Con­stantly chang­ing face of my to-do lists

The Citizen (KZN) - - LETTERS - Danie To­e­rien

The older I get, the longer my to-do lists seem to get. I have many to-do lists, most no­tably the to-do-be­fore-I-die list and the to-do daily list. With ev­ery travel magazine or sci-fi movie, the be­fore-I-die list gets a few ad­di­tions. This year alone I’ve added more items than I’ve ticked off.

A train trip through Mon­go­lia and sleep­ing in a real igloo sound like ad­ven­tures, don’t you think? And what about Ir­ish cof­fee in Ire­land or Pek­ing duck in Bei­jing? And who knows, maybe by next year this time they will not fea­ture any more, ei­ther ticked off or just erased. Maybe Route 66 will take the num­ber one spot then.

The items on my to-do daily list are much harder to achieve. Be­ing kind al­ways, do­ing no harm, think­ing be­fore speak­ing, for­giv­ing, ad­mit­ting mis­takes ... those are hard ones. They turn a hike in the Hi­malayas into a walk in the park.

But I don’t just have to-do lists. I also have a not-to-do list. That one also un­der­goes a con­stant meta­mor­pho­sis.

My par­ents started it for me way back. As I re­call, the first two en­tries on that one were not to talk to strangers and not to get into a car with a stranger. I think they’re on ev­ery child’s not-to-do list.

Like all lists, that one also grew with time. Drink­ing, smok­ing, gam­bling ... all no-nos.

Some­where along the line – prob­a­bly due to the wis­dom that comes with youth – smok­ing mi­grated to the daily list. There it was, 20 times a day for 20 years. And then I moved it back to where it be­longs.

No list is cast in stone, so it does hap­pen that drink­ing or gam­bling some­times take a day off. It’s nor­mal. I mean, who doesn’t en­joy a crisp, slightly wooded chardon­nay at Turf­fontein?

As for not get­ting into a car with a stranger, it’s not some­thing one con­sid­ers when sober. But af­ter a cou­ple of beers, I’m the one to set the ex­am­ple by Uber­ing. And as jour­nal­ists, we earn a liv­ing talk­ing to strangers.

Next time you make a list, use a pen­cil. Noth­ing can be inked in per­ma­nently.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.