Being a Listmaker
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Being a Listmaker

Why do I make lists about literally EVERYTHING?

Being a Listmaker

I am a type A individual. I appreciate order and attention to detail. I flourish when it come to creating a plan, but I can falter whenever plans fall through. Part of what I do to help establish a healthy balance in my life is making lists. I keep lists of everything: to do lists, lists about my friends and all their favorite things, lists of places I want to travel, lists of things I want to do before I die, and many other things.

Besides being a forgetful person and needing reminders, I use these lists to help me make decisions. When it comes time to find a gift for someone or I need a way to show my appreciation for my friends, I can easily pull up their list in my notes and decide what I think would be the best to get or do for them. When I struggled to decide where to go to college, I made list after list of pros and cons for each school I was admitted to and found that the list that had the most pros also reflected the school I belonged at the most (Hail State baby!). And when I get overwhelmed with school, work, and play, using my to do list to organize what my next step should be gives me a sense of peace.

These lists help me organize my thoughts. Often, I find myself making lists and setting them down for months at a time. When I come back and review them much later, I realize the growth that I have had as an individual and places in my life I may need to direct more attention, i.e. sleep. There is something special about getting to cross things off my list too. I love accomplishing things, and physically striking through a completed task on a piece of paper is such a rewarding feeling. It inspires me to finish more tasks.

And then there are some lists I do not particularly like to revisit often. I keep a list of dates of the birthdays of loved ones that have passed away; while it can be sad to review this list, it reminds me how surrounded by people who love me that I have been my whole life. I keep a list of my thoughts at particular moments when I have been hurt or upset by something. Reviewing this kind of list and adding to it reminds me of the importance of forgiveness and the power that it can play in our relationships with other people. Reading back over my 2 am thought list when I can't sleep can be haunting, but also creates a sense of creativity in me that pushes me towards writing poems and creating art to reflect even the darkest moments in life.

I am fully aware that listing is not for everybody. Not everyone gets a sense of renewal and purpose when they cross things off their lists. Not everyone reflects back positively on the sad moments in life. But I find myself to be more self aware and appreciative of the things I'm working towards and the special moments in my life when I write them down. For this reason, I will continue to make these ridiculously detailed and long lists about people, places, and goals until they no longer bring me this strange fulfillment.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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