Friday, 5 June 2015

List making

We do lists differently in our house, my husband and I.  He always has a list going on of the jobs to do: gutters to clear, weeds to strim, shelves to make, beans to plant out, walls to paint.  He works his way through these and rubs them off the whiteboard and is clearly seen to be achieving.  Most of what I do never makes a list.  I would feel a fool writing up "go shopping", "make lunch", "wipe worktops", "pick herbs" and solemnly rubbing them off every day.  Even things that sound like one off tasks - weeding - are simply not.  I have to weed a bit three or four days a week.  If I don't the weeds take over but I am never done.  Perhaps that is what comes of living in a field.  So I am not really a great list maker now that I am not at work.

But this week we have produced a shared list of some of the administrative things to do and whizzed through it in a most satisfying way so I am feeling quite kindly disposed towards lists.  So here are some "not to do" lists that have been hanging around in my head while I have been weeding, or driving, or cooking, or having a shower:

Five things I love in the garden:

  1. peonies
  2. swallows
  3. birdsong
  4. apple blossom
  5. swinging children

Five things I want to do this year:
  1. Sing in my choir
  2. Enjoy my children and grandchildren
  3. Love and support my father
  4. Appreciate my husband
  5. Walk my landscape


Five things to have more of:
  1. Time with friends
  2. Sunshine
  3. New and interesting food
  4. Smaller quantities of better wine
  5. Sewing

Just five things:
  1. new bread
  2. kisses
  3. hand holding
  4. clean sheets
  5. eggs

42 comments:

  1. I loved this post. I am a great list maker but as you say, so much of the stuff of days that we do is everyday so doesn't feel like an achievement. I loved the powerful simplicity of your other lists x

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    1. Thank you CT. I do ordinary lists too but I like these more!

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  2. I like a good list, I have several on the go. I agree though day to day things don't get the recognition they deserve. Looking back at them gives you the achievement x

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    1. The problem with looking back though is that you realise how much new stuff has simply come barging in to fill the space! I do like the sense of ticking things off though, I am certainly not immune!

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  3. Those are my kind of lists. Couldn't disagree with anything. Ticks for each. Infinitely better than Do Washing, Change Bed etc.

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    1. Pretty much everything I have done today was not on a list and wouldn't make one, although I have been working gently away all day. Just all too small scale!

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  4. I'm a list maker although thinking about it I don't seem to make so many these days. If I were to write a to do more of this year it would include embroidery, walking, cooking, reading and re-engage with wildlife watching. To do less off would have social media, worrying, rushing, gardening on!!!

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    1. I like your lists of things to do more and less of! I am also trying with the less rushing.

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  5. I think that writing down goals, or making lists, make you realize what is important, whether it needs to be "done" or not. It is like writing a few lines in a journal every day. You get to appreciate life more, yes?

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    1. I think it depends on how your mind works Anneke. I probably associate lists very much with my working life so for me they can be a tyranny and get in the way of just looking and being.

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  6. These are very inspiring to me, right at a list-thinking transitional time. Thank you!

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    1. I would love a look at your lists as you enter this new phase of your life Frances.

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  7. I think that your lists are fantastic!! I love a good list, whatever it is for, whatever it has on it! xx

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    1. Thank you Amy. Maybe list making is simply a way of organising your thoughts.

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  8. Elizabeth, this post reminded me of how my attention to lists continues to evolve.

    I do admire the list categories you've shered with us.

    My lists are usually writtne on pages torn from a small Muji notepad of thin, brown paper. Bet that paper was recycled. Anyhow, I have grocery lists, library book lists, farmers market lists, family and friends to call or email lists, knitting project-related lists, apartment and laundry cleaning lists. You do relialize that this list of lists doesn't indicate any priorities. None.

    I'd love to add some garden-related responsibilities to my lists. Too late for beautiful grandchildren like yours. xo

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  9. Love these lists!
    http://happywonderer.com/

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  10. I am a great list maker. They help me to clear my mind when it is all jumbled up, then I can focus on what's important. My favourite list are for the allotment and garden, but those never come to an end as I am constantly adding more jobs to do.

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    1. I definitely used list making as a way to clear my mind when I was doing my job and still do from time to time. I also have a garden diary which I use to record both what I have done and what I think about bits of the garden later in the year. That is a really useful thing!

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  11. Loved your lists!
    What is your instagram name?
    I'm biffwix and find I use instagram more than blogs nowadays!
    Greetings from New York.

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    1. Have found and followed you on instagram. I am enjoying it too. It is so very immediate and personal. It may be making me blog less though and I would hate to lose blogging.

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  12. I bought a lovely little list making pad recently - I love stationery! I find I now make lists retrospectively, very satisfying and no pressure :-)
    Love all of your lists though.

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    1. Retrospective list making is a great idea. The only possible problem may be my short term memory and recalling exactly what it is I have been doing!

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  13. I am a list maker, I can't help it, but it gets things done, I love your wee lists, they sum up what is important :)

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    1. I think if that is the way you work making lists is as natural as breathing!

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  14. I'm a compulsive list maker, forever fretting if I don't get things done - but I far prefer your lists; they're a reminder of the kind of things I'll miss if I endlessly chase my lists! Thank you!

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    1. You hit it exactly Chris! it is very easy to get bogged down in the endless list of things to do and lose sight of just being.

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  15. I write everything down, otherwise it just gets lost in the ether - apart from the obvious daily chores of course. Having given myself just 8 weeks to organise our recent wedding the lists have proliferated and reproduced themselves in some odd places, but it mostly got done. There is always a to-do list, an agenda, but it's important to take time out and enjoy it all too and your lists are simple and achievable.

    My ambition is to sit in the garden and see only what is done, not what needs to be done next...

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    1. I am getting better at your sitting in the garden aspiration although I do have use my knowledge of what needs to be done to choose my sitting place, somewhere which will not shout at me too loudly.

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  16. I'm a compulsive list maker so always feel like I'm running behind or part of me believes with an unfulfilled list I won't die. Or something.
    I love your lists!
    XO
    WWW

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    1. I love the idea of being unable to die as long as there are still things on your list! Would that it were so.

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    1. Thank you. Certainly swallows and swinging children are wonderful!

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  18. I have had nonstop company for the last 5 weeks, during which we have been out of town every.single.weekend. I finally have a quiet and empty house and spent most of today making list after list of all the things I have been letting slide for so long. Some of my lists look like yours, and some of them are annoying or sad, like finding a dentist or making plane reservations to fly my son back to the US for University. Thank goodness I also made a list of books to read - that was lovely!

    (Oh, and I should add, those grandchildren are adorable!) x

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    1. Oh I don't like the idea of a sad list Caroline. I am sure you counterbalance it with a list of things to be happy for.

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  19. I've always been a list maker, I like the sense of achievement when I can tick things off. Not all my lists are purely practical though, some are of places I'd love to visit or things I'd like to learn or plants I'd love to have in my garden. And as a matter of fact I just enjoy making lists:)

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    1. I am rather taken with the idea of a list of things I would like to learn!

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  20. One thing that is always on my list is visiting new fun and beautiful blogs, like yours! Thank you for visiting me in Crab Meadow. I look forward to browsing your pages. I already love what I've seen so far!

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    1. Thank you Virginia and welcome to the blog. Glad you like it! Where I live is such a beautiful place it is easy to take lots of lovely photos!

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  21. Oh yes, lists!!!! For many years I used Mind Maps to keep me on track, day by day, but there is still a pressing need for lists to inspire one into action!!!!

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  22. Hi Elizabeth, the pictures are beautiful and the baby so cute!

    Cheers, Sandra

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