Thursday, January 05, 2012

if it's not on a list, then it doesn't exist

If I have any latent OCD going it, the condition manifests itself in the form of making lists. My name is Laurie and I am a compulsive list maker.

I have to-do lists (of course).

I keep the lists of the books I read (58 in 2011), how many come from the library (40 last year) and how many were by the same author (Michael Connolly was the big winner in 2011. I read 8 of his books).

I also track how much exercise I get (only 130 minutes so far this week. I got off to a slow start) and how many minutes I spend cleaning the house (it's a lot more than you'd think, if you ever saw my place).

I track how many minutes I spend writing and how much time I spend online. I track my weigh and - since January 1st- the number of calories I'm consuming.

It's an addiction. Writing lists and keeping track of things soothes me the in the same way that a piece of fudge can take the edge of a bad day. As with the fudge, I'm not entirely convinced that it's helpful. But I have no intention of stopping. 

In the years since I stopped working at a paid job, I think the lists provide the illusion of the structure that I miss terribly. Sometimes, when my life is feeling out of control, just making a few lists can make me feel calmer. 

As long as the lists don't get too long, or there aren't too many of them, I don't think there a bad thing. The trick is not to let my self-created lists oppress me into paralysis. Or become so time consuming that keeping on top of my lists takes up my whole day.

Maybe I should make a list of all my lists, just to make sure there aren't too many.

Or maybe not.

1 comment:

Susan @Whymommy said...

I'm totally into the lists too! I write a "to do" list every day, and then when I don't finish it, I rip off the ones still to do and throw them in a pile. On Mondays, I try to scrape all those away - and it feels great!

It was good to see your smiling face pop up on FB today - I've been thinking about you lately, hoping you're doing ok!