In celebration of lists (and those that make them)

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,
Ticking off,
Rubbing 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.


12 thoughts on “In celebration of lists (and those that make them)

  1. Lol! Without a list, I doubt I’d remember to take my head with me as I walk out the front door! (Responded to madeinoxford, check)


  2. Oh the list!! I don’t know where I’d be without them! I too have always struggled to keep things orderly and complete things on time, and I still struggle with follow through. Thankfully, keeping lists helps me appear to be an adult with things mostly together 🙂


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