It’s the damn to-do lists. My anxiety about getting stuff done isn’t getting better with time.
Initially, it seemed like you could excuse this by the aftermath of going through the lady’s house. As far as these things go, it really wasn’t that bad. No bags filled with ten years of hair, no secret stash of battery operated boyfriends, no big surprises. The worst of it is in the file box in the back of her car: a folder full of e-mails from my dad’s cousin lamenting the news of their impending divorce. A note from my dad full of anguish and shame – the kind of thing that she would have held on to and wondered why, if she was willing to live with the parts of him that were difficult, he still didn’t choose to stay with her. Why she held on to that, I don’t know. I don’t even want to touch it. Literally.
So having gone through every item in her house in recent memory, it sort of made sense that I’d want to shed all of the things in my life that defy explanation. But this isn’t wearing off. Every day, I’m waking up trying to figure out how to best answer the demands of my to-do list. I’m putting stuff on to it just so I can cross something off. The big tasks – dealing with the data disaster that is my 1tb back up drive, finishing an assortment of writing projects, recording a novella that is more or less finished as part of releasing it on amazon <gulp>, scanning family photos so I can return the pile of pictures from my father’s childhood to him – are stubbornly refusing to be shifted from to-do to done.
Yes. I put “vacuum downstairs” onto my list *after* I’d done the vacuuming, just so I could cross it off. Because I’ve made progress with the photos, but it is a tedious process that isn’t going to be over any time soon and so it just sits there. Staring at me. Relentless. Taunting.
I’m going to go to bed tonight convinced that I didn’t do nearly enough to answer the list. Even though I got my car registered, emissions-inspected, swam 1.25 miles, cleaned my room, did a pile of filing, made dinner, went grocery shopping, vacuumed downstairs (damn it), cleaned the kitchen, and moved 4.14GB of photos around. Oh, and scheduled two interviews, talked to the consignment store that has proven useless, wrote two thank you notes, scanned stuff that came in the mail for mom to send to my sister, sent those e-mails, and that whole “clean up the room” thing went further than it normally does with me.
So the whole haunted thing doesn’t seem so far fetched. Because we all know I’m not like this naturally.
Has anyone ever considered treating a haunting with Xanax? If only I could talk someone into prescribing me a boatload. I’d take it in halves, I promise. I’d stick to taking it at times like this, when the to-do list is making my heart race. That seems like a reasonable response to events, no?