At one point in time I was a dedicated list maker – hell sometimes I wrote things on my list I’d already done just so I could have the satisfaction of crossing it off!
All through school I was a girl with a list. Neatly written, bulleted (or sometimes prettily starred) documenting the minutiae of my daily life.
- Do maths homework.
- Think of excuse why maths homework isn’t done.
- Get note excusing me from sport.
- Marry Rob Lowe.
Then I left home and started work, the lists continued, now crisply typed with my newly acquired touch typing skills of 70 wpm.
- Get hair cut at trendy salon in Paddington where all the stars go.
- Buy outfit from JAG.
- Drinks at George Adam’s Bar at Hilton.
- Pay electricity bill and get it reconnected (apparently they get snotty when you are two months late paying because you have a LIFESTYLE to FUND).
Then I grew up, got married and had children, for a short period I clung to my lists like a drowning woman clinging to a life raft.
- Get to Gymbaroo.
- Get to baby swimming lessons.
- Get to playgroup.
- Get to music jamboree.
- Get to toddlers dance.
- Get to bottle shop.
It soon became apparent my lists had expanded to a length beyond anything which a single human being could accomplish in a lifetime. I began to categorise them because I was still desperately clinging to the fallacy I had some control in my life. Now the pages, scrawled in crayon ’cause that was the only writing implement I could find, were divided into CHILDREN, HOUSE, SHOPPING, FINANCE (that one still makes me laugh – a single income family has no financial capacity whatsoever).
Eventually though my passions for lists died. Overwhelmed by the number of tasks on them I found it easier to NOT see my life laid out in black and out. Instead I resorted to a sleep-deprived memory, making do and getting by (often by the skin of my teeth). It wasn’t perfect but it was all I could manage.
My thoughts turned to lists again this week in my manic attempt to have a weekend away. While I consider my memory razor-sharp my children argue it could be better. Look, just because I have to run through the name of every female relative from the extended family, and the dearly departed dog, before I finally settle on YOUR name doesn’t mean I am losing the plot. I’m just STRESSED alright, and for God’s sake you know what your name is! It’s also safe to assume if I’m looking at you and yelling about YOUR SCHOOL BAG I just tripped over in the hallway I’m talking to YOU no matter what name I’ve called you.
But I digress. I found myself writing a list when I realised I was just days away from my blogging conference and well I was nowhere near ready. Now, I have a list, I’ve ticked off a couple of tasks but it’s obvious some will have to be committed to the “never to be done” pile and others will have to be adjusted. Clearly obtaining beautifully styled, colour coordinated business cards is not going to happen in 24 hours. So I’m making my own. White card. Black writing advising “this is the business card you have when your life is too shambolic to organise business cards”. OK tick that off the list. Moving on.
How about you? Are you a list maker?