I am a firm believer in the power of lists. Long before I saw an article in Real Simple Magazine about lists and their wonderfulness, I had been using lists to organize, schedule and catalogue my life.
There are the lists of the number of times Dan has kissed me in the rain. Those are short lists. Some longer lists could contain data such as the types and colors of lint I have pulled out of Magoo’s mouth and the number of things we’ve told Laylee “princesses always do” to get her to do them.
Here are a few of the real lists I keep that help me maintain order and sanity (“Ha ha,” you say.) in my life. Most of these I keep on my PDA so I can pull them up or add to them anytime, anywhere.
1. All of the gifts we have given to family members for the past several years for all occasions — this one keeps me out of trouble. Giving the same type of gift to the same family member two years in a row is embarrassing. “Oops. We’d better return that one to Canada. It says here we got Papa a jade grizzly bear LAST Father’s Day.”
2. Menu plans — saves choosing what’s for dinner every night and makes number 3 easier.
3. Shopping lists — I keep a separate shopping list for any store I go to more than a couple of times per year. If I think, “Next time we’re at Marvin’s House of Bait and Breakfast Foods, I’d better get fish hooks,” I create a list for MHBBF and write down ”˜fish hooks’.
4. Vacation lists — this one I’m stealing from that Real Simple article from some time last year. The idea is to make a Vacation 100 list at the end of your adventure. If you’re like me, you’re too busy having fun on vacation, or cleaning sand out of small people’s crevices, to keep a travel journal. When all the sand is put back in the ocean and you’re safely back in your living room, get the family together and make a list of 100 memories from the trip. It can be a bullet-style list. Some can be long and some just a few words:
-Magoo touched the ocean for the first time, not that impressed
-Rita’s Water Ice (pronounced ”˜wudder ice’) was delicious and we discussed opening a franchise in Washington.
-Laylee screamed whenever a wave came up to her
-Magoo met Papa for the first time.
-There was a street named after Mom.
5. Books to read
6. Books I have read
These lists allow me to throw away many little scraps of paper and stop me from asking the questions, “What did we say we needed? Who gave us that nasty fruit cake ule log last year and how are we gonna retaliate next December?”
What lists do you keep and why?