I love to make lists. I also like to leave them on the kitchen counter and then guess what’s on the list while I’m at the store.
I have notepads everywhere: the car, the bathroom, both sides of my bed, the dining room table. I find that if I don’t write it down, I tend to forget the brilliant idea I just had. Shaun Usher, author of Lists of Note, states that human beings love lists because they create a sense of order in a chaotic world. Lauren Laverne, in a 2014 column for The Guardian, states that lists create the happy illusion of order and that life is a process which we can control. Laverne writes a huge list at the new year filled with everything she wants to do or continue doing in the new year. “Even if only on paper, at that moment, my hopes exist.”
Lists of Note shares a collection of lists by the famous, infamous and anonymous. My favorite is Johnny Cash’s to-do list: “1. Not smoke, 2. Kiss June, 3. Not kiss anyone else.”
I used to view my lists as just items to get done (i.e., cleaners, bank, oil change). Now perhaps I need to view my lists as an itemization of hopes and dreams (i.e., I’ll have clean clothes, I need to make a deposit, my car will run better). After all, my hopes and dreams are mine alone and one day, I’ll add 7-11 to the list so I can buy the winning lottery ticket.
We all love a good list. It makes us feel organized and in control–even though most things happen by accident.