Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oh, yes, I AM a list-maker!

If you don't believe me, just ask my family.
Shopping lists, to-do lists, invitation lists, what-to-pack lists, you-name-it! If there is any possible way to make a list for something, I will make one (sometimes, TWO lists!). One time, I even made a list of lists I should make (I am not joking at all).

Lately, my "addiction" --- I'll call it "Facebook" --- is all about making lists. Lists of 25 things about yourself, lists of iPod songs, etc. For a couple days, my two favorite things to do were combined into one, attention-absorbing thing! Needless to say, I was a little distracted during that time.

However, it got me to thinking: I cannot be the only person in the world who likes to make lists. Hardly a revelation, but it was not something I had ever thought about before. I know my husband finds it highly amusing, slightly endearing, and a bit annoying that I make lists (especially when I make lists for him!). I know my kids roll their eyes behind their backs when they walk into our kitchen and see a new chore list on the Infamous Dry-Erase Board. And, I definitely am aware of how annoying it is for the cashiers at the grocery stores to wait for me to sift through my purse-ful of old lists looking for my wallet.

You can call it a way of trying to stay in control.
You can say it's because I'm a firstborn (we're very Type A people).
You can even say it's a warped way of "getting back" at people who find list-making aggravating.

But, I can't seem to stop. I like it.

I think making lists gives me some clarity and perspective on certain issues; hence, my many Pro-Con Lists. If I can't make a decision on what color to paint the living room, I'll whittle my choices down to two or three colors, then make Pro-Con Lists for each color. The one with the most Pros is the winner!

I also find that list-making keeps me somewhat organized. When we are planning a weekend trip for the family, the first thing I do is whip out my notepad and make lists for each child, so that he/she will know what to pack. If we are staying anywhere besides our lake house, I also pack the lists so that we can make sure we bring home all our clothes.

List-making helps me to plan things like parties or small home-improvement projects. For parties, I begin by making a list of people to invite, which serves two other purposes: letting me know how many invitations to purchase and an RSVP list. I also make lists of foods I will be serving, decorations needed, and pick-up/delivery times for purchased and catered foods. If gifts are given, then I make a list of which person gave what gift so that I can send out Thank You notes.

Making lists may seem a little Obsessive-Compulsive to some people (mostly the people I live with!), but it makes me feel like I can see the "bigger picture" and stay on top of some of the details that would, otherwise, be overlooked.

So, now, I am interested in knowing what "quirks" all of you rely on to keep you feeling "in order"!

Hmmmmm.... Maybe I should make a list of them?


  1. I am definitely a list maker. I make lists for EVERYTHING! Just before I read your blog entry, I completed two lists on Facebook: "25 Things About Me" and "One-Word Answers".

  2. How else could a mother survive? :o)