Saturday, 7 January 2012

the listmaker

It all started with a list. A list longer than the hours that tick by listening to a Bob Dylan Christmas album. (Lists are much less painful of course. I don't necessarily want to gouge my eardrums out with rusty nails when I write them- come on, it's just a list).

Now that's not to say it hasn't started well. It's not without its' fair share of inspiration and good company. But I would just in fact like to know, why every week must start with one, and why, oh why, the first week of 2012 couldn't be any different.

When I was in high school, I realised my lecture notes helped me to internalise stuff purely because I was bothering to write it down. I never could decipher most of the notes I scribbled onto endless reams of paper, but it didn't matter because, just like Pavlov's dog started dribbling uncontrollably when he heard the food bell, as soon as my hand started forming the words, I'd hardwired it into my wee noggin.

And so I begin my first post of the year with a confession: I am a chronic listmaker.

The problem, of course, with writing lists is that you've basically signed a contract in your own blood that you must tick those things off on your list OR ELSE THE WORLD WILL END. Forget to call the parental units about that annoying thing you don't want to be arsed with, let that self-imposed deadline slip by you to clean that stain off the roof, fail to sort out that mountain of receipts TODAY: you are suddenly beset by a cloud of doom that won't lift until you've ticked off those things on your duty-to-do, by which time your list has doubled in size like some menacing paper hydra.

What is worse still, for poor souls like me- by this process of hand-to-brain shortcutting, we can't just conveniently 'forget' what we've written down. Our list would not function as a list of we aren't able to cross each item off. And let me assure you- there is no shame like a failed listmaker.

It is a sad and crippling condition, all the more so because lists beget more lists: I have sub-lists and tributary lists. I have scrapbooks filled with them: boxes upon boxes of them, spider-ridden and doused with mothballs to preserve the integrity of lists long past. Alright, slight exaggeration- fear not for my safety, I am only metaphorically drowning in lists.

And so. I propose a new order: listmakers I know you're out there. Put down your pens. Lower that roll of paper nice and slowly now. List-en up. Think long and hard about the reasons behind your listmaking. Think about your poor husbands, pulling their hair out over this mad habit. Think of your cat- if it could talk it probably would say: 'Mummy, please spend your listmaking time with me instead. One less list a day is all it takes to cut it out completely'. And I agree. If Willow could talk, she probably would say that. She's very clever.

I am inspired: I will kick this filthy, anti-social habit! It is the dawn of a new year and by golly, I resolve to be better! I will start right now, this very minute: there are many reasons why list-making has become the bane of my life, and I shall compile these reasons in a list . . . .

Happy New Year lovely readers! Wherever you might be, whatever you turn your hand to, I hope you make the time in 2012 to work on the dreams and lists you've sticky-taped to your heart.

All nice things,
Mel x

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