Monday, March 22, 2010

Lists

I love lists. I love list pads. I adore organization. I thrive on checking off the things that are done. Some might say that I take it too far. And maybe I do. I'm not obsessive about it or anything like that. But I learned a long time ago that the only way I am every going to get all the things I need to get done completed is to write it down.

I blame part of my inability to remember things on mommy brain. The fog that takes over your mind when you are pregnant the first time around, then clears briefly at some point after the baby is a toddler. The fog that reappears and moves in for good once the second child arrives. That mommy brain.

I used to be able to remember everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything. I had damn near close to a photographic memory for most of my life. Well, at least for the portion of it prior to having kids, anyway. Then suddenly, I forgot things. I had trouble remembering what I needed to do, where I needed to go. I stopped being able to go to the grocery store and come home with all the things I need. Even with a list now, that almost never happens.

Interestingly, it's not that my brain stopped functioning. It just started serving a different purpose. A more important one. While I couldn't tell you what I had for lunch yesterday without sitting and thinking a good long time about it, I could recite exactly what each of my children wore to school today. I can tell you precisely what was packed in their lunchboxes. I can tell you which after school activities they have today, tomorrow and the next day. The times they need picked up and dropped off.

When you become a mother, you start having more important things to occupy your thoughts. Anything deemed not that important gets shoved down on the list of priority, some falling through the cracks completely. Some things get forgotten. And, eventually, like me, you learn that you've got to start writing stuff down. If there is any hope of ever doing everything you need to, you need physical reminders.

I have several lists going right now. One for the things I need to do before I can leave for the trip. One for the things I need to take on the trip. One for Ally's upcoming birthday party - trying to get that all figured out way ahead of time. As I learned before, I might not have the time I think I will to get it done later. There is another list, the weekly one, of the meals and activities and appointments. And yet another of the things I'd like to get ready to take to a consignment sale in May. I need to start another one, of the things I need to do around the house. The kitchen and bathrooms need re-caulked, the shades in the kids rooms need replaced. Honestly, if I don't write these things down, I'll never get around to them.

I need some more list pads.

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