Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Comfort of Lists

I find lists so comforting. Am I the only one who feels this way?

Last week I was feeling entirely overwhelmed. Between my new full-time job being up in the air, web design work on the side, thinking ahead to Little L's arrival, and a sink full of dirty dishes it just felt like entirely too much. I shut down. When Keith got home from work on Wednesday, he found me in the dark bedroom, curled up on the bed, crying. Trying to dry my tears on the dog's fur, but he wasn't being very cooperative.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Before I started this blog, when I had the job from Hell, I cried on a regular basis. Even though it's been a long time, Keith remembered the drill.

He handed me tissues and calmed me down. After the crying had mostly stopped, we talked about why I was having a breakdown in the first place and what we could do about it.

Then, later that evening, we started making lists. Separate lists for work-related tasks, preparing for the new arrival, house maintenance/upgrades, appointments that need to be made, and more.

Somehow, getting it all out of my head and onto paper (well, virtual paper via Google docs) made it all seem more manageable. Instead of the dishes being the straw that broke the camel's back, they were just one more item on the list.

I know some people think I'm crazy for my multitude of lists. I have lists of places I've been or want to go, books I've read, and of course countless to-do lists. But without the lists, I really would be crazy. I can't turn off the list-maker in my mind, and if I don't get it out of my head and into a separate list, breakdown ensues.

Breakdown that not even a bagel and cream cheese can solve. Or maybe it could. Next time I'm feeling overwhelmed, I'll try munching on a bagel with cream cheese while writing up my lists.


FitGeGe said...

I like lists too, but that's usually because I'm enough of a ditz that I'll start seven things and not finish any of them (ADD, coming right up!). With a list, I can get them all done. Yay!

Bren said...

I cannot... repeat CANNOT function without lists!!! I need to add to my list "visit A Right Gapesnest more often"!!!

People look at me funny and shun my necessity to live with lists, but as you said... things fall apart without them.

ALSO ALSO! I'm reading lots of talk about impending arrivals... can only assume this means yer preggers! (Yes I'm working backwards here - that or I'm just completely blind!) Congrats!! That's awesome! (I'm going to feel incredibly stupid if it's not new news :S) Parenthood is just the most AWESOME thing. Words can't describe it. And I should know. Between me and my fiance we have a tribe of 4! One more and we officially get upgraded to village status.

M. Lubbers said...

Bren: Glad to hear there's another list person out there. It's not us--it's the rest of the world that's crazy!

And, as I think you saw already, the baby is new news. We're very excited! Thanks for all the encouragement!:)