Growing up, my mom was the queen of lists:
  • Grocery lists, Meal Planning lists, Saturday Morning Cleaning lists, Gift lists, Daily To Do lists, Packing-Bags-For-A-Trip lists, Chore lists, New Clothes for School lists, on and on and on.

As I got older I, too, made lists. Not as many lists as my mom, and certainly not in her nice handwriting, but lists nonetheless. I felt good when I would write the the list (all organized, sub-categorized, color coded) but would soon feel a knot in my stomach as I looked at the finished list. Do I have to do it in that exact order? What If I need to add something to the list and I don't put it in the right category? What if I don't complete the things on the list in time? What do I do with the things on the list left over - transfer to another list? Or, heaven forbid I LOSE the list. I might as well just curl up in a ball and weep ........ the day is ruined.

I am embarrassed to say it has taken me years as an adult to let go of The Lists. Yes, they have their place and can be a great organizing tool, but they are also very intimidating ...... for me. Isn't it time I grow up and not allow inanimate objects to hold me back? My mind is constantly creating ideas of things to do, but I am finally realizing I don't get half of them done because I set those ideas to pen and paper, in a list, and I loose inspiration.

What if I stop writing lists? Will the earth tip off it's axis and implode? Will I ever accomplish anything if I don't have a list in hand? No ....... then Yes.

Oh, how the brain imprints what we see as a child and then interprets as something we have to do as an adult. The benefit of being an adult, however, is we get to decide how we want to live. The reason we fall back on 'what we know' is because we haven't made an ACTIVE decision to behave otherwise.

Well, I am making an ACTIVE decision to not make lists. Yep ........ no more lists to tie me down!

So how will I get the information from my thoughts to reality? Free-form writing. Just like back in creative writing class. Remember? You take a blank sheet of paper and just start writing ideas ...... free form ...... in no order ...... random. So much nicer to look at, in my opinion. I can use colors, drawings, different papers, the computer, make collages, basically whatever I feel will inspire me to move forward.

Like taking a deep breath and letting go of something holding you back. Who knew it could be something so simple as a list?!?!?!

Using randomness to create order

back to edit SEVERAL typos and missed words. Yikes!


Lisa said...

Sometimes your wisdom and insight inspires me. Sometimes it scares me. But either way, I like it! :)

Christi Hegstad said...

I think this is such a great realization!! Each person is so different and it's LIBERATING to find what works for us. Thanks for sharing.

I was with a group of women this week and we got on the topic of Vision Boards (or Dream Boards) - where you cut out pictures from magazines, off the internet, words that strike you and then make a big collage. All eight of us had made them and all eight of us had fulfilled most - if not all - the things on our boards! It was an amazing conversation, and your blog just reinforced that idea for me!

So, I'm adding "Make an Updated Dream Board" to my do-before-New-Year's list, because I am a list gal... But the Dream Board will definitely not be in list form :)

Thanks for inspiring!