Lists: Not just for Type A’s and to-dos?

I love lists. I have the every where in my life from small magnetic white boards on my refrigerator to crumpled papers at the bottom of my purse to dog-eared pages in my journals. I have them for life dreams for weekly goals and for future blog posts.

I keep lists organized by topic on my phone that store interesting articles I come across and just know I’ll come back to reference some day–immigration, race, gender, leadership. I keep lists of tasks on multiple digital and physical places at work. I have a list ready for when I travel and someone takes care of the two fur balls at home.

If you gave me the opportunity, I would likely find it interesting to catalogue my entire book shelf or create a table of contents for any Word document longer than 3 pages.

You get it. I love lists.

Lists take thoughts that become swirling and ground them. When I put something onto a list, I feel like I can move forward, knowing that I won’t forget something of immediate or future value. I often write lists without even intending to check or cross anything off because the sheer act of writing the list commits whatever I need to memory or removes whatever group of things my mind was obsessing over.

Lately, I’ve been toying around with the idea of lists without action. Lists of silliness or gratitude or a way of cataloging small moments in around an interesting frame. This is not a new idea–in fact, a friend gave me a book for my birthday last fall titled 52 Lists for Happiness. So I’m sure I’ve been inspired by a number of things around me including my own propensity to use lists to make meaning as I move through busy days and chaotic spaces.

Here’s the first of what I hope will become a reoccurring post genre here: Quirky Lists.

Free Things that Bring Joy

  1. Making “snow” angels in fresh, clean sheets before settling in
  2. Doing 10 minutes of yoga in the morning, after a long drive, or in the middle of a stressful day
  3. Smelling honeysuckle or jasmine or whatever weed-flower grows in your climate and takes over city fences
  4. Standing in a patch of sunlight and feeling it warm your skin
  5. Looking through pictures of yourself happy at different points in your recent or distant past

What would you add to this quirky list? What list could be next?

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