My Life in Lists

I admit that by putting my lists on the table like this will most likely reveal me to be obsessive, or, quite possibly, completely psychotic.

Some people write memoirs or keep journals. I make lists. Some of the lists have been around for years and just keep getting updated. Some are static. Some I make annually. Some are weekly. Some are just one-time lists. You get the idea.

Anyway, as 2008 was coming to a close, I was exporting items from past lists into fresh 2009 ones. And as I combed through, I realized that read in chronological order, the lists tell a lot about "My Life So Far."

I admit that by putting my lists on the table like this will most likely reveal me to be obsessive, or, quite possibly, completely psychotic. But, before I get into all of that, first, an overview: The Master List...The Lists of all the Lists...

The ones I make regularly
- To-do lists (5xday) (divided into work/personal)
- New Year's resolutions (annual)
- Things I want to throw away
- People I need to call/call back
- Things that are broken/need to be fixed
- Dr. Appointments to make/to cancel

Holidays
- Gifts I need to buy people
- People to send cards to
- Thank you cards to send
- Things I want someone to give me

Work:
- Project ideas
- Story ideas

End of Life Project (oral history tool kit for families to interview relatives with terminal illnesses)
- Interview questions for Dad
- Best Dad tape
- Possible outlets for the audio
- Next steps for starting the end-of-life project

People:
- Best friends
- Family members I’m out of touch with
- People I’ve lost touch with
- People I miss
- People that should be downgraded
- Friends w/ new babies that I need to visit
- People I still haven’t gotten wedding gifts for

Guys:
- Crushes
- Guys I've slept with
- Guys I wish I hadn’t slept with
- Pros/cons of whichever boyfriend
- To-do Lists I’ve made for boyfriends
- People I never should have been so obsessed with:

Neurotic?
- Things I haven’t seen through
- Number of days w/out smoking
- Number of days w/out calling you know who
- Number of days of exercising since resolved to exercise every single day
- Things that make me sneeze
- Diseases I think I might have
- Other places I want to live
- Other professions I might want to have
- Things I wish I did more of
- Things I’ve missed, skipped, cancelled, rescheduled...

To Check Out:
- Movies I want to see/I want to rent
- Books I want to read
- Books I want to suggest for book club
- books other people have suggested I suggest for book club
- Self- help related books/organizing
- Podcasts I want to listen to/ friends have made and want me to listen to
- Classes I want to take
- Software/design programs I want to learn
- Art: museums /galleries I want to go to
- Neighborhoods I want to see
- Trips I want to take
- Exercise (broken down often by: spinning classes/ running/ yoga/triathalon/accessories to buy)

Food:
- Groceries
- Restaurants to try
- To cook
- Food I want to give up over given month
- Dinner parties I want to have

Finances
- Bills
- Budgets
- What I can cut

Misc.
- Tel. numbers I’ve had
- Stuff of mine that I need to get back
- Things I didn’t realize but should have
- Biggest regrets
- Stuff I’ve lost

(For another, longer look at my life story through a series of lists, check out my story "my longer story":http://www.smithmag.net/memoirville/2009/01/27/my-life-in-lists on SMITH's Memoirville section.)

Comments

Veronica_Honer says,

Lists are great aren't they?

TamaraPennington says,

Love your lists. Yours put mine to shame but I can relate.

omar says,

I make lists of lists as well...its frustrating to see them listed out as I transfer unchecked items to an always expanding overwhelming number of tasks...

sadiesaturdaynite says,

Love them.
Especially guys and neurotic?

herocious says,

hello - i, too, love these lists even though i wouldn't consider myself a list maker. i'm more of a random note taker. now i'm just going to throw this out there: would you be interested in posting this set of lists (along with your prose) in My Life So Far on a new blog: http://theopenend.com? we're feature a steady stream of short stories and poetry, along with essay about real life. i don't know... only if you're interested.

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