I am a list maker.
I developed this habit at an early age. My mother wrote out a “to do” list every day and kept it by the calendar. I do the same. I have lists for groceries to buy, books to read, articles and stories to write, things to repair, and places to go. I’m sure you get the idea. I think it is very satisfying to cross things off the lists when they get done.
I also keep my calendar organized and updated. If it’s not on the calendar or a list it just doesn’t happen.
I was very surprised last week when I found that I had a blank day on the calendar. No appointments. No meetings. No deadlines. Just blank space.
I made a brave decision. I put the lists away and had a day with no schedule. I just did things I wanted to do. I was going to list what I did but I decided that would ruin the spontaneity of the day. Suffice it to say, I had a wonderful day!
Here’s a great book those of you who like lists (and those who don’t.)
Wallace’s Lists by Barbara Bottner and Gerald Kruglik (authors) and Olof Landstrom (illustrator)
A mouse named Wallace makes list for everything:
- things to do today
- places with funny names
- things he hates
If something unexpected comes up, he can’t do it because it’s not on a list.
Then Albert moves in next door. Albert does not live a list filled life. He heads off to the park to paint ducks but Albert won’t join him because it’s not on his list. Wallace is bewildered when Albert returns with a painting of an airplane instead of ducks.
I love this conversation between Wallace and Albert:
“I changed my mind,” Albert boasted.
Wallace was dumbfounded.
“Changing my mind is an adventure,” Albert explained.
Albert does learn to let go and ends up having a grand adventure.
Are you a list maker?
I’m celebrating the occasional list free, empty calendar kind of day and hope you can enjoy one, too.