Any List is a Good List

As you could probably tell, I’m a little neurotic. Ok, maybe more than “a little”. Ok… maybe it’s more like “a lot”.

I’ve always been the type of person who sets impossible goals and works incredibly hard to reach them. I made detailed (and color coordinated) calendars and schedules of every day, week and month. I was the student who read the book before classes started for the semester. While most people cringe at this kind of behavior, these things actually calm me down. Nothing ever surprises me this way.

But as my book-reading, calendar-making life is slowing fading away, the one habit that I can’t break, the habit I probably never will break, is list-making. I make wish lists, grocery lists and budgets like no other! There’s something about seeing my thoughts written down that’s soothing to me. Maybe that’s why I consider myself a writer? But lists are the short story. I can flip through an old notebook, see a list I made and be transferred back to the inconsequential to-do’s of that week. The essay that was due or the energy bill that needed to be paid.

I recently received my first real pay check from my new “big girl” job and while it was almost double every paycheck I’ve ever made before, it was also a little off from the amount that I had expected. In my earlier lists, I had budgeted all wrong! The amount I had planned on saving and free money to spend would have to be smaller. There was definitely a moment of panic when I realized this, but then I went home, laid out all my receipts and previous lists and forced myself to recalibrate. And you know what? It felt amazing. Everything was clear to me and I could see exactly where I went wrong. And the numbers weren’t even that far off! I’m sort of proud of my list-making skill set and whenever someone commends my money managing ability, I always tell them it’s because my organization. Not that I’ve ever actually encouraged anyone to start making lists of their own!

Are you a list maker? What calms you down or keeps you organized?


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