And it’s no joke! I have lists. I have lists about lists. I even have lists reminding me about deadlines of other lists. They litter my house in every corner like little annoying voices tantalising me with all the things I have to do. I have loads of them. They lie discarded by my bed as I attempt each night to de-clutter my brain so I can sleep. Sadly they are also reminding me that my time is not my own any more, and they are definitely a cause of irritation when I just can’t seem to get it together enough to complete even one thing from my lists.
Sometimes for kicks I compile all my mini lists into one giant list. It makes me feel better, for a while at least, as I feel less burdened, more efficient and a little bit more organised. I’m fooling myself of course, but then I might even be able to complete one thing and take great delight in crossing it off my list. That simple act alone might be enough to encourage me to do something else on the list, to try to achieve more. But what’s this? Is it yet another interruption? Oh yes… It’s another unexpected email or phone call, and a sibling fight followed by wailing that sends the type of nasty vibrations through my bones that could sink ships or bring NATO to a grinding halt. Then there’s a meal to be cooked, a nappy to be changed, a suspicious stain on the furniture, a vegetable patch that needs watering, school uniforms that need cleaning, a shopping list with more priority than my tea break, and a husband wanting some well deserved attention after a hard day. Then while this is all going on, there it is… it creeps up behind me, pops up out of the shadows and takes me by surprise. Yes, it’s another thing for the list and it’s got me wondering where on earth these things keep coming from.
During my time as a producer of lists I find that I am someone who likes paper. I use my phone memo often, but they usually get transferred eventually to a paper list. I like to touch them, shuffle them, read and re-read them, stack them in a ‘to do’ pile and scatter them in prime positions to help remind me that they WILL need attention eventually no matter how much life likes to distract me. As I look around me now I find they are everywhere. In fact I’m beginning to worry that I’m single handedly responsible for the demise of our rainforests! At the very least my husband must be thinking that I’ve gone mad! So as my frustration increases in tune with the volume of lists that fill my house I’ve found myself wondering how everyone else manages to fit in all that life has to dish out.
I actually find it quite intimidating at times to observe how everyone else seem so much more in control of things than I am, that they know more about most things than I do, and how they certainly seem to be achieving so much more than me on a regular basis. Ok, I’ve not done too badly, after all in the past few years I’ve brought 2 lovely girls into the world, published my children’s book, survived a stroke, and started to dabble with social media in a very slapdash way, but that’s because I don’t watch telly, go out or have much of a ‘real-life’ social life. Even the seagulls were having a party outside my house tonight. That’s more than I’ve done for a pitifully long time!
So I can’t help but wonder again how I… in fact… how WE’VE all arrived at this place of being so busy. Is it part of the ‘side-effect’ of this modern age as our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ feeds continue to keep buzzing? This is the age of technology and information after all and I, for one, am mopping it all up like a greedy sponge. But should I be closing down my Macbook and enjoying the blissful delight of putting my feet up instead?
When I took an extra long holiday away from it all with my family where there were no computers or Internet, I did find that my brain de-cluttered and the lists no longer seemed that important, but that only lasted for as long as the holiday and as soon as I returned everything seemed more urgent and desperate than before. So I don’t think disconnecting is a reality for me anymore.
Maybe it’s because everything is so accessible these days. If we want to write and publish a book, we can… if we want to set up a website, we can… if we want to earn a living from home, we can… if we want to win awards, we can. Everything is within our grasp. It’s no longer just for the chosen few… for those who are rich enough or who’ve been shown how. Now Google can show us ALL how, and none of it costs as much as it used to. So it seems in this modern world we can literally do anything. Yes really! The only restrictions are our imaginations.
There is no doubt that this is an exciting, liberating and wonderful, if just a little bit frustrating, daunting and exhausting, time for us all. A time that will enable us to realise our dreams, no matter how big they are, and no matter how many lists they generate.
So, have you thought about how big your dreams are?
…And while you’re thinking about that I’m going to make a list of some things I need to pick up from the store tomorrow… and one of those things just might be some more paper so I can de-clutter my brain some more and write a few more lists. Sorry trees!