Ready, Set, GoThursday, May 05, 2011
There is nothing I love more than making a list.
When I wrote on A Practical Wedding (yes, I'm bringing that up again. Deal with it) that as we navigated the choppy waters of wedding planning, "tasks were ticked off The List with a satisfied flourish", I wasn't kidding. There's something so satisfying about taking a creamy, smooth sheet of notepaper and covering it in neat, ordered, tidy tasks. Whether I actually get off my arse and complete any of the tasks is almost beside the point - it's the process. (And the nice paper.)
In fact, when I was first summoning up the courage to start a blog, I toyed with the idea of using lists as a sort of crutch to help me through the posts. I thought I needed differentiation, a focus, some quirk that would make my blog stand out, so I came up with the idea of writing each post in the form of a list. I even had a name – "Listful Thinking". I was really excited about it, for the five minutes it took me to discover that this blog already exists. Whoops. Told you nothing is original any more.
It's ok though. I'm pretty sure I would have struggled for ideas once I got past the first three posts, plus Stephanie's blog is way better than any of the lame list ideas I had scribbled in the back of my notebook (top 5 New Year's resolutions anyone? Gag).
Anyway, when I first heard about the practice of making a life list, I was intrigued. Oooooh, more lists! You can never have too many lists! The theory, as I understand it, is to write down the things you would love to experience or accomplish at some point in your life. It doesn't have to be an immediate goal, it doesn't need to be all extravagant or glamorous, it doesn't even need to be realistic or entirely within your control. Nothing is off limits.
I love reading other people's lists – it's a sneak peek into someone's secret yearnings, their heart's desires. The funny part is that I often find that I have done a lot of the things on other people's lists, especially the American ones, which tend to revolve around visiting places in Europe. Ok, I live here, so it's kind of cheating, but for a moment I feel a little smug. Until I realise that it's not about what other people want to do with their lives. It's about what I want to do with mine.
And so, I've written one of my own. As time goes on, I will no doubt add more to the list and (hopefully) cross some things off, or at least try to. (If I attempt something and fail spectacularly, don't worry, you'll be the first to know.)
I'm a terrible procrastinator. This may be why I enjoy making lists so much – listing is so much less scary than doing. I'm hoping that by articulating some of the things I would like to achieve in my lifetime, and putting them out there for everyone to see, they will stop being slippery wisps of maybes and somedays and become solid, real, tangible. Maybe even – *gasp* – achievable.
Wish me luck.