For the Love of Listing


I love lists: to-do lists, shopping lists, word lists, reading lists, hate lists, lists about lists.  They’re concise and orderly and I love them all.   Writing lists is somewhat cathartic for me, and today I was unreasonably temperamental.  So, I wrote a list:


25 Things I Aspire to Do Well and/or More Often:

  • take pictures
  • compliment people
  • make small talk meaningful
  • give homemade gifts
  • write things worth reading
  • run 5k races
  • head and handstands
  • paying attention to the state of the world
  • giving and taking advice
  • experience new things
  • pull-ups
  • finish projects
  • smile
  • ask questions
  • cook
  • circus related skills
  • revise
  • inspire others
  • say ‘no’
  • be patient
  • be independent
  • be productive
  • network
  • listen to others
  • remember people’s names


In rereading this list, I made a mental list of more general categories into which this list could be broken, then I sorted it into things I wanted to do well and things I wanted to do more often (most were on both lists), then I started listing the ways I could achieve these things, then I realized I was going a little list crazy and that no way of organizing this list gave it more purpose.  It was just a random list.

So, I moved on to something else. I was feeling much more focused and in control, and I realized that ultimately that’s the main reason I write lists—it gives me an arbitrary sense of control when I need a break from my usual chaos.

I suppose there are worse options when seeking a feeling of control, but I’m feeling pretty good right now, so I won’t list them.

But I am sure there will be more lists in this blog’s future.


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