Friday, July 30, 2010

The Power of the List


I am a planner and a list-maker and yes, I like control.  I feel more in control when I can write things down and then cross them off the list.   My lists are usually made on paper with a #2 pencil.  There is nothing like the feel of that pencil scratching along the paper turning thoughts into actual written words. And the cross-off part is important. I'm not much for checks, I like grabbing that #2 pencil and revel in the tactile sensation of making a heavy, dark line through the item in question.  Now that's satisfaction.  

Groceries, errands, things to do around the house, work-related tasks, all those types of things populate my lists. At my work, we have a checklist of tasks that need to be done to complete the birth process from the clinic point of view.  8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, single-spaced, Times New Roman 10 pt. and the sheet is full.  I don't know the actual number of items but it must be 44-45 and most of them have nothing to do with actual "nursing" care.  But without it, I would most likely forget many of the minor details when attending a birth in the middle of the night.  You know, like resetting the thermostat.  So lists keep me on track and somewhat successful in both my home and professional lives.

But here's what I've realized since taking the MondoBeyondo Course a couple of months ago:  I've never used lists to keep track of things I want and need to do for myself.  I guess those are only to be done when I "have the time"  and I haven't seen them as important enough to warrant a list.  Wife, mother, daughter, sister, employee, professional,  member of a community, all those identities come with their own lists of tasks that I have given position over those things that are just for me.  

The things that make me, ME. 

So, here are some things on my list:
  1. Ride my bike at least 3 times a week
  2. Take a bike tour of at least a week.
  3. Travel to another country and provide healthcare.  Going to Honduras in Jan 2011!
  4. Take an online course on the Constitution. (seems everyone is a Constitutional expert these days, I might as well join them)
  5. See a good movie and have lunch at least once a month and not worry about the time.
  6. Preserve space and time for art.
  7. Start that cob tiny house.
  8. Improve my almost non-existent Spanish.
  9. Remember every morning that this is the only day I have.
These are a few of the more short-term items.  My MondoBeyondo list is probably about 50 items, although I haven't really counted.  There is no ranking as far as importance factor and I'm sure some items will change as time goes on but the value lies in using the list as a reminder of where I want to go and what I want to attain.

That is the power of the list.


  1. Thank you, Bobbie. I'm about to send one of your beautiful cards to a friend.

  2. I like lists too. Arrived back in Tucson and my husband after three weeks visiting family in the Pacific NW. My husband with a monsoon glow welcoming me home to our new house (life after 3 years in an RV) in the desert. Your post just what I need to inspire a richer more heart full list of the days ahead ... oh joy.