Okay, so this post is only peripherally related to writing, but I thought I’d throw it out there anyway. I am addicted to making lists. I am. I admit it. Cuff me and take me to the looney bin. I make lists for normal stuff like groceries and Walmart. At the moment I’m writing out a list for what to pack for our vacation (leaving in about 3 hours). I make To Do lists. I’ve got lists relating to Houses of Cards with murder victims, trophies, elements of the story to keep, questions to research. There’s a list of things still waiting to be done to the house.
So other than an obsessive need for organization and fear of forgetting something, why is it I am so attracted to lists? Well, the fact that I will deliberately add something I have already done (but forgot to put on a To Do list previously) to a list, just so I can cross it off is a big clue. I get a charge out of crossing off. I have to actually write things down, or type them up and print them off with a paper list so that there is something to physically CROSS OFF on. No PDA or palm pilot for me. I’m not quite as picky as my neighbor across the street, who shares my addiction to lists. He has to have a specific big fat permanent marker to use for crossing off. Whenever I go over to visit he and his wife, I often see his list partially complete on the side table in the den, with the big sharpie next to it, and it makes me smile. I will use anything to cross off, but I prefer black or red pens. There’s something very final about it. I enjoy the sense of accomplishment that goes with it.
My mother, aware of this lifelong trend of mine, even bought me this rather fabulous little book for Christmas a few years back called Lists to Live By. It has lists about everything under the sun from success to friendship to marriage to health and contentment and general wisdom. I am particularly fond of 7 Ways to Keep Your Brain Cells Working:
1. Play complex puzzles and games such as Scrabble or chess (I am a Scrabble fiend)
2. Learn a foreign language (9 years of French, don’t speak a word…how sad is that?)
3. Study music
4. Solve math problems without using a calculator (am I the only one who balances her checkbook without a calculator?)
5. Write letters or poetry (the former is a dying art)
6. Engage in thought-provoking discussions (my favorite kind!)
7. Study and memorize Scripture Anyway, I was just thinking of lists this morning and thought I’d post about it for lack of anything more interesting to say. Should go boot hubby out of bed and pack.
You have yet another List Lover here. I too add things just completed that aren’t on the list just to be able to cross them off. I get a weird sense of fulfillment looking at a page of TO DO’s with lines drawn through the items. I shed pounds in stress alone with each page I recycle. Now to translate into real pounds. I’ll get back to you if I ever get that diet written.