Thanksgiving shopping and it had ALL my Christmas ideas, gifts bought, etc written in it. I lost it at the first store, Menards, but didn't realize it was missing until we got to the second store, Kohl's. I initially called Menards and they hadn't had any notebooks turned in. I could hardly shop at Kohl's because I didn't have that notebook. I literally felt like crying. After we left Kohl's I called Menards one more time and alas, they had my notebook. Someone found it in the parking lot. It had been driven over, had tire marks, the wire was smooshed, but it still had all my info. I could function again. The funny part about this story is I left my notebook lay in Menards the year before on the day after Thanksgiving. I vow to never go into a Menards store again on the day after Thanksgiving for fear of truly losing my notebook and never getting it back.

Nancy in IA

Anonymous said...

OK the bottom part of this post is making me nervous since I am vacationing with you in June! :-) Just kidding...We can't wait!
Tiffany M