Making Lists

There are many reasons for making lists. Dreams, goals, to-dos, groceries…that last one is the only list I write consistently. For me, going to the store without one is a mistake. The trip turns into one long, rambling adventure with little to show.

But what about life lists? The ones that show accomplishment when I scratch off an item. I rarely make those lists. When it comes to making lists, my brain seems to work in reverse. What do I mean by that? Here is an example.

Right now, most days are spent at home. I meander through the hours, often with no set plan-only vague ideas of what I might do or what needs to be done. At the end of the day, there’s a little pang of guilt. A question-what did you do all day? In my head, I answer by making a list.

  1. I managed to clean the kitchen.
  2. I sorted the laundry.
  3. I did one load of laundry.
  4. I washed my hair.
  5. I spent time writing.
  6. I took a nap.

You get the picture. In society’s eyes, this might not be considered a productive day. For me, it leads to a list of questions.  

  1. Did I actually dry and put away the laundry? 
  2. Unload the dishwasher?
  3. Talking to a friend count?
  4. Playing piano for fifteen minutes? 
  5. What about sitting outside and watching the birds? 
  6. And really-a nap?

My conversation with myself will not likely change what I do with tomorrow. But it might change where I place value. Or I might just add those other, less finite activities, to my after-the-fact list. 

Those are the things I cling to right now. Those things keep me steady and ease feelings of anxiety. Those things remind me there is beauty in the middle of the storm.

I suppose an argument could be made for making a list ahead of time. But the truth is, that’s just not me. Maybe I should quit making lists altogether. Except for those grocery ones, of course. 😉