Bucket List thanks to the 2007 Nicholson – Freeman movie is now a popular phrase or title that sums up your most desired things to do in life, but it is still a list and I am definitely a “list” person. My whole life resolves around lists; handwritten lists, email lists, sticky-note lists, calendar lists, lists on my phone and those in my head yet to be written or typed somewhere.
Fifty or sixty years ago the only list may have been the housewife’s grocers list but that is only my guess as I haven’t spent much time investigating the topic of vintage lists. Today lists abound everywhere especially pertaining to organization of one’s life, home, social and work arenas.
I do love lists and have always been a list person from as far back as I can remember. My first experience with lists were the hand written notes my momma would leave on the kitchen table for me. These were the “better be done before I get home from work” lists. Sometimes they were numbered sometimes not, but they always ended with Love, Momma. Maybe that is why my fondness is so strong, not because of the list itself but because of the association to my mother through them.
Completing my momma’s lists were about more than a list of chores to be done. I think I knew that if they were done on time, before she got home from work, and were done correctly, “her way”, then obviously it would make her life a little easier. I appreciated the fact that she worked outside of the home. Knowing she would be tired when she arrived back home after dark her not having to worry with a few extra tasks made for a happier momma. She might have been tied but she was happy with me and that was always a good thing. We all know the saying about Mothers being happy. There was also the sense of pride that I felt when she smiled giving me the seal of approval that I had done a good job and thus a sense of accomplishment.
The sense of accomplishment one clearly and immediately has when they check something off a list as completed is truly a wonderful feeling. It is an instant gratification of sorts that one is worthy or has the ability to accomplish something, to see it through to the end and it doesn’t have to be something big.
Always obtaining that feeling is not the case however if the list is overbearing. An overbearing list has too many facets, to many to-dos or items that one cannot possibly achieve in the allotted or set time frame thus creating the reverse effect to one’s self-confidence. An overbearing list can make one feel that they are always lacking or failing at the task at hand, letting down themselves and others.
This must be the reason I have so many smaller lists rather than one cascading list that flows down the side of my desk and onto the floor. The goal at hand is not to create a scroll it is to create a semblance of order or to ensure that the important things in your life get done or are not forgotten. Many smaller lists created either by category or task will be much easier to bring to completion and quicker to provide those “yeah!” moments.
I concede that lists are not for everyone! My own observations of people I know and have had associations with have shown me that the more free-spirited and spontaneous an individual is the less likely they are to be a list person and that is okay too. A list is more structure than some free birds want and see the whole process of taking the time to create a list then follow it through as a damper to their lifestyle. Some see it as being told what to do even if they are the one setting the parameters.
Everyone has their own method to life’s madness mine just happens to be in the form of a List and that makes me happy. Should you be interested and new to the concept of list making and unsure how to begin, any internet search engine will be happy to help. Just type in List Making and you will receive a return of almost 3 billion results. Happy hunting in search of your new list!