I've been meaning to write this blog post for a really long time however this week I attended the much talked about Cybermummy event in London and after hearing Baby Genie reading out her own blog post "I was saved by a raisin" in the crowd sourced keynote session, I was inspired to actually put pen to paper, or rather, my fingers to the MacBook Pro.
I'm just going to put it out there. I am a serious lister. An obsessive in fact. I list everything and I carry a book of lists on my person most of the time. I am pretty sure that the world would most definitely stop spinning should I lose my book. Forget the purse full of money or my precious iPhone, if I lost my bag containing my lists, I'd cry an absolute river.
So, what do I list? What don't I list would be the easier question to answer. Firstly there's the "general" list. This is a list that is constantly added to and updated on a daily basis. It's mainly things to (of varying degrees of urgency) that I check a couple of times a day. In addition to this, I have a "daily" list - full of chores and goals that must be completed that day. I write it at the start of the day and must admit to feeling a bit bloody miserable with myself if I've not ticked everything off by bedtime. On top of these I have lists for work, grocery lists, school lists, meal planning lists, lists of recipes to try, lists of websites I need to look at and of course, lists of blog posts to write.
Then of course there are holidays and Christmas. These are a whole different ball game. A complete higher level of listing.
For a holiday there will be a whole host of lists - it could do with its own book really (Christmas already has one...). It starts with a shortlist of places to go, then when its booked (only after checking review sites obsessively as previously mentioned) there is the "holiday list of things to do" which of course (as with other lists) will be cross-referenced with the "general" list. Then we have the packing list and the need need to buy to list. Going to Walt Disney World this year has added a new dimension - lists of where to eat, things to do and even better - itineraries and spreadsheets. Christmas means Christmas card lists, lists of who sent us a card last year, present lists, things to cook, grocery lists...
In our house I can even suggest an evening dedicated to creating lists without my husband batting an eyelid. Yes, I have dragged him down with me although generally, he's not a lister as that's my department. We have lists of house jobs, garden jobs, places we want to go...I think I am getting to the point where I need a list to list my lists and yes, I also do that incredibly weird thing of writing menial tasks like "empty the dishwasher" on my daily list, purely to have the satisfaction of crossing through it with a fluorescent marker.
Whilst I am making a joke of my listing obsession and really it doesn't bother me or anyone else, I realise that I may be harbouring a few OCD tendencies, especially in other areas of my life. Hoovering is a common one and I also have a thing about checking that the iron and oven are turned off. Obsessive is indeed a word I would use to describe it. I will get out of bed in the middle of the night to check the oven, even through I know I checked it before I went to bed. When i get home from work I will go to check that the iron is turned off even though I am fully aware I checked it three times that morning AND unplugged it before I left the house. I'm the same with locking doors. It's irrational I know but right now I feel these quirks are not serious enough to make a big deal off. Annoying as hell sometimes perhaps, but I'm not hurting anyone, and now I am more aware of them perhaps it will be easier to keep them in check. Kind of like my hoarding tendencies (story for another time...).
I'd so like to be like Baby Genie and throw the lists away with gay abandon but I can't. Mainly because I fear all my balls would drop but also because to put it bluntly, I love them! They keep me and my mind organised, they help me feel focused and without them I think I'd be a big gibbering disorganised mess. Would I be in reality? I don't know, and I'm not willing to chance it to find out!
love & kisses
Mrs M x