Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The List Rules

Anyone who knows me well will probably scoff at this statement, but it is, nonetheless, true...

I am a stickler for rules.

Ok, go ahead, you can laugh. That's fine. I know the impression I give off is that I spend a lot of time breaking rules... but that's not really true. Well, not entirely. It's more like this - I like rules with authority behind them. If I can break the rules and there's no consequences, they're more like guidelines. And guidelines are very mushy.

I've also got two ways of doing things: either tell me what you want, and leave me alone to get it done, or tell me exactly what you want and how you want it done. I had this problem with an old job where the Supervisor wanted a report on breakdowns... he couldn't tell me what he actually wanted the report to look like, but the five or six I turned into him weren't it. "Nope, this is wrong." "So, how would you like me to do it, then?" "Not like this." "What about this one?" "Nope, that's no good." Argh.

But that's all beside the point...

I do make my own rules a lot. I'm okay with that. And Roleplaying books always have a line in them about "You're the GM, if you don't like these rules, change em." I take that particularly seriously. It's a rule that I can change the rules, so that's good. And it's a basic 'rule' of cooking that you try the recipe exactly the first time, but then you can start working on variations. (If you're a VERY good cook, you can work on varieties without ever tasting the original, but I wouldn't advise it.)

So, around the beginning of the year, Thomas and I had a long talk about the things in our relationship that weren't... exactly working the way we'd like them to. I've got serious issues with his anger resolution skills, and he was starting to get pissy with my lackadaisical housecleaning.

He's promised to work on his issues and I'm working on mine.

And thus was born the List.

My to-do list...

Which has certain rules that I've set for it.

  • Writing the List is the first thing we will do. Before we do a single thing ON the list, we must write it down.
  • The list will be NO LONGER than one page in a notebook. Writing in the margins is okay, but flipping the page is not. If there's more things than will fit on a page, it's more than 1 day's worth of work, and it won't all get done.
    (I have a thing for notebooks, by the way. If you ever don't know what to get me, a nice journal-sized notebook with an interesting cover is a great plan. I always need more notebooks... )
  • There will always be one thing on the list For Me. Whether this is baking something (I love to bake) or taking a bath, or watching an episode of Firefly, or reading for an hour... It's part of my plan to Take Care of Myself.
  • There will always be one thing on the list for Darcy... sitting down to play a game with her, or work on teaching her to write, or giving her a haircut.
  • Anything not done (except for making dinner) by the time Thomas gets home from work will be moved to the Next Day's List.
  • A task can only be moved to the Next Day three times. After that, it goes to the top of the List and must be done first.
  • Every item done must be scratched off when completed.

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