Feeling Listless?

iStock_000000170956XSmallby Mike O’Mary

Do you keep a “to do” list? I do. Don’t ask me why. I used to think I kept a list to help keep me organized. And I suppose that’s true, because making a list does helps me prioritize things. But more important to me was the belief that if I wrote it down, I wouldn’t have to worry about remembering it later. And if I didn’t have to worry about remembering anything, I could run around leading a happy-go-lucky, carefree existence.

But for some reason, it doesn’t seem to work that way. Instead, I walk around like Atlas, but instead of the weight of the world on my shoulders, it’s the weight of my little to-do list.

Every once in a while, I pull the list out and study it. Sometimes I even catch myself moving my lips as I read my list–sort of like saying my own little prayer or penance several times a day. Then I put the list away, confident that everything I need to worry about is there, tucked safely in my pocket.

Unless, of course, I forget to put something on my list. This thought had me so worried for a while that I began writing things down on little scraps of paper and stuffing them in my pocket to be added to the master list at a later date. This, I usually did on Saturday morning, and I always took great pleasure in scratching “consolidate lists” off my to-do list.

But then I realized it was kind of ridiculous to keep a list of things to be added to your list. So now I’m back down to just one list.

Well, sort of. I mean I do have separate lists for work and for home. I also have a third list somewhere of longer-term, personal goals. I’m pretty sure one of my long-term goals was to stop keeping lists. Unfortunately, I don’t know where I put my list of long-term goals. Guess I’d better add “find list of long-term goals” to my to-do list for this week.

Mike O’Mary is founding dreamer of Dream of Things, a book publisher currently accepting creative nonfiction stories for anthologies on 15 topics, including an anthology titled Making Waves – Stories About Role Models Who Inspire and Motivate Us.

2 thoughts on “Feeling Listless?”

  1. Along with many other things I inherited from my dad, the “list gene” was one of them. His were usually scratched in golf pencil on the backs of envelopes and other scraps of paper, though in his later years he got addicted to stickynotes.

    A bit of a tease, now: The post I’ve planned for Friday involves an organizational breakthrough I made earlier this year that fellow listers might find useful…stay tuned!

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