The Bottom Of The To Do List


When I was a child my father painted our bedrooms. We were allowed to pick the paint colours. And Mum made us new curtains with fabrics of our choosing. I remember my sister picked a baby blue to adorn her walls, while I selected a pale jacaranda hue and floral fabric to match. Not only did he paint our rooms, he painted the rest of the house. My brother's room, the lounge room, kitchen, hall way and bathroom. Everything, except the doors. For years my Mother waited for my father to paint those doors. She had a list of renovations taped to the inside of a cupboard door, and would cross items off as they were completed. For all I know, those doors are still on that list, as he never got around to painting them. And hasn't painted them in the seventeen years since I left home. 

I couldn't understood that as a child. Why didn't he paint the doors? Especially when Mum was so keen to have them done. I didn't understand how easy it was to leave something at the bottom of one's list of priorities. That just because something was important to someone else, it may not be as important to you. Sometimes you run out of steam over something.

I understand better now. I have unpainted trims of my own to remind me how one's priorities change. When we brought our house and were renovating while pregnant with our second child, we did as much as we could before we moved in. We scheduled the removal of asbestos, the replacement of the ceiling and roof, the removal of the carpet, polishing of the floor boards, and of course, painting through out. The last job before we moved in was to have the floor boards sanded and polished. The day we'd booked in the floor sander came around and the trims were not finished. Never mind. We'll paint them when we move in! Then we had our second baby. Then our third. And still those trims wait for paint. 

But you know what? It doesn't bother me enough to over come the obstacles and tackle the task - moving the furniture, keeping the children away, cleaning and taping up the trims, finding the paint, brushes, drop cloths etc. actually painting and then cleaning up and putting it all away again. Time is too precious for such things right now. It makes me think of other items that are lurking at the bottom of the to do list, that I haven't the heart to get started on.

One day I imagine those doors will get painted and so will our trims. Perhaps when we paint the exterior of the house. But in the meantime, I'm leaving them off the to do list...

What's at the bottom of your list?

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