I am, by nature, drawn to whimsy, although I’m not often moved to put it into words. I’m also, by nature, a rather chaotic person in all kinds of ways. Learning how to order my world has not come naturally to me. It’s a hard-won skill, and the lists I love to write help keep my anxiety under control. After reading a lot lately about not setting goals, or targets (which is very sensible for a lot of people) I started thinking about those of us who depend on goals and targets and – of course – lists to keep our heads above water. There’s a balance to be struck between order and rigidity, and realism vs over-ambition, but still, I love my lists and I know I’m not alone.
So here’s to us.
Here’s to the list-makers,
The checkbox tickers,
The ‘this year I will’ promisers.
Here’s to lists of groceries,
Of clothes and chores,
Of birthdays and addresses and children.
Here’s to those who keep a notebook by the bed,
So when the thought strikes them in the middle of the night,
They can add it to the list that they keep just for that purpose.
(Probably labelled “to do in the morning” and forgotten by 8.30am)
Here’s to the bucket list,
The ‘must-see’, ‘must-do’, ‘must-visit’ list,
And the ‘have done’ list that grows with slowness but contentment.
Here’s to crossing out,
Here’s to knowing where we’re going.
And here’s to that pile of satisfyingly scribbled-out lists,
That tell us where we’ve been.