Here’s a weekly game for folks who have a list of someday-maybe tasks. I am with you! Someday we’ll feel like it, right? Maybe we’ll have time later. Someday. Maybe.
Organize my tax records. Order vacation prints. Detail the car. Sign up for a fitness class. Research a new laptop. Donate old coats. Clean the junk drawer. Trim that tree. Start that crafty project. Fix that broken thingamajig.
Chores like these don’t necessarily have to be done, but still, we would like to do them. And it can be a real drag when we carry them with us mentally month after month. That makes it time for "The Put Up or Shut Up Jar."
How it works
Write down a few someday-maybe tasks you can think of—the ones that come easily to mind. You can always add more later as they come to you. Let’s be retro and use real paper, because scissors are involved.
To add some fun (remember that’s why I am here), throw in a few happy things you tend to put off. Maybe that’s getting a massage, seeing a movie or having a beer with an old friend. Or finding the perfect gray boots (that's mine!). Whatever you’ve been meaning to do for yourself and haven't made the time.
Cut your list into separate tasks and fold them up … like cute little fortunes. Find a jar to put them in or use a bowl or cup.
OK, now comes the put up part. You saw that coming. Draw one item out. In the next week, that’s your chore to rock. Do one of these four things:
1. Just do it.
2. Make real progress on it.
3. For a bigger project, take the first key step to get the ball rolling.
4. Delegate it or hire someone to do it.
If you do one of those four things, you PUT UP. Way to go! If you finish early in the week, keep the progress party going and draw again. Just restart the 7-day clock. (I may have just invented something there.)
If you didn’t do any of those four things, well, here’s the SHUT UP part. It’s time to let that task go. You didn’t fail—you were given a sign. You don’t want it bad enough to move on it. That’s OK. We all have limited time, energy and headspace.
One day in the future, perhaps this undone chore will get bad enough, urgent enough or appealing enough to motivate you to take action. But for now, let go of the guilt and move on with life and to things that matter more to you.
Don’t put it back in the jar. It’s dead to you.
Mamas against meanness
Writing this post made me remember this fondly ... When my kids were young, we had a mason jar that was better known as “The Shut Up, Stupid Jar.” If they ever called each other stupid or told someone to shut up, they owed the jar a quarter.
At the time, I was a single mom and my tolerance for petty meanness was low, very low. I didn’t make much bank over the years, so they weren’t stupid and knew when to shut up. At the least, they had to come up with more creative comebacks and insults.
I am Margie Reece. I am here to help you rock your chores and have some fun doing it.