Take a Note

A Happy Note or Two --->

"The one thing I noticed right away about you," Charlie says, "is that you write notes. There are notes everywhere, living with you."

I read very recently that successful, organized women share this trait with me. I don't know where I read it or how this was proven. I'm not very detail-oriented. That's why I write so many notes.

I thought, actually, that I wasn't doing this so much anymore. I don't have a job and I don't have kids living at home, so there isn't much to do on my To Do lists. In fact, what I have on there is stuff I don't want to do. That's why I have it written down: maybe I'll do it if I know I can cross it off a list.

I know other people write notes, and not just "clean the coffee stain on the rug; email Jane at ReStore about donations; get the goodwill stuff in the car" lists. I know this because I find them all the time.

I find grocery lists in shopping carts about every third or fourth time I shop at Winco. Only at Winco, for some reason. I find little notes across the street at the Multnomah Center Senior entrance. They're not very interesting, just the kind you leave on a windshield. Lately, though, I've been finding notes in Powell's Books books.

I found three last night. The first one was a statement of services rendered, dated Tuesday November 1 2005, from a dentist in Tigard for Scott WynKoop for $180 for a complete oral exam, including x-rays.

The second one was a reading list, to be expected in a bookstore. Unexpected, though was the bright pink paper it was written on. What do you make of this reading list? It included: Aristotle (Poetics), Joseph Campbell (Hero with a Thousand Faces), and Christopher Vogler (Mythic Structure for Writers). A prissy smarty-pants who's really into myths?

The last one I found in the book I gave to Charlie about retiring without money. It was written in Grandma handwriting, and not young Grandma like me. Like my Grandma's handwriting, when she was well over 85. That kind of writing which is hard to read because it was hard to write.

This list wasn't about finances, even though judging by the book, that must have been what she was reading. Here it is: Patient, Gracious, Courageous/brave - spirit of being willing, Fun/light-hearted, uplifting/playfull, optomistic - centered, spiritual, appreciator of beauty and excellence, happy, joyfull, kind, loyal-honorable, generous, and something that looked like wise but was all smeared. She, and I'd bet anything she was a "she," seemed like she had her mind on other things than retiring without money.

Why would you write these words down? Who has to remember to be patient and gracious? I'm trying to remember to clean the freaking rug and she's trying to be a better human being. Now that I think of it, someone who writes a happy list might be more fun to be around than someone who writes clean-the-rug lists. Or maybe she's just emotionally forgetful.