List Making Mania

Dogs, lists, stress, anxiety, blog, blog post

August 20, 2013 • Latest, Madness • Views: 685

I don’t want to kill the lists. I want to keep them. Don’t make me give them up. Please. I don’t want to. But is a list that much different than a diet? Aren’t they cousins? Sort of into each other cousins who get too handsy at weddings? The daily chore of monitoring and watching and keeping track. Biting off more than you can chew (so to speak). That’s what my lists had become. The non-foodie equivalent to the gluten-free/vegan/raw/organic/sugarfree/blow-yourself diet. Fun to think of. Even more fun to plan out. But the worst kind of horseshit when actually enacted. A list from a couple weeks back:

-Pay bills

-Manage credit card stuff

-Hour website management

-Hour Treehouse Riots book

-Hour website post

-Hour of reading

-Hour of the Light Echo

-Hour of Elance

-Hour of Africa planning

-Cook food

-Do laundry

-Clean room

-Clean bathroom

-Go to nursery, buy plants, plant plants

-Play Dark Souls

-3 pages free association

-Do something social so you don’t become a hermit

Fuck you, Chris. Replace all that with food and I’d tell my friend to stop being such an asshole. Rewritten the list should read: Do laundry unless your clothes don’t smell, do Africa stuff unless your clothes smell really bad, play Dark Souls until your sweat becomes a thing.

The list isn’t the bad thing. Make your lists. Have fun with them. Sometimes I put time limits on activities that should take 15 minutes (use your imagination; or don’t actually). Sometimes I simply write, “don’t be an asshole.” And sometimes not.

For two weeks there I was a mess. I was having stress and anxiety attacks every other day. It just wasn’t stopping. The attacks happen from time to time. Not this often though. I’ve never been that crippled. The culprit? I don’t know. There’s a lot of suspects. But what tipped me off? Where did I find the evidence convicting me? Right there in my notebook. 20 bullet points detailing the goals of the day. That’s 17 more than I needed. Let’s master the first three instead.

Get up, take care of shit, go to bed…but only if you need to.

© 2013 Christopher Dart

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One Response to List Making Mania

  1. Jill Holdaway says:

    Have you ever read the Frog and Toad books? One of the stories is about list dependency. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqbR2FzXJBQ. I think that I use lists to shape my sense of purpose, push me out of inertia, and to prove that I get things done. Yet without a list, I still get things done.