List of Lists
[Day 14 Writing101, Make a List]
My son’s boss makes a list every morning of the things he has to do that day. I don’t, but I should.
Oh, I make lists … all kinds of lists. They are even arranged in outline form, with headings, sub-headings, and points– sometimes even categories under the points, and so on. Lists are good, but my problem is that usually “the list is the thing,” and it becomes it’s own goal.
A simple list is handy for a quickie plan for picking up just a few specific things in the grocery store, with no extras– rush through the store with the grocery cart, preferably alone…kids can divert one from the plan, and husbands are even worse. In theory this pick-up-a-few-things shopping trip is good: it saves money, avoids filling up the cart with spur-of-the-moment items, and saves a lot of time. In practice, however, this method can have the opposite effect–dashing around the store searching for certain things can eat up more time than a brisk-browse up and down the aisles; forgetting to buy needed supplies because they aren’t on the list; and can actually cost more per item because there is no time to comparison-shop.
Sometimes a list can actually help to remember the three items that are the reason for the trip. A simple list: (Underwear, Crescent Rolls, New Hammer) for example, can be useful if it is written on a scrap of paper and carried in a shirt pocket…and can be accomplished in one giant box store like–well, you know. These diverse items can be found in completely separate areas of the store, and there are a myriad of wally-wonders in between that are calling out shoppers’ names.
Some lists are more cryptic puzzles than actual prompts. This is especially true of lists of ideas for topics for my blog. I have flashes of brilliant insight often, which can be turned into fodder for the page–if I can remember it. My poor old brain is pretty much packed full, and it is necessary to start erasing information to make room for new.
Here is my list for today.
Write blog post. Sort out desk top. (Put away, goodwill, trash.) Call to cancel cable. Work on cleaning garage. Get ready for contractors to tear out ceilings. Call same and hassle them about schedule. Read email. Send out book orders. Read Commons blog. Read some other blogs. Write another post. Feed the cats.