October 15, 2010

lists - the good the bad and the ugly

I'm sure I have mentioned before that I am, to put it plain and simple, "a list freak". Unfortunately, more often then not, these lists seem to get the better of me as my very OCD personality begins spinning out of control in the middle of the night and I can't sleep because I'm thinking of everything I need to get done (usually for something that's over a month away), or during the evening, when I should be relaxing with my husband but instead get up from the couch 15 times to write on my grocery list or add to my Saturday to-do list.

For some reason I just can't seem to knock this seemingly bad habit, much to the discouragement of my husband who I'm sure wishes I would stop tossing and turning in the middle of the night and settle down in the evening to spend time with him.

Lists have been all over the place this last month as my brother is about to be married. His bride-to-be, Nikki, and I have many lists (her, more then I of course). She's gotten a true taste of the "Laura list obsession" when she comes to my house and I scribble on the chalk board, listing everything left to be done before the big day. Welcome to the family Nikki, and my crazy list obsession!

My cousin Kristi, will also attest to my love for lists. A few years back, before I was married, I was spending the evening with Kristi at her house. We were talking, (probably about boys) and I was a little out of sorts (probably about a boy). A list of course, was the perfect solution during this very troubling time. I ran into the other room, grabbed a piece of paper and began to make a list, the title in big bold letters read:"How I Feel by Laura Monaco". Kristi, will never let me forget this.

While my "feelings" list may have seemed silly to someone else, I will argue that lists can actually bring a real sense of clarity, direction or understanding to a situation. Lists can bring to light what's important, or, what's really not important. But, as I'm also learning, there needs to be a healthy balance to lists that I choose to make.

Recently I was inspired by a friend of mine Ally Spotts, who in a post from her blog,
Packing Light, also argues that lists can bring things into focus and as she so wisely says, "just the process of making a list forces the most important details to rise to the top." Of course, I couldn't agree more, which is why, when I read her post I couldn't wait to grab a sheet of paper and begin penning my next list... (like I said, just a tad bit of a list obsession)

Ally's post inspired me to make a list, but it also reminded me in a very refreshing way that my lists don't always have to be a grocery list, a to-do-list, or a list of messy feelings and emtions. I can make a list of things I'm thankful for, things that I enjoy doing, or just the simple pleasures of life, which is what led me to pen the following list.

Simple Pleasures

Going for a walk.

Riding a bike.

Listening to the sound of the rain.

Treating yourself to drink at Starbucks and not worrying about the price, or the calories.

Sending a hand-written letter to a friend.

Watching it snow.

Walking into the bank to make your transaction with a real person.

Stopping to pick fresh berries on the side of the road.

Listening to the leaves crunch beneath your feet while you run in the fall.

Smiling at a stranger.

Breathing in the fresh morning air.

Climbing into bed at the end of a long day.