Lists, lists, lists, oh and more lists!

Hello, my name is Trisha, and I am a compulsive list maker.  I have been making lists for as long as I can remember.  I have notebooks filled with lists all over my apartment, on my coffee table, under my coffee table, on my desk, in my desk, in my handbag (I have 3 little memo books in there for lists).  My BlackBerry Memo section is filled with running lists: Blog Post Ideas, Books to Get, Gift Ideas, Good Restaurants, LCBO list, Movies to See, Shopping List, Songs to Download, Things to Check (i.e. Google) and Things to Look Up (not too sure why I have this last one since it’s clearly the same as the previous list!).  I’ve even been known to make a list of the lists that I need to make.  Out of control you say?  I agree, sort of.

It’s kind of become a bit of a joke, all of my list making. It’s like I have an innate need to make these lists and when I don’t, I just seem to flounder; my head is all over the place, and I really don’t get anything done.

Take this morning, for instance. I was sitting on my sofa thinking of all the things I need to get done and was feeling a bit overwhelmed.  There was really no reason to feel that way since it is Saturday, I have all day to do everything, and none of it is really that pressing.  But, I got the usual panicky, flustered feeling and went to my bag, grabbed my pen, pulled my big notebook out from under the coffee table, and started writing.  It was while I was in the middle of writing my Saturday To Do List “cleaning” entry that the idea for this post came to me.  You see, I didn’t just write “clean apt.” No, I wrote “clean apt.” and then continued to make a sub-list breaking down exactly what I need to do in order to clean my apartment because my apartment is so huge, and I clearly need direction on what needs to get done (heavy sarcasm here).

Although I’ve been making lists for a long time, it became really out of control back when I was in therapy (yes, I was in therapy, there I said it – but really, who hasn’t been?).  My therapist not only supported my list making, she encouraged me to take it to a new level by making a list of everything that I needed to do each and every day.  My lists changed from regular goal oriented and weekly lists to lists containing things like showering and eating breakfast.  It was slightly (or not so slightly) ridiculous, but I did it.  And, I still do, to an extent.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been, as I’ve mentioned before, reading a lot about the Tao, in particular Dr. Wayne Dyer books.  He encourages people to be less structured, to basically allow life to happen by not planning so much – to go with the flow so to speak.  To say that is not me is a huge understatement.  I’m most certainly not a fly by the seat of my pants type person; I like structure, I like plans, so just going with the flow is quite difficult for me.  Having a free day ahead of me without having a plan of some sort of how I’m going to use it, throws me.

I have tried, though, to curb my list making, I really have.  Oh, I still make lists, just not on a daily basis.  I have to say, I love having a long list of things to do and being able to cross them off as I go; it feels like I’ve accomplished something.  Now, however, I don’t go into a tailspin if I don’t finish everything on the list; I know that there will be another day to finish whatever is left, that the world won’t come to an end just because my storage room didn’t get cleared out that day.

One thing is for sure, I will never give up my list making and that is not a bad thing, it’s not.  In a perfect world, living on the fly and just letting life happen would be great.  I don’t happen to live in that world.  My world, my life, is busy, and at times, quite hectic; there’s nothing like a well laid out list to ground things, to put things into perspective for me, to show me what needs to be done now and what can wait for a little while –  even if it is on my list.

~Trisha~

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. keiththegreen
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 15:32:00

    My dad had the same problem, at least in my mother’s eyes. he was always writing down things she wanted done around the house. Then one morning we awoke to find his lists sitting on the kitchen table with a family sized Bick’s Pickles jar, filled with to do notes. My dad still made lists, just not as often, he was too busy trying to empty the jar. 🙂

    Reply

  2. sameetah
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 23:37:43

    🙂

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Toss or Keep Your Lists? | List Producer

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