Thirteen Things About Lists [#28]

1. I love making lists. I make lots of lists. I’m just not so good at following them.

2. There are some lists that sometimes end up on my night-table: that kind helps me get out of bed better than alarm clocks do.

3. I always put too many items on my lists. Always. If I have ten items, I’ll get six or seven done. Three items: I’ll only get to #2. If say, there are 579,457 items… I’ll get to 579, 448 maybe, and then I’ll feel like I haven’t accomplished anything.

4. Everybody knows that there are always too many items on any given list. You are therefore not actually expected to tick off every single item! Now that I know it’s one of the great laws of the universe, I accept it the same way I accept the weather—if you can’t change it, why sweat it, right?

5. I have a list I’ve been meaning to write all week: “Things I Want to Sell on eBay”. I’ve been putting it off because then I’ll really have to take the plunge and just do it already. Which leads me to the following list I need to write first:

6. “Reasons Why I’m So Resistant to Becoming a Seller on eBay”. I want to do it, I’m excited about doing it even; it’ll mean less clutter, more cash, more cash=more possibilities for buying more things. All good right? So what’s my problem? I need to write it down on a list because…

7. I use lists as a form of therapy. I also use them during therapy sometimes.

8. Lists help me understand and visualize things much more clearly than letting stuff rattle around in my brain.

9. I find lists are very revealing. When I find old lists from years ago, I can usually recall what the list was for, what I was doing just before I sat down to write the list, and even what I was wearing and eating that day. Ok, maybe not all of that, but it’s amazing how much information a seemingly random list like say… “Things I Ate Today” can actually reveal.

10. I keep different kinds of notebooks for different kinds of lists—shopping lists or the day’s tasks for example—those go in a no frills spiral bound notebook from which I can just tear out pages. For lists of things that I want to refer to frequently, or that I want to keep on record for a while, I use various mediums. I have a list of 600+ books I want to read which is forever growing (obviously that’s one list I’ll probably never get to the bottom of!) there are several versions of it: part of it is on my blog, most of it is on my Amazon wish list (until I figure out a better system), and I also keep track in a Moleskine notebook of the titles and authors I’ve read so far. That’s definitely a work in progress.

11. I have a special kind of list that I call the Job Jar. Here are several posts where I wrote about it. That works well on days when I’m indecisive or have time on my hands but am not particularly motivated, or in need of being reminded of things I don’t do often enough. I can pick out one or more items from the wish jar to fill up an hour, a day, or a week, or a whole month even with all kinds of projects. That’s also a work in progress because I can keep adding (or removing) items as I go. It’s a nice way to mix things up.

12. I love how flexible the list format is. Lists can be completely utilitarian and quickly jotted down on bit of scrap paper or the back of a napkin, or they can hold all our greatest dreams and aspirations and be written in a beautiful journal with a special pen, they can contain the elements of a story or even “tell” the story as a page in a printed book and of course on the web:

13. I have to end this list about lists with a list, what else? Here’s a list or reasons I need to finish writing this post about lists ASAP and get on with the program:
a) call in grocery order
b) have a nap (maybe)
c) pay for and put away groceries
d) eat dinner (maybe)
e) watch t.v.
f) make cookies
g) cuddle with cats
h) cookies and milk
i) visit some blogs
j) pj’s, wash face, floss, brush teeth
k) read in bed
l) lights out
m) try to fall asleep before 2 a.m. (maybe)

Painting: Joan Snyder. Found on ArtMoco.


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