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Do you know how many things I could be doing if I didn't have to be at work doing nothing?! LOTS, that's how many. I have a list a mile long. I have a lot of lists. I'm listy that way. Actually, I'm knocking things off my list like a marksman, thwak! pow! zing! Of course, each time I cross something off I add something else. It's an obsession. It's never-ending. Why don't men have the list gene? Or do they start out with it and then slowly crush it until all the breath has gone out of it and it lies there, crumpled and forgotten at the back of their brainstem? And then they have to get married so they'll have someone to do all that listy stuff for them?

I can't help it. If I use the last of something up, I write it on the grocery list. I mentally pop it into the "we need this" drawer in the bureau of my head where lists are kept. It helps to write things down, but it's not essential, since I can always pull open the appropriate list drawer in my brain and check. There are drawers for groceries, clothing, household items, birthdays, to-do, projects, wish lists, you name it.

I've got lists of books I want, music I want, movies to see, movies I own, books I own, books I've read, things to do, trees for the garden, blogs I read. There's something soothing about the orderliness of lists.

I know I'm not alone in this obsession. Look at LJ itself! It lets you list interests, things to do, people you read, and who read you back. It's all listy, all the time. The internet makes listing so easy. There are websites that let you set up all kinds of lists, for whatever it is you are currently interested in chronicling. Talk about OCD enablement! :D

The thing about lists, though, is that they are so personal. I can make to-do lists until the cows come home, but no one else is going to look at that list and think, "Hmmmm...maybe I'll get this item done so Liz can check it off." Not even my husband. If I want him to do something that's on my list, I have to somehow transfer it to HIS mental list. It's never easy to transfer items to other people's mental to-do lists. They just don't have the same urgency, the same priority, as when they're on your OWN list. Thankfully, I've managed to make the grocery list OUR list, but even so, it's got a higher priority and more mental drawer space for me than for Anders.

And there are some things that stay on the lists for years. They get shoved to the back and maybe they're only on the mental lists and never actually written down, but you know and I know that they are STILL THERE. They don't go away just because they don't get taken care of. Perhaps for some people they shrivel up and die with neglect, but for me they sit quietly at the back of the drawer and wait for me to open it. I'll open the drawer at some point, looking for something else entirely, and there they'll be, looking at me without blinking. Taking up space in my mental bureau.

Good Writing Out There Right Now: Still American

Very Happy Birthday Wishes to joy_joy!
mood: calm
music: Badly Drawn Boy—The Year of the Rat


I don't know what's wrong with me, but I read your subject line as DRESSER DWARVES.

I don't know what's wrong with you either, but you made me laugh out loud :D

Vissa listor är så tråkiga eftersom de är lika år från år;
Gå ner i vikt
Sluta röka
Städa oftare
Håll bättre ordning på alla papper
Motionera mera
Sluta skjuta upp saker
osv osv...

Den listan har jag haft sen jag var ca arton år...

Except for stop smoking that is exactly what's hiding in the back of my drawers! :)

BRILLIANT post!! You have so captured the very essence of lists. I am a listaholic too. Although I NEED the list, I rely on the list, I depend on the list and cannot always open the list in my mind without the list in front of me, sadly, although for some small things like groceries I can have a 'sense' of something I need. I also have a strange afflication where if I have something on a list, generally something small like 'buy shampoo', I will dream that I buy it and then it's off my sense radar and I can be SURE that I don't need it, until I realise that it was a dream :)

I admit I probably need the lists, too, since I make so many of them! :D I never dream things like "buy shampoo" though. You're just weird. :P

i was actually making a list as i read this. hee.

hee! me, too. Which was what brought it on. :D

Fantastic! :) I'm a bit of a list-nut myself. I couldn't do without them at work. In my private life - I keep zillions of different lists all in my head. There's also progress charts and flow charts (especially for the house renovation - this can't be done before that, the stripping before the paper etc). It gets quite crowded. Sometimes I just do braindump either onto paper or onto my 'puter at home. Otherwise, I get cranky because I might forget something. I think I should make more physical lists rather than relying so much on my poor brain. *hee*

braindump! that's a great term for emptying those mental drawers onto paper in list form :)

Then there's lists of pelargons! Wants and haves. Actually, I'm a post-it note freak. I have dozens and dozens of little fluorescent colored post-it notes that accumulate on the desk and then eventually move into a bowl I have, and every now and then I sort through it.

Crumpling up the ones that you've done must be nearly as fun as satisfying as crossing off items on a list!

You're listening to BDB!! I downloaded that one too and put it on my mp3 player and I can't wait for the whole album!!!! It won't be out here for weeks!

It's all your fault! I never even heard of them until you came into my life :D

It's not only guys that don't have the listy ability. I try making lists and then when I don't do something on them, it's just depressing. If I never make a list, I never know how much I haven't done. Actually, I think you could make a career out of listing, I could use you over here making those cross-referenced index cards of cd's I've made. Remember that? I'll bet you still have those. :)

You're lacking the list gene?! I knew there was something fishy about you :) And yes, I still have those index cards! hahahahahaha!!!

Hard to believe but somehow the listy gene snuck into my man's DNA. He's an even bigger list person than me (and that's saying a lot). Though he tends to do it for the big things (house projects) while I tend to think small...

I even have these two books on my want list:

List Your Creative Self: Listmaking As the Way to Unleash Your Creativity

List Your Self: Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery


Ooooh! Listy books! *runs off to*

list addiction revealed

what a great post! I personally am addicted to listmaking. Now that I'm an official member of the ginko club, I panic if I loose my grocery list, or my daily to do list, or especially my packing list. I list everything. If I'm feeling particularly low and under accomplished, I'll list something I know I'll get done soon, just so I can cross it off the list. Often, a part of my housecleaning karma consists of sorting through old lists to see if there is anything currently pertinent still on the list, or can it be recycled.

Re: list addiction revealed

the ginko club? Is that for people who love the tree? :D There have been occasions where I've ADDED THINGS I'VE ALREADY DONE to a list just so I can feel that like I've accomplished SOMETHING that day :D

Good post. Lists are so orderly and organized. They are black and white and linear.

:) my lists all flow into one another, though, so in sense, they are not really linear, they go back and forth and cross over each other.

Oh how I love the joy of listing! My sister and I started up a joint list of male celebrity figures we find attractive, a reincarnation of a list we has when we were younger.

Great post on the topic. Socially acceptable OCD-ing rules!

What are you holding in your hand? a bat?

Rutger Hauer, David Bowie, Mel Gibson, Martin Donovan, my whole list is old farts >:D


You are turning into your Mother! That's where the gene came from this time! :) So when you come ..I'll put you to work crossing off my many lists- although that does entail completing the job first. This is really further evidence of the major amount of Virgo swirling around your chart!

Oh, yeah, like THAT'S news, Mom! hahahaha!

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lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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