I couldn’t live without lists. And if you think I’m speaking figuratively, read on a little.
Lists keeps me calm, they soothe me. They help bring order to a life that, at times, would otherwise seem too messy to handle.
I’ve always been a list-maker - homework, errands, chores - but once I became a mother last year, I noticed the list-making really went into overdrive, as I tried to used a pen and paper to bring order to the chaos that is ‘parenthood.’ Allow me to paint you a picture: there were shopping lists, of course, and the bog standard ‘to do’ lists, but there was also a list of things to Google (as a new mummy, that one was pretty long), a list of calls to make, mini-meals to try cooking and activities for the two of us to do. My lists have always been reflective of what I’m going through. The more stressed or overwhelmed I am, the more thorough and detailed the lists become, as though to compensate. When I find myself writing down things like ‘brush teeth’ and ‘eat breakfast,’ I know it’s time to think about booking my next holiday.
There’s definitely a touch of OCD to my behaviour - I sometimes even find myself writing down things that I’ve already done, just so I can have the satisfaction of ticking it off - check!
So with something big, like my impending wedding, I always knew my organisational skills were likely to get a bit OTT. I’m getting married in exactly 36 days (breathe...) and I have a dedicated jam-packed wedding notebook. And it’s just about full, listing every little thing I could possibly have to do in the run-up to the big day - and I mean it; everything from ‘grow nails,’ to ‘get some sun.’ I’ve also found myself spelling things out to the tedium-degree. Rather than writing ‘wedding invitations,’ as most brides would, I’ve written ‘research invites,’ ‘order invites,’ ‘get guest list addresses,’ ‘address and stamp invites’ and ‘mail invites.’ I think you’re probably beginning to work out how I’ve managed to fill an entire notebook.
My particular brand of list-making sickness is inherited from my mum; an adorable woman who can only write on lined paper, in black ink, under the light of the full moon. Okay I made that last bit up. But as mother of the bride, she has a notebook identical to mine and, every time we’ve seen each other lately, we’ve pulled out our pads and pens and compared notes in an effort to reassure ourselves everything is ‘in order.’ The downside to this behaviour is, of course, the lists never get any shorter. Not really. Things always get done, but there’s always something new to be added on.
The up-side? This column is complete - check!