The Discover Prompts from WordPress have stopped now. I felt a little flurry of excited anticipation when they started up again for April but they never really lived up to my expectations, to be honest. Now they’ve gone, though, I miss them a bit. ‘Lists’ was one of the prompts that I didn’t actually write a post about – which is surprising because, like many of you I’m sure, I am a constant list-writer. My diary is full of lists of things I want to do, things I need to write or finish writing, writing I need to send off, lists of magazine submission windows and competitions. Lists of things I want to do today, this month, this year, next year. Items to pack because I’m going away somewhere. Clothes to buy. Birthday presents and Christmas presents – lists for my kids. And so on, and so on. Not as many lists these days, of course.
You find lists in places sometimes, don’t you, often in shopping trolleys. Perhaps that was in the pre-lockdown days, before trolleys and baskets were fumigated and disinfected after every use. Lists of food that other people were buying. Their paper and written notes in your hand. Remember that? Mostly mundane stuff: cat food, bread, lamb chops, cabbage. Indecipherable handwriting, bad grammar. Torn off paper, flowery stationery, backs of envelopes. Buy stamps. Cauliflower. Tomatoes. Apples.
Then there was the time the lockdown started and I wrote endless lists of what we needed. Flour. Pasta. Tins of Tomatoes. Rice. Bread. Toilet Paper. Bleach. Soap. Eggs. And I argued with Andrew because he came back with all of the wrong stuff! Apples, carrots, grapes that we already had in. He’d picked up the wrong list! We laugh about it now. Listgate.
Menu lists. Lists of meals to make for the children’s lunchboxes. Meals to make each week day night. I worked as a Teaching Assistant in a nearby school when the children were small. I used to be super-organised. Lists were a staple of my sanity. Lists of chores, lists of children to invite to parties, lists of subjects to discuss at Parents Evenings. I seem to have saved lists of old.
Lists of places I’d like to be published, lists of what I want to write about, lists of places I want to visit. Lists of jobs I’ve had. Lists of what I’ve eaten today. Lists of things that people have said. Lists of inspiring quotes.
Is there anything I haven’t ever put into a list? I seem to have covered most things. Lists of names. I’ve found the list I made when I was pregnant with my daughter. Her name is on it. My son’s name is there as well but that was some time later.
Are you a list-writer? What’s on your list? I could ask, who’s on your list, but that is for another post.
5 thoughts on “Lists, including wrong lists”
I confess that I am not really a list maker apart from shopping. Sometimes when I want to motivate myself I make lists of things to do that week. But it never lasts! I found someone’s shopping list on a path once when we were on holiday. I took it home and set a poem around it. I don’t even keep a journal/dairy other than everyday stuff, though when I’m on holiday I note down where we have been each day for when I write my blog. Perhaps this unusual for a write not to keep lists or journals. I have tried, but I get bored writing them.
I have a friend who has written a diary every day since she was young, but she never reads them back. She told me she was going to leave the dairies with an institution who collect diaries with the understanding they are not opened for 50 years after her death in case it upsets family members! How brilliant. Each to their own.
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I like the sound of your poem set around a shopping list, Heather. Other people’s lives and our points of connection with them are interesting, I find. I’m a fan of the Oscar Wilde quote about diaries “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” lol! Thanks for commenting and all good wishes to you. J x
I keep a diary too. It is a brilliant idea to leave the diary at an institution.
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Reminder lists are my most common these days. By ‘these days’ I include recent years as I’ve aged, together with a cumulative number of years with CFS which is handy for blaming my poor retention. I have begun to realise that despite numerous requests the cat will not remind me to order even cat food. Perhaps I can be blamed for never really getting the hang of his Miaow-ese.
On a more serious note, even writing lists can help me remember things even as the list gets lost under the pile of papers on the dining room table. As does saying items out loud.
Now I should use this as the start of a (fictional) story about Lists, I suppose.
Best wishes to you Josephine 🙂
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Yes, it’s funny that the act of writing a list is itself a means of remembering, I’ve also discovered that. Best wishes to you, too, Moira! x