It’s on My List

Bird Poop

There is bird poop on the outside of my storm door. A big white clump of bird poop. It has been there for weeks, maybe months. I can’t accurately pinpoint the date because I first noticed it after having been out of town for a month. After the flight home, my friend dropped my exhausted self off at my front door. It was late, dark and cold and I noticed nothing except how comfy my bed would be once the heat kicked in.

The next morning I forced myself out of bed very early, meaning before 10:30. My goal was to hit the post office before it closed at 11. It was a Saturday and I had convinced myself that I needed to spend the weekend going over all the mail that had accumulated while I was gone. So I threw on jeans and a large coat to cover my pajama top and headed out the door. I had no idea where in my flung on the floor suitcase was my toothbrush or hairbrush. I just knew that I was back from vacation- must get mail.

Opening the door to the sunny morning, I noticed the poop. Mostly I was fascinated at how it got there- that bird had some amazing aim. It was directly at eye level with anyone coming in the door. “That is gross,” I thought. “When I get back I will take care of that right away.”

At the post office I was handed a huge stack of mail and some random packages. The postmaster had to give me a box to cart all my treasures back home. On my way I realized I was hungry and of course, I didn’t have any groceries. First, to the coffee shop for some tea and a bagel, then to the market for some basic supplies. All the while praying no one I knew would spot me running errands with un-brushed hair, un-brushed teeth and a pajama top under my coat.

After pulling into my driveway I began to cart everything inside when I again noticed the offending poop. “Damn, I have to take care of that. Let me put the perishables away first and then I will take care of that mess.”

But after putting away the milk, I realized my tea was getting cold. And the mail looked interesting. After sorting through the mail, my teeth felt really icky and it was time to attack my suitcase to at least find the immediately needed items. Then I took a shower. And after that, I was exhausted. The poop was long since forgotten.

On Sunday I woke slightly more refreshed, showered and headed to Church. Damn, there was that poop again. “As soon as I get back from Church, that will be gone.”

The poop was almost forgotten as I confessed my sins and gave thanks to God for all beings and things, including the being that had crapped on my door. Pulling into my driveway my thoughts were on the laundry that should be done and how tired I was again and I just plain decided to ignore the poop.

Though it was always in the back of my mind, needing to be taken care of, I only actually made a plan to clean it when I was coming and going. Returning home one day, I did start to grab paper towels and glass cleaner with a definite mindset to attack the annoying evidence of a visit from a feathered friend. But before I began I noticed how dirty the whole door frame was. And there was some poop not only on the outside door but the shingles surrounding the door as well. The inside of the frame also needed to be swept and cleaned and it was cold out, heat was escaping. Suddenly I was very tired and it seemed a big a job to tackle right now. I will put it on my list.


These are how my days go. I used to have a kitchen table but it has become buried somewhere under all of my lists. Before we left on the trip I had lists of things I needed to get done before traveling, lists of things I should try to do while we were away, and the list of things I should so as soon as we got back. Ok, I will write ‘clean up bird poop’ down on the ‘as soon as I get back list’ even though I had now been back for five days.

I have lists of things I need to do to get healthy, lists of things I need to do once I am healthy, lists of things I should do to further my writing career, and lists of things I should do to try to get my financial house (or lack of a financial house) in order. Then there are the lists of things people say I should list-my symptoms, my drugs, my doctor’s appointments, things I should read that would be helpful and things that I should do to feel better. I have to have a list to keep track of my lists.

“It is all part of keeping yourself organized as you figure out what works for you,” the experts say. I say it is just easier to ignore the lists, crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. Yet the lists keep growing and keeping track of them continues to be a project

Oh, the small joy when I can cross something off the list, or even, bliss when I have so much of one list done that it is more efficient to crumple up that list and start a new, smaller one. That happiness lasts for only a short time as that list continues to grow. The lists and the items on them are like rodents as they multiply unreasonably.

People are always telling me to write things down and I don’t see how that is helpful if the things I write down one day are buried under the things that I wrote down two or three days ago. I once tried to keep all of my lists in one list book but flipping through the pages of the book for the particular list I was looking for became depressing. I would have to pass the other lists that I hadn’t even started.

But, again, I digress. The bird poop is the real problem and it is bugging me. Right now, I swear, I will clean it up. Unless it has now frozen, then it will be a real chore. Maybe it is better to add it to my ‘things I want to do when I do my spring cleaning list.” Or, maybe not. It is really obnoxious. I am going to get to it right now! Except I now realize that I am out of paper towels and glass cleaner. Where is that darn grocery shopping list???

Image: digitalart /

Image: Tina Phillips /


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