by guest blogger, Katherine VanBuskirk
I love a list. A good one is like a security blanket. And these days I rarely leave home without one. I write them for groceries, and errands and priorities at work. I even have a recurring “Saturday List” of things I need to get done on that day – laundry, make soup, sort weekly school notices, change beds, plan meals. I make lists for BK as well. You know. To keep him in line.
Lists bring me joy. I need little more than a latte, a sunny patch on the sofa and some serious list building action to make me happy. There is something so satisfying about a thoughtful, organized list – neat, tidy and waiting to be completed.
We have this note pad in our kitchen that, though simple and unassuming, is our nerve centre. On this pad of paper I plan dinner parties, list contact numbers for babysitters, write notes to teachers and jot reminders for doctor and other appointments.
This pad is perfect. It’s not too large, not too small. The paper stock is hefty enough to fold easily and tuck inside my bag or pocket without being destroyed, but not too thick to feel like a waste.
I’m also pretty fanatical about “ticking” items off my lists. List aficionados will get this. I like the strikethrough over the check mark. Oh what a sense of accomplishment I feel when I get to cross a task off one of my lists.
I’m not sure where my love of lists came from. I know that I first started relying on them during those foggy first months of motherhood. My lists were my lifeline. They kept me on track while making me feel like I had some control of some small aspect of my life.
“Buy milk and food to feed family.”
Seriously. Back then that was a regular item on the list. I really did need a reminder to clean our clothes.
I guess I come by the list thing honestly. I remember my father carrying pieces of paper and pencils around with him, pulling them out from time to time and using the same strikethrough method to show which tasks he’d completed.
I still get the strangest feeling of familiarity when I stop, fish my list from my bag or pocket and scan for what comes next. I’ve seen my father do the exact same thing so many times.
I’m not sure if it’s the time of year or just the way life is right now but work and home have never been busier, making those lists more valuable than ever. Especially since the last item on every list, the most important one of all, is to enjoy some good times with my favourite people.
I have a funny feeling this was always last on my Dad’s list too.
Katherine VanBuskirk is a communications professional in Halifax. She is rarely without a latte, a list and at least one of her two children.