Thursday, January 27, 2011
Add That to the List
My lists have lists.
It’s true. My lists sprout other lists, and those grow little piles of paper, and from there a jungle of lists spreads throughout my house.
I can’t help it. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m a little unfocused (understatement!), or stress has finally gotten to me, or my brain just works in circles, but if I don’t make lists, I’m lost.
The problem lies in the where of it all. I list things on envelopes, on the backs of notepads, on post-its and index cards. I list things on calendars and official letters from school. I list things on a whiteboard and on library receipts. These lists get all mixed up, and then start wandering my house in a hungry pack.
I am not particularly more organized because of my burgeoning List Herd, but I do derive extreme satisfaction from checking things OFF whatever lists I can find.
One helpful list I’m trying to keep this year, in my so far completely unsuccessful attempts at a year of zen, is a calendar list. I took an extra calendar and I am trying to list the things I do that are steps towards my goal of positivity. I write down when I exercise & what I do (Gilad! Or “run 3.04 in 36 minutes, knee at 2.6 “ ). This way I can see that I am not as much of a lump as I usually think I am—and I can keep track of my preparation for the Jersey Shore Relay in April.
I am also writing down a little “V” for when I remember to take my new vitamin, Stress Plus Zinc. Really. That’s what it’s called. How could I NOT buy that? I’m not sure taking stress in pill form is a good idea for me, but the bottle made me laugh. Normally when I buy vitamins I take them for a week and then forget until the bottle reaches its expiration date. Hopefully the calendar will help me remember to try and be healthy.
This blog and my daughter’s Caringbridge page also get a notation. I need to keep on top of writing. Filling in “blog” or “CB” on the calendar keeps me up to date on getting the blender-y ideas out of my head and into a computer.
I also decided to write down what books I read. In childhood I was a voracious reader, I devoured any book I could get my hands on. After college my reading dropped off, and once I had kids, reading got relegated to vacation time. Once I went back to work I HAD to read a lot, and now I am trying to read more for my own mental health, fun things not about modern history. So far this year I’ve read “La’s Orchestra Saves the World”, “A Thousand Sisters” (a must read, but NOT fun at all), and a book on cd for the car about “An Organized Mind “(yeah. Still working on that). I am midway through “Founding Foodies”. . .
Honestly, I only really started reading for fun again when my daughter started needing to get books for school from the library. The new releases are right next to the Children’s Section. But writing these down lets me see progress. I am not always floundering.
I also note roadblocks like “hospital day” or “felt like road kill”, just so I can avoid beating myself up over days where I AM a lump. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to call a doctor and actually get some annoying things checked out. I listed local doctors to call. Ahem. That’s a step, right? My calendar will hopefully help me narrow down some of those roadblocks to health that I need to ask a professional about, and guide my understanding of what issues are perhaps stress related . When Road Kill Day is the day after Hospital Day, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out there might be a connection.
I guess my calendar is really a list AFTER the fact, almost like writing an outline after the essay or story is done. But this list in reverse helps clear the cloud of incompetence I normally feel like I live under.
The other day I found a list my 8 year old made to cover What We Need To Do at the fundraiser we run in March. She included pictures and numbers, and left her list in the pile o’ lists I have in my kitchen.
Huh. Who knew list making was genetic? I should make a note of that somewhere. . .