Monday, May 16, 2011

Lists are better than being listless

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Are you a list maker and, if so, what shape do your lists take?  Are they notes on a calendar, itemizations on paper or some sort of modern electronic version?  My lists generally take form only mentally and I'm uncertain if my lack of commitment to a format which can be easily shared is a good, or a bad thing.  Keeping the list internal maintains a level of privacy, or some might say, control.  It also prevents others from knowing what I am intending to accomplish so if I fail in my attempt to be productive or efficient, no one is the wiser.  As if anyone is harder on me than I am myself - ha! 

I've spent some time recently thinking about lists - grocery lists, to-do lists, mental lists of what I want in the future.  The grocery list thing is kind of new for me, I haven't done any serious grocery shopping since pre-children days.  I enjoy the ritual of browsing the sales circular, jotting things down, clipping coupons and planning my foray to Price Chopper or Hannaford.  It's actually kind of fun until it is time to pay and I realize that my estimated $75. food foray is actually closer to $125. Ooops! It's challenging to run all over the Capital District seeking out the best prices for everything, and I'm hoping once soccer season and school are over I can spend some more time at Farmer's Markets and smaller, independent places like Parivar and Falvo's.  The to-do list which has been circulating in my head is a combination of things for the boys (soccer, school activities, laundry, haircuts...), things for the house (repurposing the space, obtaining a mortgage, changing utilities, gardening, cleaning...), and some things for myself like work, exercise and various appointments.  Each of these lists are necessary for the day-to-day success of my life, as well as for my boys. This to-do list resides primarily as calendar events on my phone and I swear I would be lost if something happened to my electronic agenda. 

Although I spent many years not going to the grocery store I always participated in the list making, so, though the activity of shopping is novel, I've been involved with the process.  I also typically maintained the mental list of family activities and appointments, another exercise which is not new to me as a recent "single" parent.  The last list, the one which percolates in my head, without commitment to page or bytes, is the list of what I want my future to be and I have a pretty clear idea of what I want.  My list is fairly simple: I do not want to be the sole keeper of the list.  Don't misunderstand me - I clearly recognize that during my marriage I was not the only person involved with maintaining the list, however, I do have a sense that I was responsible for creating the list more often than not.  I would like a chance to share both the list making and the list management, with a future partner.  But even more important is my position on their list. If my happiness and security is not on the top of his list, I am more than content to maintain my wish list as a wait list.

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