Monday, July 21, 2008

Clearing Off the To Do List

You know how we all have a "To Do List" that sits around for ages? I'm not talking about the regular one involving things to pick up at the store, laundry to iron and people to call. I'm talking about the one that consists of projects that you want to do eventually, but they aren't exactly a priority.

I threw mine away yesterday. It wasn't because I gave up... it was because I finished it. Of course, give me about a week and I'll probably start a new one, but for now it's a good feeling.

I slept like 11 hours Saturday night (you would too if you'd been up at 5:30am for a run, then went shopping, and also hadn't slept well the whole week). When I got up I felt really motivated, so I started tidying some things up and thinking through what was on my list. I felt really confident I could knock it all out of the park and that none of it would be hard or time consuming. It's just that none of it is fun, so I'd been putting it off.

First, I heart Apple. And I'm not talking about the unfortunately named daughter of Chris Martin and Gwynth Paltrow, though I'm sure she's lovely. I went to the Apple store to look at the computer I'm considering. This, of course, was very fun. I spent about an hour with a guy named Brandon who told me everything I could possibly want to know about the iMac and what I need to do when I come back to buy it. All I have to say is that Apple knows what it's doing. I think Bill Gates probably has a secret Mac locked away in some hidden room of his house with some sort of rerouted IP address so that no one will ever know. I have always used a PC at home and at work, but I am more and more convinced that Mac is the way to go and I can't believe so many people don't see why. Everything is seamless. Someone needs to send you a document but you don't have Word? No problem.. you can still open it in iPages. And convert iPages documents to Word to send to others. You can keep yuor calendar on the computer and then sync it to your iPhone and vice versa. Built in webcam and microphone that you can hardly see. And oh the clarity of the images on screen... wow. I'm blown away. I can hardly wait to go back and buy.

When I got home, I pulled out my carry-on bag to look at it. I'm kind of determined to only take a carry-on to DC this weekend. I'm only going for 3 nights/2 days, so I shouldn't need a lot. And it's not like a girls' weekend where I know there are a variety of activities to change outfits for... I'm going to visit a guy friend and do some sight seeing. I shouldn't need much. But the bag still looks so, well, small. I guess we'll see when I get down to packing Thursday night. I did make a great list of what all I need to pick up at the store (like 3 oz. bottles of toiletries) and another list of everything to pack. Maybe I'll make it work.

Then, I tackled several YEARS worth of bank statements, credit card statements and receipts. Yes, years... I have no idea why I started keeping so much of that kind of stuff back in the day when I got my own account and my own credit card and all that hoopla, but I did. So I sat down with the whole mess of it (neatly stacked in shoeboxes, of course) and started sorting it all out to determine what to keep, what to trash, and what to shred. I decided it's wise to keep several months worth of statements and any matching receipts for credit card statements, but I want to get on a cycle of keeping it cleaned out once I know I won't need it again. Besides, receiopts for any important purchases always go in a special folder in the filing cabinet anyways. I also opted to keep the check stubs from my first paycheck at couple of different jobs I had... it's sentimental.

Here's the thing... I think universities are a BIG part of the reason why we have such terrible identity theft problesm. I found receipts from where I had paid for my caller ID on campus.. we're talking $5 every month, and every receipt had my FULL social security number on it. I had receipts from where I put money on my ID to use in the cafeteria... again, FULL SSN. Same thing on every single receipt/statement for every semester's tuition. Come on higher education people... can you not at least only use the last 4 digits? Or assign a student ID number that's totally only useful at the school? I realized how ridiculous it is that they use the SSN on everything.

So after that, I tackled all the magazine articles I had ripped out over the past few years. I think it's usually the writer in me that does that... I read a great article and decide I want to keep it. I guess I figure someday I might reference it or something. I had been meaning for months to get it all organized... and recently I read on another blog about some great software called Scanalog so that I can scan articles into my computer and keep them organized there. I'm so going to do that when I get my Mac. It still seemed like a good idea to go on and sort through the stack, so I got everything filed away into separate folders with labels like "Fitness articles," "Relationship articles," "Exercise Routines," "Books" and so on and so forth. It felt SO good to get it done. now, if I'm trying to think of a good book to check out, I can go to my book folder and find where I ripped out a book review of something I thought I'd like to read. Or if I want to do a workout at home but am feeling less than creative, I can pull out a simple abs workout that I ripped out.

I got some laundry done. I got distracted on craigslist looking for some running clothing I want to find at a better price... did you know there's a "missed connections" section? It's stuff like "I saw you in line at the movies with your friends and we smiled and I thought you were cute and so now I want to get to know you." I had a good laugh. On one hand, it's a terrific idea. On the other, if some guy saw me and then posted about it looking for me I'd probably never know because who thinks to go look for something like that? Anyways, my advice is that if you see someone and make eye contact and want to know more, then walk over to them. Then you don't have to wonder if it was a "missed connection." :)

I got some podcasts onto my ipod so that I can listen to them when I run later tonight. Finally, I was exhausted and felt like I had accomplished much. So I settled onto the couch with a piece of yummy goodness from The Cheesecake Factory (because hello - there's one right around the corner in the mall from the Apple store, so you KNOW I got a piece to take home) and The Wedding Date because I'd found it for like $3 and figured it was time to watch it again.

One of my favorite quotes comes from that movie... "The hardest thing is loving someone and then having the courage to let them love you back." I think that's so true.

All in all, it was a really productive day... I was glad to finally do those boring organization things that I'd been meaning to get done. I also discovered I have like 20 empty shoe boxes that I'd been holding on to "just in case" that have now made their way to the cardboard recycling bin, because really - what will I ever use them for?

I also found a box that had flowers in it from an old boyfriend. I didn't even know I still had them. It promptly found its way to the trash as well. It's a good feeling when you can throw something like that away and not even think twice about it. I suppose it's a little sad, but the past is the past, right?

Besides, I'd like to hope that there will be more flowers from some fantastic man somewhere in the coming years... I think I prefer those already.

Hope everyone else had a nice Sunday. It's been a busy day here at work, but I'm looking forward to getting to the gym later this evening and doing my pre-trip shopping!


Laura said...

Wow, I'm impressed with how much you got done! I'm the queen of keeping things for sentimental value, and really need to adopt a better attitude and get my life cleaned out.

Sarah said...

Congrats on getting all that boring stuff done - it is definitely a great feeling of accomplishment to scratch those types of tasks off your list!

L Sass said...

You are amazing! I have been doing those kind of tasks lately, too, but only because I am moving. The big move definitely helps you clean house.

B2G said...

I LOVE The Wedding Date. I totally sent that quote along to TB just now. :)