Thursday, 3 January 2013

Listing Slightly to the Right

Day 147
218 Days Remaining

Through the hustle and bustle of life, whenever I am feeling overwhelmed and in need of comfort, control and a sense of sanity, there is one thing that always makes me feel better and brings me joy and relief.

That one thing is: THE LIST.

Lists of what to purchase at the grocery store.  Lists of chores to do around the house.  Lists of which books need to be returned to the library.  Lists of problems with the car that eventually need to be addressed.  Lists of what the kids need to do before they settle in with video games for the weekend.  Lists of reasons why I`m on a dating hiatus.  Lists of things I want to do with my life.  Lists of which meals we`re having on which day.  Lists of things to be done before I can head back to school on Monday.  Lists of friends I haven`t called and need to.  Lists of the things I keep putting off.  Lists of the things I have accomplished.  List of the wonderful things that have happened in my life.  Lists of the bad things that have happened.  Lists of what lists I need to make.  Lists of lists that I`ve already made (case in point...this one).

These are some of the lists I made yesterday.

I love lists.  I love feeling productive and in control of at least one thing in my life, and making a list allows me to do that.  And if you read The Contentment Project posts, you've seen how I like to use lists to move forward in life, and to positively impact myself and others.

I spent a lot of time yesterday making lists before I headed to work, and I didn`t want to stop.  Once I was at work, I spent whatever spare time I had making further lists from the lists I had started at home. Oh, how organized I felt!  Nothing could stop me from having my life wrapped around my little finger. 

It does feel good to have things written down and mapped out.  At one point, it would have been enough for me to simply have it written - my sense of accomplishment would be fulfilled and I would be so exhausted from my list-making that it would be all I could manage to do.  The list would then sit, likely unread and un-crossed-off, in a drawer or shoved deep down in the bottom of my purse (underneath the agenda that never got opened and the change purse that had no change in it).  Now, however, the best part of the list for me is that it gives me something to follow, a guideline for what I am actually going to do.  Of course, a list is useless if you don't actually cross anything off!

So, yesterday, having made so many lists designed to completely overhaul and organize my life, and in combination with Fig's sudden spurt of energy when he decided to vacuum the whole house and mop all the floors, I was inspired to cross a few things off at least one of my lists.  I began organizing my closet.  I am blessed to have a very large walk-in closet, which unfortunately has become a gathering place for everything including cardboard boxes filled with miscellaneous electrical cords, installation CDs, burned Mad Men DVD-Rs, and old paystubs; many, many dust bunnies; old VHS videos that never get watched and old board games that never get played; and - in fact - actual clothing.  (See what I did there?  See how I made another list? Yes!)  The closet purged, I began moving quickly through the list, planning a weekly menu, making daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly task charts, and plotting everything into Outlook so that all my lists can pop up on the computer when I log in (technology is brilliant, really).  So, with six things crossed off my "master list" of thirteen items, I felt pretty good when I went to sleep last night.
This morning, I am again excited to tackle the next few weeks, armed with my many lists and a positive attitude.  It's made me think about a few other lists I made that ended up - figuratively, at least - crumpled into a ball at the bottom of my handbag.  I know that I've made several lists during the writing of the blog, some of which have never been referred to again.  Time to make a list of lists I need to revisit!:

- Word to the Whys: my list of reasons for doing a yearlong dating hiatus in the first place.
- The Guidelines: to remind myself what I intend to do in order to pull this off, and to strengthen my resolve on how I am actually going to get through the next eight months.
- What to Do, What to Do: my list of the things I want to accomplish during the year off from dating.  (Note: one of these things, "Learn to dance" is in the works!  A good friend and I are planning on taking Social Ballroom lessons together - here's hoping it actually happens.)
- Dealbreakers: My list of what I don't want in a man - a helpful reference!

And when I am feeling down, or lonely, or unattractive, I can refer to some other lists that I've made:

- What I Am is What I Am: to remind myself of the things about myself that make me me; things that I identify with.
- The Best Work of Art: the blog post I wrote about how I am coming to love my body, and appreciate it.  This one is always a good one to read when I am feeling like less than I should.
- Ten Great Things About Being Single:  These rock!  Who needs a man, anyway?
- And of course, List #1 in The Contentment Project, which reminds me of what I have now that I need to be grateful for.

I'm going to stop writing lists for a little while now, and start re-reading the ones I've already made.  Hopefully soon, I'll be able to cross a few more things off, and maybe make another list...of more things I've accomplished..?


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