I don't just enjoy lists - I don't just LOVE making lists...I live for lists.
The rush from making a list -- organizing what needs to be done, what steps are necessary -- is such a high. Even better is getting to cross things off when the task is accomplished - oh! Be still my heart! And, when the perfect storm hits and I can actually complete everything on the list and have nothing left to attack - orgasmic! Like, if I still smoked, I'd light a cigarette, it's that good.
But lately, my lust for lists has left me feeling overwhelmed, defeated, depleted. Seeing all of the t0-do's isn't as empowering and motivating as it once was, and I find myself resenting the very thing I used to enjoy so much. Sensing a pattern in these posts??? I am!
About a year ago we mounted a white board/corkboard on a wall in the kitchen (by we I mean I told M - "hang this here"), mainly to have one place to scrawl down things needed at the store, and to keep a running list of household to-do's. It's worked nicely, but as the months have ticked by, I've noticed that some of the tasks remain on the list for quite some time. Partly because they are big-ticket, time-sucking activities (Rewire electricity in garage, for instance, is not so easily accomplished). And, partly because I'm just not as interested in, say, power-washing the porch and outside furniture as I am in, for instance - well, doing anything.
With free time (hilarious, right - who has that?) at a minimum, I would much rather read with the kids, do a craft with C, or spend time with M than file bank statements or sync all of our BlackBerry's. But at the same time, I really like to be organized and keep things moving and working well...what's a girl to do?
For now, the answer is NO MORE LIST ON THE WHITE BOARD. It's just too depressing these days. So, I took care of the tasks written on the list, and have made sure to keep up with important items, but am not writing them down and keeping track. And it feels so much better when I walk through to the laundry area - I can actually look up and not feel the guilt (that I place on myself) from keeping a big list of things that end up being "have to" instead of "want to".
I wonder if part of the rush in writing the lists and then checking things off was that I was showing myself - and those around me - how virtuous I was being. (I mean, I've even been known to write things down I'd already achieved earlier that day, just so I could write them down and cross them off too - don't want to miss a thing, right?). Was I trying to show how much I was tackling, how hard I was working, how much I was accomplishing? After all, I do love my "gold stars". Maybe not needing the lists is in part me growing up and being in a place where I don't need the credit, don't need the gold stars anymore.
Well, at least not all the time.