I write this article as I find it in my To Do List for Sunday. No matter that I am late by a day. There is some satisfaction in seeing it on my list for November 20, 2016 and checking it or scratching it out to mean the task is completed. Then to look at the Week’s list and find that I have completed at least 60% of the tasks enumerated. It makes me feel productive, efficient, pro-active and accomplished.
In the dictionary, a “List” is defined as a simple series of words or numerals. As an ordinary person, I encounter lists daily such as a list of names, a grocery list, on my reminders app on the I phone. There are special lists as well: America’s Most Wanted, List of Miss Universe contestants, the Honor Roll (list of honor students). Maria Konnikova for the New Yorker writes that we make lists to put some order out of chaos. It is a common strategy to help our minds focus and translate it into action or realize it in the world.
Seeking to be inspired (and perhaps lacking some creativity this Monday), I have reviewed the lists of other bloggers: 25 Times I Surprised Myself; What Makes Me Happy; My Dream List. In them, I find inspiration for this piece: A list of Lists.
Image from myiq.in
I think the lists must be accomplished at different stages in ones’s life and one should have experienced making these list by one’s self. The full experience of the list should include the accomplishment of items listed, even one item done.
- List of Things I want for my Birthday or Christmas – This list must be accomplished as soon as one can write and up to the time one cannot write lists anymore. (Age 5 and up) You may call it “Dear Santa”, or “Wish List”.
- List of Things to Do – One should learn to make this list as soon as one is accountable for one’s homework. The normal experience is to receive homework at first grade. The average age for first grade is Age 7. (Age 7 and up)
- List of Friends – This is a normal female activity that I think should apply to all sexes. If you can add their last names, phone numbers and birthdays in the list, this would be even better. Here is the seed for networking. Personally, I notice that I made my list of friends and their personal circumstances starting age 10. Before this time, our parents were more concerned with making a list of our friends. At some point in time, a child learns to make his own list. With the internet exploding, most people now have this list on Facebook or their email accounts. Officially, children are allowed to open their own Facebook accounts at age 13. (Age 10 and up)
- List of Things to Do Before I Die/Bucket List/Dream List/Wish List – This list is usually triggered by a loved one’s loss or by hope and inspiration. It comes when one realizes that time and health are finite and unequally distributed. A child attends a sibling’s milestone for achievement (graduation, professional oath-taking, sports championship awarding) or on the opposite end, a child experiences the loss of friend or a family member becomes seriously ill or listens at a eulogy at a wake. This list is often revised. (Age 45 and below)
- List of Traits I Would Like in A Spouse/Partner – Studies have confirmed that having a happy spouse can improve one’s health. The idea of a soulmate or a grand romance pervades society is still universally accepted. In my personal experience, girls tend to begin this list when they begin to have an attraction to the opposite sex, that age when they may experience their first serious crush. Males probably have a similar list but they do not have a tendency to write it down until later. Dr. Gary Lewandowski suggests that there is top 20 desired traits in a future spouse that appear on men and women’s lists.
- List of Regrets/List of Life Lessons – I believe there is no one that lives a life without some regret: a situation they could have handled better, a relationship they wished to restore, a decision they found out was foolish. Often our mistakes educate us more profoundly than our progress. One makes this list again at extreme moments. On one hand, it could be born of great dissatisfaction, maybe even depression such as divorce, the loss of a job, or a failed enterprise. At the other end of the experience spectrum, it is created upon the realization of opportunity: a change of a career, the situation of a late bloomer, a rekindling of lost love, a new discovery (scientific or otherwise).
- Gratitude List – This is actually an optional list. One makes it because one realizes it is the usual counterpart of a Regrets List. Often times, it is the best tool for sadness and regret. Many authors recommend to make this daily and suggest people have a Gratitude Journal.
All the above lists are subject to revision depending on the person and their life experiences. A person may make a preliminary dream list at age 18 and revise it when he is 30 years old. A person who suffered from divorce or annulment may have a different list whether they suffered from the divorce of a spouse or the separation of a parent. The lists are also capable of being re-examined and have sub-lists or sub-categories. Such as for the Friends Lists, you may separate your friends from acquaintances. The Bucket List may be a list of places to visit and have a sub-list of things to eat or experiences to try. I personally believe the making of these lists benefit its maker.
If you have other Lists to recommend to me as a Lifetime List, I would gladly add to this list.
Featured image list is from Pd4pic.