The 3 Lists

Every weekend, there are 3 lists. Whether they’re on paper, on my phone or just in my head, there are always 3.

#1: What I’m going to get done this weekend. This is the list that is reasonable. The one that I’m sure I can complete if I work hard. Fix a fence, throw together a pallet shelter, clean a barn, that sort of thing. Usually it’s a couple of small projects and one big one.

#2: What I’d like to get done if I have time. This one is a fairy tale wishlist. If every job I have set for myself goes smoothly, there are a half dozen non-emergency tasks I’d love to work on. Clean the parking lot, organize the barn, brush the dog, etc.

And list #3: What I actually get done…

It’s Sunday night and dusk is falling fast. I look around and swallow back tears. Between making a trip to town for pig scraps, giving 2 farm tours (which I LOVE doing), 3 tasks coming up that weren’t expected, and the inescapable complications that seem to surround every single project, I have half of list #1 done.

I don’t know where my weekend went… For the life of me I can’t remember sleeping in, taking a lunch break, or leaving the farm before dark, but that small, carefully calculated list of manageable goals has beaten me again.

Mom and I look at each other and I know the gall is burning in her throat too. I know that the sense of falling short is making everything we’ve completed over the weekend look like nothing. And I know she sees the same disappointment in my eyes. At the same time, we smile brightly at each other and start running over the list of things (planned and not) that we’ve accomplished. It’s a long list. It doesn’t make either of us feel better.

But in bolstering each other up, we push down our own frustration and look forward. There’s always next weekend, right?

About Katrina Lester

I drew my first breath in a tiny house on Little Nickelbush Farm. It didn't have the name yet, but I grew up steeped in its spirit. Now I'm nearly 25, with a young daughter that I'm teaching the same principles to. It's a long road, but a fun one!

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