Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I am a list maker. I make lists to pack for trips, shopping lists, To Do lists, camping lists, reading lists, Christmas card lists, writing project idea lists.
I plan dinner parties with lists. I even dream about future projects with lists, even unlikely ones. I've imagined I'm the administrator of an orphanage in Africa, and I've spent hours planning how to make it run smoothly. Or I've imagined being called on to be the cook at a Seminary, cooking two meals a day for thirty people, and I've listed all the food I know how to make or would like to make.
Why do I do this? I've never questioned it before. It's just what I do. It's my way of making my frivolous daydreams somehow concrete and valuable. So that if one day, I AM the administrator of an orphanage, I'll already know how to make it work, or if TBS calls me, I can grab my lists of soups, salads, mains, sides and desserts and generate a month's worth of menus.
Do I do it to appear more organized? After all, it takes a lot of work to make something look effortless. Am I losing my memory and overcompensating by writing everything down? I don't know. My maternal grandmother had Alzheimer's Disease. That fear is in the back of my mind. I would hate to lose my memory. Sometimes, when I can't recall a conversation with one of my kids, they'll say, "Mom, don't forget me!" as if it has already begun.
If it does happen, get out my old notebooks and have a laugh at all the things that absorbed me for a few hours of my life, when I threw myself into an idea and brainstormed, even when it would appear to be a worthless exercise.
The thing with us daydreamers is, interspersed with all the nonsense could be a few good ideas. I hope so anyway. That's what Creatives do. We imagine, we dream, we plan, and then we get to work.
I saw a journal at Chapters called Listography. It made me smile. I guess I wasn't the only one.
I'm not really one for Top Ten lists. I've done a few but I'm too indecisive to prioritize. Mostly I catalogue as many things as I can. I've recorded the name, author and value of every book in my library. I add to the list as I purchase more books. Why? Maybe one day I'll put all that data into the computer. Or maybe I'll add it up and see the value of my library. Oh, wait, I already know: Priceless.
Maybe making lists just legitimizes my daydreaming; so I don't feel like I'm spending hours on something useless, which I am. If so, don't tell me. I'm not likely to change at my age. If anything, I'll be making more lists as my memory fades.
How about you? Do you engage in Listography?

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