For the Love of a List

Really.  I love lists a lot.  I have a continuously running grocery list, a list of book I have read, a list of story ideas, a list of blog ideas, and the cliché To Do list.  (Oh, look!  I just made a list of lists!)  Before I’d started my freelance business and my husband and I worked completely different shifts, I would have a list of all the things I wanted to tell him or talk to him about when I got to see him.  He would joke with me when I got home about checking my list before we started any kind of conversation.

Why do I love lists?  I love crossing things off of them.  Sometimes I even put things on my To Do list that I know I’m going to get accomplished soon just so I can cross them off (but don’t you tell anyone or I’ll deny it).  There is something so satisfying about that swipe of a pen or a pencil to let me know I’ve accomplished something.  It doesn’t stop with paper lists, though.  Even the lists on my phone make a beautiful little ding! when I check them off.  (Check out Wunderlist; it’s awesome.)

I started keeping so many lists because I can be forgetful.  My husband may ask me to make a veterinary appointment for our dog, and if I don’t write it down it will take me weeks to get around to it, if I ever do.  It’s not that I don’t want to do it or that I forget entirely, it’s that I don’t remember while the vet’s office is open.  Remembering at 11:30 pm is not especially helpful.

My lists help me plan my day.  Being self-employed, it’s tempting on some days to curl up and read a book instead of doing pretty much anything else.  (Okay, okay, that’s tempting every day, no matter what.)  But I can look over my lists, pick a few certain things that I know need to be done, and make a smaller list for the next day.  It sounds like a lot of work, but I promise it’s what keeps me sane.

I’m not the only list lover out there, either.  We know David Letterman loved his Top Ten lists.  You can find numerous fiction books called The List (which means I won’t be putting it on my list of potential book titles.)  There are even books you can buy solely to create more lists, such as List Your Self and Listography.  I also found a book called To-Do List Makeover.  (I’ll be adding these to my wishlist.)  Here’s a fun list of historical figures that are famous for things they didn’t do, and you can also spend some time on this list of controversial death masks.  Oh, and they tell me there are also several Best Dressed lists, but considering I’m sitting here in yoga pants and a sweatshirt that’s probably not the most important list on my list.

What’s your favorite kind of list?

To Do List

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2 Comments

Filed under On Writing, Work

2 responses to “For the Love of a List

  1. before, i maintained a list of possible names for my would-be children. But because of numerology, nothing from the list was given to my children.

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