My name is InkMom and I am a listmaker.
It's been . . . 14 hours since my last list.
My first list was in kindergarten. I got a new box of 64 Crayola crayons -- you know, the box with the sharpener in the front? I scavenged a big piece of poster board from my mom's church stuff, and used all 64 of those crayons to make a list of . . . all 64 crayon colors. I was so proud that I took it to school for show and tell.
I am jealous of the kids whose schools give them agendas to help them keep track of their assignments. They didn't do that stuff *GASP* 20 years ago when I was in junior high. I wish they had. I would have loved it.
I even make lists late at night, in bed, alphabetically, when suffering from insomnia. Like: list a Disney movie starting with every letter of the alphabet. I've done countries, world capitals, bodies of water (that's a tough one), authors, flowers, vegetables (also hard), fruits, names I could actually live with, scriptural figures, painters, great works of art, composers, car models . . . uh, oh. Looks like I've already fallen off the wagon.
Right after MayDay was born, I had a hard time getting a handle on all the housework with the added stress of a third child under 2 years old. (Go figure.) I found myself making the same list every single day: dishes, laundry, vacuum, etc. It's frustrating to make yourself a to-do list and cross off what you've done only to write it all on there again the next morning. So. My solution was to LIST every single household chore that needed to be done around here by frequency. I typed them all up and then posted them on my kitchen cabinet: a daily list, a weekly list, a biweekly list, and a monthly list. Oh, the satisfaction.
The daily list has stayed up as a reminder . . . in case I really need one to tell me to do the dishes. (Total honesty here: it's really there for CPod. Because sometimes he does need a reminder. Or an idea of what to do with his spare time. Ha, ha.) But the other lists fell out of use for a while.
I can live in squalor no more. Somehow, if it's not on the list to clean out the refrigerator every two weeks, I'll go months without doing it . . . and by then, I guarantee I've got something in there that would qualify as an antibiotic, and all my leftover containers are full of what was once spaghetti sauce but is no longer recognizable. I confess, I have thrown out containers full of . . . growth, because I was too grossed out to clean them.
So this week, I reworked the lists a little. I made some permanent assignments to CPod, like wheeling the garbage out to the curb, and toilets, and sweeping out the garage. (He's totally on board with this. Since he's the one in charge of teaching our kids how to aim that thing, he's also totally responsible for the aftermath when their aim is off.) And I printed them again, and taped them to my kitchen cabinet. Scour sink? Check. Clean kitchen floor? Check. Pay bills and reconcile on-line statement? Check. Update menu and grocery list? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check!
And . . . if you really want me to, I will publish the lists. But only if you ask, because they're boring and I don't want to make you read something that's uninteresting. Maybe I have no idea what you think is interesting. If so, just ask.
(Now that I'm rereading this . . . I sound totally uptight and rigid, and I'm beginning to question my own creativity! It's really not that bad -- no one gets in trouble if the list isn't completed. CPod does not suffer if the toilets are not spic and span every week. Seriously, I think this drive for organization is a function of my need for order, which implies a great need for control . . . which is absolutely true. And closely tied to that crazed look in my eyes when I can't take the clutter any more. I think my creativity is stifled by the distraction of a disorderly environment. And my sanity is eroded by an inability to find what I need when I need it. And if it's written on the list, it's something my brain no longer has to keep track of. I may have to change the title of my blog, because I don't think I can even imply the (not) anymore!)