Hi. My name is Jody and I am a list maker.
There. I said it. It's true. I AM a list maker.
Currently I am awash with lists. It seems this obsession gets worse in the holiday season. So much to do; so little time! I have a Christmas card list, a Christmas list for presents, a mailing list (whew! I got those all in the mail this morning at 9:00. Personal challenge met. I was the first one in line!)
I have four lists for grocery shopping. One for Costco, one for New Frontiers (where I get all my gluten free stuff and a lot of my organic salad makings, one for Trader Joes (self explanatory, doesn't everybody love Trader Joes?) and one for the regular grocery store.
I have a list of blog topics I want to write about and a list of ideas for plot points for my novel. Periodically I have a list of questions for my acupuncturist, although at present she has answered all my pressing questions.
Before school let out this last Friday, I had a list for each week since the beginning of November. Since we are on a semester block schedule at school, there is a ton of stuff to do as our first part of our year winds down. This November and December I had to finish off the units I was doing, return text books (which you have to schedule before a certain cut off date but you have to make sure you will be done with them before that date. This usually works out but you never know when the stray fire alarm will throw off the entire plan.) I went down to the wire this year. In my sophomore class I finished reading the last 6 pages of a novel the day we had to turn it in. I had an observation scheduled by administration, which entailed 3 days of preparation and 2 meetings. I had a parent conference, 2 students that needed extra care and handling, 7 students that were not handing in papers (10 actually failed that class for lack of handing in assignments), a Christmas potluck I was in charge of for the board members of my quilting guild, a general guild membership potluck and party I was not (thank goodness) in charge of. Weekly grade-level meetings, 3 days in the computer lab instructing the kids on the proper structure of Power Points. Then 2 full days of the PowerPoint presentations, which I stupidly scheduled for the last week of school. I say this was stupid because it takes an entire additional day to review and grade them. And then I had to grade all the common notebooks for completion of vocabulary and literary terms, and for my sophomores I had to grade a study guide for the Joy Luck Club novel complete with 214 questions, 4 sheets of vocabulary words and a 3 page quote analysis packet that I had due Wednesday before the end of school. This was all on a list to make sure I got it all done.
And among all this I had shopping to do so that I could get the presents wrapped and in the mail by today, Christmas cards to address and get in the mail today, get the tree up and decorated, string the lights outside, take numerous trips to the hardware store to buy extension cords, mortar and sand for the handyman building a walkway in the backyard, drive to Templeton to purchase picket fence panels and wood for the project David built so he and Josc could give it to me for Christmas, finish a baby blanket for my best friend's second grandchild, finish a Christmas stocking (also for said baby), go through and decide what I was going to donate to the guild's stash sale we're having in January, make a trip to the Goodwill to drop off stuff I was carrying around since David and Josc were here at Thanksgiving and went through boxes they had been storing here, go to the store for an elderly neighbor, cook dinner 3 times a week for same neighbor... I could go on. I could make a list. A long list.
What I especially like about lists is the feeling I get when I get to cross something off. A small feeling of personal satisfaction. And when I finish the list and everything is crossed off I take an immeasurable amount of joy in the act of throwing that list away.
It has occurred to me that I probably should have a list of my quilting UFO's that I want to work on in the coming new year. But first I need to make a list of last minute things I have to do before Christmas, a list of food I want for Christmas dinner and a list of things I need to be sure and print out to update my President's binder (for the guild) before the next year.
I don't know if there is help for me. And, if there was, do I really want help? Do I really need help? I realize that I have been making list since I was a child. I find comfort in the concrete, hard copy of a hand written list and I don't think I really want to change.