Sunday, November 4, 2012

Much Ado About To-Do Lists

I'm a list person.

I have lists for things I'd like to accomplish at home, at work, to my home, in my life, with my writing, for my shopping. Lists help me think, dream, brainstorm, order my thinking, set goals. Remember.

My journals are full of these lists. Sometimes I think of the journals kept by women in history -- and how much scholars learn from their journals about everyday life during the times they lived.

But I digress with my grandiose thoughts.

Anyway, I carry my journal everywhere with me. I'll often go back to entries from previous days or even weeks to check off items I complete.

At times, these lists get me down, as in, I'm not getting anything done. Other times these lists give me a feeling of satisfaction, of moving forward.

So it was with a jolt of surprise and, yes, pleasure, that I found a to-do list in my son's backpack. His first! 

My son's first ever to-do list. Isn't it beautiful?

It turns out that his teacher had my son and his classmates make to-do lists that day at school. Their assignment: to do all of the items on their lists and check them off as they did them.

I love his list. I love the items on his list. Such simple things. It makes me want to be a kid again. 

But, since I can't do that, maybe I can simplify my list-making. Or simply stop making them. But if I did that, would I remember what I need at the store? Would I remember all the things I want to do to our house? Would I remember the things I want to write about? Would I remember the things I want to do with my life? Would I remember that I want to discover my purpose in life? And, more important, would I continue to move toward that purpose if I didn't have my lists?

I don't know. And I don't think I'm ready to find out.

1 comment:

  1. I probably don't have as many lists as you do, but lists are really helpful for me to feel less overwhelmed when I'm feeling very overwhelmed. To put it on paper gets it out of my head, so I don't feel like I have to keep track of it all. And then I can prioritize. It always works, even it I don't check everything off.

    Oh, and I *know* that I won't remember everything I need at the store without lists!