I 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.
I 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.