Thursday, October 4, 2012

lists: a short essay

Sometimes I make lists. This is how I organize the world and my place in it. Others think in different terms about their existence and direction. I make lists.

I lie in bed staring at the ceiling fan. It ticks with every rotation because that's what rude ceiling fans do. Put that on the "fix list". I tell myself. 
This night is a calm night because everyone is asleep. They are dreaming, snoring, shifting. Not me though. I lie still and am wide awake. 
This sacred time, when I am alone in thought, is when I start making my best lists. The kind that seem remarkable the second they enter my mind. 

This blog was thought of in the middle of the night. I thought to myself, I have things to say. I should start a blog!
I put "blog" on my "projects" list. It would be three years before I  mustered up the courage to start this blog. 
Things on lists are kind of scary. Some lists mean so much to me that they frighten the hell out of me. Lists are funny that way. 
Those little bullet items stare up at me from neon post-its and I, sometimes unconsciously, attach much of myself and self-worth to them. 
If a list lays unaccomplished, I feel defeated, lazy, unaccomplished.

At times I fear starting the list because I greatly fear failing. Usually these lists include projects I dream up at 2:00am. 
Mind you, grocery lists don't lead me to such self-stalling; but its true if I don't complete the grocery list, or the cleaning list, a tinge of self-doubt and anxiety creep into my mind. How can so little a task seem like so much?

List make some days feel like déjà vu.
- wake at 7:00am
- run 3 mile
- breakfast
- baby bath
- baby nap
- shower self
- ready self
and then it's already 1:00 in the afternoon! 1:00 already?!

Yet somehow the moments where I make lists remain my sacred moments. Yes lists define me. 
My greatest accomplishments link with thousands of lists made and crossed out. High school diplomas, college degrees, weddings, children (child)...all came because of lists of some sort or another. 
Internal battles may rage, but lists are a part of me...a medium for my organization of my dreams...a catch-all for ideas good and ideas bad.

Lists take courage. It takes courage to make the list, courage to start the list, courage to achieve the list. Lists push me to learn more and to be lazy less. Great lists force me to the boundaries of my creative potential. The best lists bring me closer to my husband and son, and closer to God. 
Lists open opportunities for failure. They force me to wrestle with self-doubt. They provide the opportunity to overcome.

Yes. I will keep laying in bed making lists, because without them, I halt. And stopping will simply not do.


  1. Glad to hear I am not the only list fanatic... and that my fan isn't the only fan that ticks on every rotation. Drives me bonkers! Great essay.

  2. Good for you! I too am a list maker, but more times than not my lists don't seem to get finished. Loved this essay. Keep writing. This blog is genius!

    1. Abby! You are too sweet! Thanks for reading my is reassuring when you throw your life out there people respond! Thank you thank you!


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