Making Lists

My grandmother doing laundry on her back porch

I wonder if my grandmothers made lists. Did they need to write down what they planned to do each day.  Somehow I don’t think they kept lists at all. They didn’t have time to make them. I suspect they just got out of bed each morning and began to tackle the endless round of work that presented itself cyclically–laundry, cleaning, cooking, gardening, egg gathering, sewing, child care, looking after elderly and ailing relatives, milking, canning, butchering, baking……..

My day planner and sticky note lists

Why can’t I just wake up each morning and begin to work? Why do I need lists? I really thought when I retired I wouldn’t need lists but I seem to need them more than ever. If I don’t make a list when I get to the end of the day I ask myself…….What did I do today? I seem to need a list so I can check things off and feel a sense of accomplishment. I seem to need lists or else I forget important things I should do. 

In my job as a teacher I had to make plans for each lesson I taught. It wasn’t a list exactly but it was a plan for what I was going to do in a class, what we were going to accomplish. I can’t seem to get away from that. My instinct before I go to bed each night is to make a plan for the next day. 

I am lucky I guess to be married to a man who never makes lists, at least not ones he writes down. He was an excellent teacher but his plans for his lessons were mostly written in his head.  He takes life as it comes each day. He sometimes makes it difficult for me to follow the lists I’ve made because he’s always saying, “Let’s go out for coffee” or “Let’s go to a movie” or “Let’s do that job later.” He keeps me from becoming a slave to my lists. 

Dave is out-of-town for five days and so naturally I’ve made a list of twenty-four things I want to accomplish while he’s gone. I’m not sure I’ll get them all done. 

Deepak Chopra, author, life coach and spiritual guru of Oprah Winfrey fame says making a list for each day is a great way to take charge of your life. He does advise not being a slave to your list but adjusting and adapting it to a length that makes you feel comfortable yet successful. 

My lists inspire me. They give me peace of mind. At least for the time being I still need them. 


Filed under Reflections

2 responses to “Making Lists

  1. I too am a list maker as is my Mother. Sometimes I feel I use list making as a way to procrastinate. I know what has to be done, but wait, let me write it down before I get started.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 5 To Do List Alternatives | What Next?

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