Monday, August 22, 2005

List Mania!

In case none of you has noticed, I enjoy making lists. It is a convenient way of organizing thoughts on the page and a great way to give yourself the impression that your life is under control.

The most famous list is, of course, the shopping list. Long before I had ever heard of a “to do” list, I knew the importance of the shopping list. I mean, who are these people who venture into a grocery store or a shopping mall without a clear list of easily identifiable objectives? Make a list dang it! You can amend it at any time!

That’s the great thing about lists; you can add to them. You can cross things off of them. They change as you change. As objectives are achieved, they are removed. That leads me to my favorite list: the “to do” list. This list has many variations. It can simply be a list of tasks that you want to get done within a certain time frame, or it can be something more expressive. Take, for example, the following list:
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Ireland
  • India

At first glance, it appears that I have listed four countries that just happen to all begin with the letter “I.” But this list says more about me than that. This is a popular variation of the “to do” list. This is a list of places I want to see and enjoy before I die. My actual list is longer, but you get the picture. This list says something about me. At some point, I may actually make it to all of these countries, but maybe Italy or India strikes me in such a way that I wish to return and deepen my experience there. That country would remain on the list, while the others might get crossed off. The new list would say something about me as well; it would reveal in some way that my experience has changed, and therefore so have I. The “to do” list is like that. It has many levels. Within each “to do” list are the multiple lists of other things to do in order to bring those goals to fruition. Two years ago, I decided that “Own a house” was high on my list of things to do. This created a whole new list of things “to do.”

I have all kinds of lists. Places I want to see, people I want to talk to, dreams I want to come true. My favorite smells, tastes, sights, textures and sounds. Lists of what I did, what I will do, and what I might do. Some of them are in my head, others are written down. They are all dynamic.

I give you, therefore, a short list of my favorite lists:

  • My “Church Music of the Week” list
  • Any of my “to do” lists
  • My “turning points” list
  • My “favorite people” list
  • My “dreams” list


  1. Nice to find a daddy blogger!
    I am a list person too but have never thought to make a list of lists. Is a list of lists of lists taking it too far?

  2. I live in Ireland and can say (without bias of course) that it is a great country to see :) Thanks for joining in Blog Gems. Jen