When I was little, I would see my mother making lists and would demand to know what was up. I wanted to know what plan she was planning, what adventure would soon be taking place, what role I would have in said adventure, and so on. I would be a little less enchanted when the list contained the order in which she would attack cleaning the den, or what steps she would be taking in painting the kitchen. I also wasn’t too crazy about the lists she made of all the plants she was going to buy and where she would plant them because that usually meant they’d want me to help weed. (I hate weeding. Weeding is unrewarding work because even though you get a neater garden bed out of it, you are still left with dirty hands, a sweaty back, and a pile of weeds that you have to dispose of. Not very entertaining.)
The lists I was interested in contained things to buy or things to cook or things to read. Think about it: you make a list of things to buy and you now have all the makings of a treasure map, searching in the vast acreage of supermarketus gigantis and who knows if it can be found or if substitutions must be made? What other treasures might be stumbled upon and seized with a cry of “I MUST try this!” and a triumphant placement in the front part of the shopping cart. And finding a coupon? Payday, baby! Now I can afford that stick of gum!
I make lists now as a grownup (and part of me must still be a little kid if I’m still using the word grownup) and the shopping lists are still my favorite. I’ve tried a few apps for list-making and arranging it by aisle or product or something else, but it just isn’t as satisfying as an old envelope with coupons stuffed inside, or one of those impractical memo pads that stay on your fridge and have season-identifying pictures (mine is currently a poinsettia, thank you very much) that I fold in half and slip the coupons inside, using an eensy-weensy paper clip. If I’m really ambitious, I write down the sale price, “C” for coupon, and quantity. I draw the line, though, at color-coordination. It would be too distracting for me.
I also make packing lists. But I don’t make the lists like “hmmmm, should I bring this?” I think about them for a long while before I actually write down the list, and then it’s usually bam bam bam, everything written in order and no objects crossed out. (I know, it’s a sickness. Bear with.) If I was a smarter grownup, I’d keep the list with the clothes I packed to make sure I didn’t forget anything on the other end, but apparently I like to wing it. So far, so good.
My latest list is one I shared with Hubby. I wrote down all the major projects I wanted us to tackle around the house and what furniture would need replacing or relocating, and what sort of outside changes needed to be made before we could think about entertaining. Incredibly, we’ve had two items on that list already accomplished and I didn’t even have to push too hard. Granted, there have been some dust-ups about how the particular projects should be carried out, but I really try to keep an open mind and not be argumentative. My way is better. Why? Because before I made the list I clearly thought everything out and know exactly how I want it to be, so it’s just a matter of following my vision. Damn, my Hubby is a lucky man. (I don’t have an eye-rolling picture, but if I did it would be right here.)
I’ve made mental lists, too, mostly about the particular people or stores or shows I’m going to avoid being near so that my blood pressure doesn’t soar, and mental lists about old-fashioned letters I want to write to people, and lists of places I want take a peek at and movies I want to see …..