I have not picked up a newspaper now in over a week (but, yes, I do know that Michael Jackson has died). My kids are off to camp and my husband and I are on our own with the two dogs. Since delivering the final troupe of campers on Monday I have puttered around the cottage taking the occasional momentary glance at my carefully constructed “to do” list – all the things I needed to get done at the cottage while the kids were away.
I am more than a little irked that my husband has now crossed NINE things off his list compared to my single crossed out accomplishment. I tell him I am still recuperating from the anxiety and effort that go along with preparing three kids for camp. I tell him that I still haven’t decided what colour to paint the picnic table. I tell him that the damp weather is sucking the life out of me (well, that would probably be the mosquitoes). My lack of inertia at tackling my list may well be the result of the terrible weather we’ve had since the weekend but more likely it’s because I love making “to-do” lists, I just hate the “do” part. I find myself ill prepared for today’s tasks. I forgot that the stores are closed today (Canada Day) and have no paint for the picnic table, no closet organizer ready to install, no bracket for my dinner bell, no towel racks for the upper bathroom and no top soil ready to spread over the septic bed.
I should be happy that despite my lack of tangible accomplishments so far this week, I have successfully managed to read a book, kayak our bay, consumed a bottle of champagne while countless creatures flew and swam by me on the dock, and prepared a number of yummy cottage appetizers and dinners for two. I’ve also been a very apt associate as I held the dock fenders while they were screwed into place, I lugged a couple of very heavy rocks to the new fire pit enclosure and then spread the sand that was my husband brought up to the fire pit, held one end of the clothesline while the other was secured to a tree and provided prompt and plentiful advice on the requirements of the new trail-in-progress while cheerfully dispensing his Advil.
So what’s to feel guilty about? I noticed plenty of fishermen out there this morning while sipping my coffee that probably have even less to show for their effort (they will tell you otherwise, of course). So in my final three days of “vacation” before I head back to Ottawa, I am eager to continue along the same production line I’ve started: my success will not be measured by how many tasks I’ve crossed off my list, but how many tasks I can add to my husband’s list. And that beaver better not show up along my dock again lest he’s willing to take part!