The Things I Never Get To: A List

I love making lists. I love crossing items off them. I love the illusion of productivity in a world where there will never be enough time to read all the books, see all the sights, meet all the people, etc.

This morning, as a sort of obligation-free freewrite and creative warm-up (for which lists outside the planner are most brilliant), I thought I would draft a list of

Things I Always Mean To Do, But Somehow Never (Or Only After Great Delay) Get To And Really Ought To Do, in no particular order

  1. The sewing
  2. Go through closet and donate the things I never wear
  3. Read miscellaneous items (JFK’s “Strategy for Peace” speech, reread The Gettsyburg Address, the faux children’s book Go the F**k to Sleep) that have been on my to-read list forEVer
  4. Learn everything that comes after the introduction of “Stairway to Heaven” on guitar
  5. Practice the solo of “Santeria” until I can do it at something faster than slug-versus-treadmill
  6. Write letters
  7. Submit short stories and poems to magazines
  9. Garden Learn to garden
  10. LEARN THE PAST TENSE IN FRENCH (irregular verbs included)
  11. Find a French pen pal, or at least somebody practicing/wanting to learn so I have a reason to form sentences and look up words
  12. A whole assortment of writing-related and personal goals including, but not limited to, joining a critique group, traveling Europe, overcoming certain fears, and, eh, securing medical insurance before I turn twenty-six.

How about you? What are you always meaning to do, or have meant to do forever, but never get to?


14 responses to “The Things I Never Get To: A List”

  1. I’ve been meaning to learn how to dissect a frog…with something besides a cinderblock.

    1. Good call. Think of all the cinderblocks you’ll save!

  2. What a neat list. This professor learned Page’s part once…some time ago.

    1. Well DONE! Regardless of part, that song is what– eight minutes? Anyone who can play it through should get some kind of trophy.

  3. Oh, thank you, fellow listmaker. I am similarly addicted to the writing of lists. This made me laugh because some of it was so familiar, #s 2 and 8 in particular. (PS the best version of Go the F*ck to Sleep is the one where Samuel L. Jackson reads it on YouTube).

    1. HA! I am going to look that up (the Samuel L. Jackson clip)! Thanks for sharing. Always fun to compare notes with a fellow list-maker 🙂

  4. It’s much easier not to make a list and instead sigh in despair and settle down with the laptop. Love the image which I’ve immediately stolen for Facebook – hope it wasn’t an original Julieism.

    1. Ah, despair. Productivity’s less attractive, but more easily-wooed friend…

      I, too, loved this image when I came upon it. I’m sure I’ve seen it around the internet long before– and if I’m not mistaken, it actually comes from the cartoon Spongebob!

  5. Fredrik Kayser Avatar
    Fredrik Kayser

    My essay that was due last semester. Just… Can’t….be arsed right now. Haha.

    1. Last semester! Oh man. (Love that expression, by the way… ‘can’t be arsed’…Don’t hear enough of it in the US.) I hope you passed the course, at any rate!

  6. I Love making lists but I haven’t thought of this one. Taking a degree in creative writing. Tsk.

    1. Go creative writing majors! For a semester there I was doing a list every day as a creative warm-up/writing exercise. The most absurd things: cereals I ate as a kid, deceased people I would want to have dinner with, words that I’ve embarrassed myself mispronouncing (some of these lists continue to grow in practice, if not on paper). I think one could *literally* make a list of obscure lists, and never run out of ideas for them.

      Thank you for your comment 🙂

  7. I write so many lists I think I need a list of my lists.

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