Changing Seasons, Changing Lists

"Changing Seasons, Changing Lists" by Lisa Hess (

Via Pixabay (2016), CC0 Public Domain

I’m sitting out on my patio with a glass of iced tea and a burgeoning to-do list. There’s a lovely breeze, the temperature is just right and I changed seats three times to find the spot where the sun is neither in my eyes or obscuring my laptop screen. Inside, my house bears testimony to two weeks spent running from place to place in order to get everything set up for what comes next. It doesn’t escape me that I’m blessed to be where I am and say a prayer of gratitude, along with a prayer for those whose skies aren’t as blue as the one overhead, meteorologically or metaphorically.

The school year is starting. All of my summer projects have been completed. Meals have been cooked ahead and frozen and my house is spotless, all of our summer home improvement projects sparkling and fulfilled.

As usual, only one of those statements is true.

The school year is starting — ready or not.

When I make my summer lists in April and May, I know they’re overzealous (some might say ridiculous or unreasonable) but still, I make them. They’re wish lists, after all. I could make more practical lists, the kind where everything gets checked off neatly before the next season begins, but practicality takes all of the fun out of summer. And, I wonder, if I made a summer list designed to be completely completed, would that drive toward accomplishment keep me from taking on new things that cross my path? Would I view those things as obstacles or opportunities?

I’m not sure, and, given my personality, I’m not likely to find out.

Today I will tackle the most pressing things on my lists (yes, I have more than one now), the items with deadlines and due dates and those that will make the rest of the week run smoothly. Now that my daughter is ensconced in her happy place (at school), my focus turns to my own students and the content we’ll explore. My to-do lists won’t get any shorter, but they’ll be more of the task-oriented variety, the kind where everything gets checked off neatly because it has to. The wish list items will linger on the summer list and, from time to time, a new item will be added, one that shifts focus from the week ahead to the long view, reminding me that before I know it, summer will be in the air again.

Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.