Monday, November 02, 2009


Anal-retentive people (such as me) like to-do lists. Writing lists make us feel organized and in control of our lives. Anal-retentive people love feeling in control.

On Monday last week I made a list of my Fitness Goals for Winter 2009/10.

On Tuesday I changed one of the items on my list of fitness goals to make it easier and made a list of 7 Places I Want to Travel to This Winter.

On Wednesday I made a list of 13 Things to Fix on my Boat and a list of 4 Sailing Goals for Winter 2009/10 and a list of 9 Ideas for Future Blog Posts. Wow. Three lists in one day. What a productive day!

I spent most of Thursday playing with my grandkids. Didn't write a single list all day. Felt like a real slacker.

On Friday I went for a long run by the side of the bay. Sure it felt great to be running again after a layoff of several weeks with a back injury and a cough. But I didn't write any lists at all. Two days in a row without writing a single list! Not good!

On Saturday I checked over my boat and trailer to make sure everything was in good order for sailing on Sunday, and collected together all my cold weather sailing gear. I was so distracted with these tasks that I completely forgot to write any lists! Can you believe it? Three days now without writing a list! I'm starting to suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

On Sunday it was the first day of the frostbite season and I went Laser racing. When I arrived home there was a spectacular sunset. Tillerwoman cooked us a delicious dinner and then the Yankees beat the Phillies in game 4 of the World Series. It would have been a perfect day except that I didn't write a single list all day! I felt like a miserable failure. What is the matter with me?

Today I am determined to get back on track with my list writing. No more wasting time with trivial stuff like sailing and having fun with my grandkids. So I crossed 4 things off my list of
13 Things to Fix on my Boat and then I wrote a List of Lists That I Will Write This Week and then I made a List Of All The Lists I Wrote In The Last 8 Days and wrote this blog post. Anal-retentive people get really excited about lists of lists.

Aaah. That feels better.

How about you? Written any good lists lately?


JP said...

I love lists.

Today I made a list of things to do before the business trip and then had fun crossing them off.

Then I got home and updated my list of sailing blogs.

That makes it a good list day :)

O Docker said...

Even if I make a list, I usually forget which pocket I left it in.

Brent J. Burrows II said...

I love lists, they make life soooo much easier!

Tillerman said...

JP - don't cross too many things off your lists or you won't have any lists left.

O Docker - you should make a list of your pockets and which lists are in which pocket.

Brent - you are wise beyond your years.

Baydog said...

O Docker: How many pockets do you have? Shouldn't be too long before you find your list, which may have on it, "buy shorts with less pockets". And Brent, my young friend, as you get older, lists make it easier to get through the day. Trust me

Anonymous said...

my favorite is to re-list... that is, I've often got my several working lists of to-do stuff, one for work, one for groceries, one for sailing stuff, etc. after a while though, I start to get things accomplished (often slower than I'd prefer), and maybe half of each list is complete. for some strange reason, though, instead of finishing them ALL and getting a sense of completeness, I'll sit down and re-write new lists. clean lists. no scribbles. or crumples from sitting in my pocket (my left front pants pocket, O Docker).

the other odd thing I find myself doing with lists - especially a honey-do list to keep the Mrs. happy - I'll bust tail and get a ton of things done around the house, and then sometimes will add things to my list that I just completed, just so that I can cross it off immediately and make my accomplishments seem that much more impressive.


The O'Sheas said...

My wife lists a lot, too, just like you. How appropriate for a couple of sailors.

She often makes lists for me, too. My favorites are the ones that have little checkboxes next to them. I don't mind as much being the list checker-offer if I've got the little checkboxes. It gives me an illusion of some control over the direction and speed in which my life is unfolding.

Carol Anne said...

At work, alas, I have the never-ending perpetual list. This is the one that gets added to at the bottom as tasks come up, and then items get checked off as they are accomplished. So, for example, every time I collect a pile of papers, "Mark 0950 essays" gets added to the list. As I make the lesson plans for the next class session, I may have something like "Misplaced modifiers handouts for 0950." Then, when I actually do get the papers graded or the copies made, I can check off the item.

At home, the shopping list on the refrigerator is much more chaotic. As I note an item in short supply, I will add it to the list. However, Pat will often not make such a note. Then, when someone goes shopping, I will try to cross off the items on the list that were actually purchased -- as Pat often doesn't even look at the list before going shopping, this can be a problem. Eventually, the list becomes so confused that it has to be rewritten on a fresh sheet.

NaNoWriMo permitting, a list-oriented Poetry Corner may soon appear at Five O'Clock Somewhere.

bowsprite said...

is this the next writing assignment?

Tillerman said...

I think we already had a challenge to write a list post, so no. The next assignment will be much sexier than that. Literally.

O Docker said...

Oh no. If you're going where I think you are with this, my next post will end up being another pre-dated entry.

Maybe we both just think about sex too much.

Tillerman said...

O Docker, please stop trying to read my mind. It's futile. I don't know my own mind. And even if I did I would probably change it by tomorrow.

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