On Making Lists #SOL15

solI began making lists in college.  Before that, when life was majestically simple and there were only a few things I was responsible for each day, I never had a need for lists.  When I took seven classes per semester, worked three jobs, and tried to have a reasonably robust social life, though, I began to forget things–and so my love for list-making was born.

IMG_3052I make lists all the time now.  Lists of books I want to read…lists of words I love that I stumble across while reading…lists of things to do (I have an entire notebook JUST for to-do lists)…lists of goals I have…and many more.  I remember one particular list of goals, hanging on my mirror as a mantra, that consisted of:

  • Finish your Master’s classes
  • Present your thesis and graduate
  • Plan your wedding
  • Finish strong at this year’s teaching job
  • Move to West Virginia
  • Get married
  • Find a new teaching job

That epic list, thank goodness, has had all its items crossed off.  Now most of my lists are refreshingly ordinary.  Shopping lists are my favorite–especially grocery lists.  There’s something supremely satisfying about crossing off items as I pick them up in the store, and something amusingly frustrating about realizing one item I forgot and adding it to a brand new list.

A free evening or weekend is so much more enjoyable when I have tangible evidence that I’ve earned it–a list, scribbled and criss-crossed, proving my hard work.


13 thoughts on “On Making Lists #SOL15

  1. CBethM says:

    I *live* for lists. There is nothing more satisfying than actually crossing something off a to-do list. Apps are nice, but it’s far less motivating to tap a check mark on your phone.
    I’m crossing yearbook tasks off my to-do list today, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • shanakarnes says:

      Hooray for another journalism/English crossover teacher!!! Don’t you find it hard to focus on both equally…?? They’re so different, but so identical… Thanks for visiting!


  2. drew says:

    I didn’t think I was a list person, until I realized I had little lists littered about my desk on different scraps of paper! Ever add stuff to a list just to cross it off, to give yourself a sort of ‘head start’ to the day?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maggie Brooks says:

    I keep a list of what I have to do each day, but I call it “Today, I will…” instead of “to do”. I don’t know why, but I liked the flow better and it seemed more positive. I like all of the other lists you keep. I am tempted to grab a new notebook and divided in to different types of lists. Thanks for the idea!


    • shanakarnes says:

      I like that! But I can never get any list completely finished…maybe I can call mine “Today I should…” or “Today I’ll try to…”. Thanks for that idea! Love it!


  4. heisereads says:

    I admit there have been times I’ve added a just finished task to my list (that was previously forgotten) just for the satisfaction of then crossing it off! lol. I guess I needed to feel I was accomplishing something.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elisabeth Ellington says:

    I love lists too. I have a habit of buying planners and not using them, so I turn the old ones into notebooks for lists. It is truly satisfying to cross things off and feel that sense of accomplishment. I’m with Jillian–I’ve totally added completed tasks to a list just to get to cross it off!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. GirlGriot says:

    I’m a list-maker, too. It’s such a helpful way for me to settle my brain and see the bigger picture of what I need to get done. And yes, if I start working before I remember to sit and make my list, I put the tasks I’ve just finished on the list and cross them off! It’s motivating to see that I’ve already done some of the work.
    — Stacie

    Liked by 1 person

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