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A Woman & Her Lists

July 19th, 2011 at 11:25 am

Joan observantly pointed out that in times of worry or fear about the future, making lists can be a good way to take control of one's circumstances and ease those feelings of helplessness that sometimes envelop us.

(And as an aside, in relation to my 4 a.m. post, I know I will get by, more or less, for the rest of 2011. It's what happens AFTER that that has me getting fearful. Cus my unemployment runs out for good in January 2012.

Of course, I will hope for the best, hope I find another job, etc., but here's a quote I love, which perfectly explains my phiilosophy:

"Hope is not a strategy."

In other words, you've got to grab life by the horns and take control of the situation.

But back to my lists. I've been a lifelong list-maker. There's something in me, perhaps because I'm a writer, that I feel a need to record, track and monitor. Everything.

Not only do I have many and various lists related to my income, net worth and monthly expenses, down to the dollar, but I also kept "lists" of a sort when I was actively dating men online. I would make a grid and rank them on various attributes important to me, including their geographic desirability, shared interests and age and so on.

If I rummage around in my desk, I could come up with a list I made years ago of all the things that make me happy. I refer to it sometimes as a pick-me-up. It contains things like enjoying a cup of tea to travel to playing with my cats.

I have a list of my anticipated monthly and annual expenses in my semi-retirement (age 60-67) as well as in full retirement (age 67 on).

I have a list somewhere of major anticipated expenses for the next 5 years. This includes stuff like a new car, a new roof and a new driveway.

Every single day, of course, I create a little list of things to do and a day when I can scratch off everything on my list is a day well lived!

When I was dating different men who shared my interest in hiking or kayaking, I created a journal that included photos and text describing each trip we made, the date, the distance and location.

I have a list of all the foreign movies I've seen, becus a few times I'd rent one that I only later realized I'd already seen.

I have a list of all the perennials, shrubs and trees I've planted on my property over the years, and where they are.

I have another list recording all the different animal and bird species I've seen on the property, and I'm still adding to it with recent additions like the gray fox.

I have in the past considered writing my own obituary. Not that I have a death wish or anything, but who else could write it better?

I'm probably a little neurotic, but what about you? What kinds of lists do you keep?

4 Responses to “A Woman & Her Lists”

  1. North Georgia Gal Says:

    My dad kept a chart of all the trees and flowers he had planted at their old house. He was able to give it to the new owners so they would know what kind of plants and trees they had.

  2. Thrifty Ray Says:

    My dad listed every book he read and included a rating similar to Retire at 50's. Because of that, I smile every time she rates a book. I have a detailed budget, I have a projected list of vacation dates for the next couple of years and a budget to go along with each. I have a running list for birthdays and Christmas. I wont start on the multiple lists I have at work...

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Great topic! I make lists all the time, and now that I have Google Docs, I usually type them up as an Excel or Word document and save them there. I can share with my family so we can all access them. My husband is a huge list fan, so the disease has spread even more since he moved in. Smile
    My dad has a list of my parents' massive video collection, which is housed in bookcases and cupboards all throughout the house, with titles coded by number that enable him to find the ones he wants. And he used to (I assume still does) write down the odometer reading and number of gallons of gas every time he filled up the car. Kept it in a little notebook in the glove compartment.

    My mom's address book (a bunch of pieces of paper stapled together, LOL) is arranged by birthday, so she can go through every couple days and send out birthday cards to everyone she's ever known.

    So I'm probably genetically predisposed to listmaking and recordkeeping. Smile

  4. Ima saver Says:

    I make lists of all the goals I want to achieve for the year. I have been cleaning out my office and I just threw a bunch of them (goals lists) away.
    One of my goals for 1991 was to quit smoking. I did that on august 12, 1991! So 20 years (almost) of being smoke free!!

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