Every summer I cross the bridge onto Cape Cod with an extensive To Do list, expecting to get a lot done during my five weeks. My Cape expectations for some reason are higher than my regular expectations when I’m in New York. Maybe it’s the salty air, the stunning view from my summer “office” (a.k.a. my folks’ dining room) or the fact there are more seashells per square foot than people. But whatever the reason, hope is high. And more importantly, productivity is up.
Each morning begins with the sound of birds chirping outside my window as opposed to, say, garbage trucks. Then I make the bed, put on play clothes, and tuck my pajamas under my pillow (something I only ever do when I’m here).
Having a good stretch of time in which to tackle a lengthy To Do list may make one believe they have all the time in the world, but I’ve never been one to procrastinate. I did homework on Friday nights (yeah, I was way cool), because I didn’t want it hanging over my head all weekend. It didn’t always work out that way, but that was my goal. It’s easy to put off tasks when you think you’ve got plenty of time to do them, but there are always, always, unexpected events that come up that threaten to sidestep your To Dos.
Which is why in my first four days here, I eviscerated the list by half, tackling the garage, kitchen, three bedrooms, at least eight (and counting) closets, shelves of books, my own work, plus a slew of errands and it’s only July 2. All that and I still managed a bike ride on the canal with my dad, a walk on the beach with my mom, coloring with my niece, reading one book (part of a whole other list) and sleeping eight hours a night.
Getting done what you can, when you can, feels good and what’s more, that sense of accomplishment pushes you to do the next. It doesn’t matter that each time I complete something from the list, my mother or father will add something new. Lists are never finished. Lists capture life’s movements. And who knows, in recognizing that, we may even enjoy the process.