I Should NOT Be Writing: My Years-Long List of Neglected Tasks

My dad used to have an expression about women and their relationships with men.

“The only thing worse than having no man is having a useless one.”

This saying makes a few assumptions: that all women need a man; that all woman are actively seeking one; that all women are even romantically attracted to men.

Nonetheless, I find the saying amusing, particularly when I flip the script and take a look at the man (or rather woman) in the mirror.

The saying conjures images of long-suffering wives nagging at husbands to complete promised tasks.  But women can possess degrees of uselessness as well.

If I’m honest with myself, as I’ve put more and more effort into pursing my writing passion, there are definitely a few important tasks that I’ve let slide.

With the New Year fast approaching, as I contemplate all my sexy, brand new New Year’s resolutions, so too am I reminding myself of certain longstanding tasks that STILL require my attention:

1) New glasses

Considering how much time I spend on the computer—most of the day for my job and most of the evening for my “second job”, i.e. my writing—and given how much of a visual learner I am, one would think I’d have more respect for my eyes.

I’m fortunate enough to have health benefits through my job that provides partial coverage for eye exams and eyewear every two years.  However, it’s now been almost a whole other two years since my last eye exam.

And my optometrist is literally a 10-minute walk from my house.

Not only that, I don’t even have to get new frames if I don’t want to take the time to choose some.  My existing frames are still in very good shape and are a style that suits me.  So I really have no excuse at all.

2) Clean out my closet

I live in a decent-sized apartment that is cursed with a minuscule bedroom closet.

I’m not a total clothes horse.  But I have retained a fair bit of the clothing from the years I lived in significantly colder parts of the country, on the very high possibility that I’ll someday move back.

These garments also come in handy during the 2-4 weeks each year that Vancouver now experiences winter like the rest of Canada (thanks climate change), allowing me to be stylishly, smugly prepared alongside my hapless peers.

I really need to get rid of some clothes that don’t see regular enough use to justify keeping them.  And as well to store the cold-weather clothing I do keep in some other way to free up hanger and shelf space for my everyday clothing.

3) New running shoes

If only my feet were this small

I do a lot of running—a lot of exercise in general.  But running in particular helps me de-stress and sleep well.  I also come up with an inordinate number of writing ideas, as it were, while on the run.

I’ve been aware for over a year that I need new runners—that the outer edge of the soles on my current pair are completely worn down, almost to nothing.

Unfortunately for me, buying new runners is always a time-consuming process.  I’ve got large feet—size 11 in runners, which is a hard size to come by—that also happen to be narrow.  This means I can’t wear men’s runners, even though men’s size 9 is much easier to find.

It also means having to visit a number of different running stores to try on the one pair of size 11s they have in stock, rather than the one stop shopping of a number of different styles that those with smaller feet enjoy.

4) Build a window screen

This one is probably the most egregious task that I’ve let fall by the wayside.

Aside from a tiny closet, my apartment has an irregularly-sized, unscreened window in my bedroom (the building doesn’t provide screens as part of the rental).

I do own all the necessary materials to construct a made-to-measure window screen.  This includes a set of four lengths of aluminum framing plus connectors, a roll of fiberglass screening, and a screen tool—what looks like a small pizza cutter for rolling the screening into the channel of the frame.

But all of these materials have sat unused in a corner of my bedroom since I bought them.  When I first moved in.  Almost four years ago.

5) A new laptop

I’ve had my current laptop for seven years.  My previous one made it to eight or nine (I was aiming for ten).

I’m pretty good at repairing damaged software and am disgusted by the amount of technology waste that occurs in the western world, so whenever I buy a computer, I make it last.

Still, for at last two years I’ve been thinking it’s time for a new one.  There have been great advances in the decreased weight and increased battery life in laptops over the last seven years.

It would be really nice to have a thin, light machine with full computing capabilities (as opposed to a tablet) to take my writing on the go more easily.

However, setting up a new computer to my particular specifications (custom toolbars, jump lists, shortcuts, and hotkeys, not to mention installing all my necessary programs and migrating all my files) is a lengthy process that I don’t much relish having to halt my writing mid-draft to carry out.

However, since I’m pretty much always writing, a convenient time to see to this task has yet to magically present itself.  Hence the new laptop remains unpurchased since buying it just to let it sit unused would be a waste of its warranty.

What longstanding to-do’s have you neglected?

(Image source #1 and #2)

(A/N: There will be no new posts until the New Year, at which time I’m determined to finally see these neglected tasks through.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my readers and followers!)

5 thoughts on “I Should NOT Be Writing: My Years-Long List of Neglected Tasks

  1. Many of the tasks I had postponed got dumped when we moved – I never had to do them! Others, however, had to be done in haste. Like sorting which important papers to take. Was not a good feeling.

    I hear you about the running shoes – ill-fitting ones are not good and worn ones aren’t, either. However, can’t you pick the same ones you already have – only new? Ebay often has things that have been discontinued elsewhere – and are perfectly good, and new, but are no longer the current model. Worth a quick look. Daughter got some Converses there because she knew she wanted a particular discontinued model. Didn’t even have to try a different size.

    Get the laptop. Move slowly while the old one still works and there is no crisis. You will be happy you did. I have to clean mine up after a crash and a major move, and I’m ignoring it – because a guru helped me find my writing stuff. But I’m acutely conscious that my off-site backup (Dropbox) isn’t being done right now, and we just went through the California Camp Fire…

    Glasses: head to a 1-hour place, get it done. The waiting is the problem. Even if you get a regular eye exam at your regular eye doctor, waiting 2-3 weeks for them to do it isn’t worth it. Insist they give you a prescription (they try to talk you into their services – but your time is money), head straight to the 1-hour place.

    About the screen. Hmm. A tough one. I had all the material to recane the chairbacks for our dining room chairs. We donated the chairs to my assistant – her dad decided he’d do the fixing and refinishing. He got all the materials. The chairs wouldn’t have fit in this place. Job successfully dodged. Could you invite a friend, buy pizza, and make it a fun task?

    Many tasks disappear if you wait long enough. And no, that’s no excuse.

    Have fun – be creative – and someone else will be happy to have your discards (clothing). Maybe, if you’re strict with yourself, every time you need cold-weather clothing – donate the ones you always don’t choose to wear?

    Can you tell I’m procrastinating? So much easier to solve other people’s problems!


    • > Many tasks disappear if you wait long enough. And no, that’s no excuse.

      I agree with you on that, however tasks that you actively decide not to do still count as completed in my opinion. So do those that you’re able to foist off on someone else.

      Your problem solving suggestions are all great, especially the ones involving donating things and shopping secondhand, both of which I practice regularly. With the new year upon us, I’m hard at work setting my goals for the year and strategizing how to see them through so by this time next year, all of this is going to be off of my plate.

      Liked by 1 person

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