Things I Don’t Want to Do Today (A Comprehensive List)

Things I Don't Want to Do Today (A Comprehensive List) by Amy Stonestrom

By Amy Stonestrom

  • Get dressed
  • Make the bed
  • Do another load of laundry
  • Disinfect the knobs
  • Walk the dog
  • Ask if the sun will finally shine today
  • Plan dinner (or breakfast or lunch)
  • Think about the time Dad slumped over his plate at the Sunday dinner table
  • Make dinner (or breakfast or lunch)
  • Imagine what John Prine’s wife and kids are feeling right now
  • Worry about the seed packets that still haven’t arrived in the mail
  • Wonder if Mother Nature has finally had enough of us
  • Watch the president turn his 4 p.m. briefing into a televised bully pulpit
  • Pick up dog poop in the yard
  • Call Wisconsin state legislators to voice outrage over risking our lives to vote on April 7
  • Scour the counters
  • Remember how Mom told the same story twice within five minutes at the Sunday dinner table
  • Paint the trim in the downstairs bathroom
  • Recall how Dad barely spoke at said Sunday dinner
  • Read this article: “Michigan woman loses husband and son to coronavirus within 3 days”
  • Wash/dry mask
  • Find gloves
  • Go to the grocery store
  • Tell my teenager to cool it with the gaming and just finish The Great Gatsby already
  • Forbid my mother to enter a grocery store
  • Wish there weren’t 175 miles separating my parents’ front door from mine
  • See thousands of cars waiting in line at food banks
  • Watch video showing milk tanks dumped and harvests plowed under
  • Stop drinking coffee
  • Address the pit in my stomach
  • Replay how my siblings and I signed Mom and Dad’s healthcare directive after that now- infamous-in-my-mind Sunday dinner
  • Remember how Mom cried as Dad shuffled into the living room
  • Get mad about this headline: “Evangelical pastor mocks ‘pansies,’ won’t close church for coronavirus”
  • Send my husband to the pharmacy
  • Fold the laundry
  • Stop thinking about how Dad hugged me close, not once but twice, when I said, ‘bye, love you’ next to the Sunday dinner table—two months, three weeks, eight hours and twenty-one minutes ago.

About the Writer:
Amy Stonestrom’s essays have appeared in Brevity, Superstition Review, Defunkt, Storm Cellar Quarterly, Parhelion and others. Her work has won awards from the National League of American Pen Women and Street Light Magazine’s memoir/essay contest. Currently an MFA candidate in Bay Path University’s creative nonfiction program, Amy lives with her husband and son on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. You can find her at