Friday, May 27, 2016

Tupperware® List

I took a week off from my too-busy day job. I had months of catch-up to do – household organizing and cleaning, computer stuff, writing-related fun things to do, general sewing and mending – and basically I just needed some R&R. I knew I would be busy, but I was also going to make time to rest. So I made a list – a long list, despite my desire to find time to rest. It consisted of stuff I needed to do as well as stuff I wanted to do. I knew if I didn’t have a list, nothing would get done and I’d end-up going back to work feeling like I hadn’t accomplished anything. My week off wasn’t about going away on a trip, nor was I thinking I was going to write a novel in a week. I just needed a break to catch-up.

I was determined to complete that list, yet I gave myself permission and allowance that I might not get everything done. I’m a busy momma – there are just only so many hours in the day! Heck, the week before I was so busy I had to write a note for myself to remember to make a list, and THEN I even jotted down a few things to remember to put ON the list, just so I wouldn’t forget

So determined was I to stay on track and finish the list, I eloquently told my husband that I had a list of things I needed/wanted to do during my week off. It was my subtle way of saying ‘don’t bug me.’ I assured him I’d make time for him, of course, but I knew if I didn’t clearly state my intentions for the week early on, I’d get wrapped up in other projects around the house. It sounds mean of me, I know, but I had to create and set balance for my time – for me and for my family. I would still be there for my family – I always would – but I needed to step back from everything and catch-up a bit. I gave him a few examples of things on my list, just so he had an idea of what the purpose of my week-off truly was to be. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings so I was gentle yet I was firm and ready to stand my ground should any misinterpretation of my intentions arose.

After a moment of thoughtful reflection he said, “So you kind of have a Tupperware® List.”

So mildly geared-up I was for any resistance that I immediately assumed he was insinuating my needs and wants were trivial little things that could be tucked away in a random plastic container. My feminist hackles rose at the thought he was implying my list was merely housewife-worthy things to-do, a woman’s place in the kitchen with her Tupperware®, and all that.

I took a deep breath – in through the nose, out through the mouth, as I didn’t want to start off the week in a squabble over metaphors – and calmly said “What do you mean Tupperware List?” I tried to keep the sarcastic drip in my tone at bay.

I’m a better actress than I thought as he clearly didn’t detect any froth in my calmly-spoken words. “Well, you know. Some people have a Bucket List of huge things to do – climb Mount Everest, go to space, visit the Great Wall of China – you know, things like that. But your things – smaller in scale yet still very important, easier to do and more of them - are perfect for a Tupperware container. They are things you want to do, but just not as big as typical ‘Bucket List’ things. And instead of a Bucket List, it’s a Tupperware List.”

Oh. So that’s what he meant.

I turned my head in shame. Serves me right for being a little snot, hinting at him to not ‘bug me.’ Here I was ready for a battle and generally being an assuming-the-worst cow. I was no better than a pesky little fly.

And his idea was brilliant. A Tupperware List. It made complete sense! A Bucket-type List for tangible and doable day-to-day, everyday-items.

I’m using ‘Tupperware’ here as a proprietary eponym (for more on propriety eponyms, visit My husband wasn’t meaning at all that my to-do list wasn’t worthy or less important or frivolous in a little-housewifey way as I had so thought. Oh no. He was just equating the importance of my to-do list to that of the much-important little plastic containers, often referred to in a general sense as ‘Tupperware.’ I swear by Tupperware the brand, and would never trivialize their product’s quality or importance in our lives. He was using the word Tupperware in a generic term.

I told him he was brilliant and we went on with our day, and subsequently my busy week. I was able to balance my to-do-list-completion-time with time spent with him and my boys, all while completing my list and adding in a few extras along the week. Staying focused, determined, yet balanced made the week much more productive than I ever thought. Having an understanding husband made it all the better.

And the extra bonus? He gave me something to write about, too.

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