Sunday, July 6, 2008

I am the list maker

I am a list maker, always have been. I think it started way back when I was in Jr. High school. I can remember making lists of what I was going to wear to school the next day, what I needed to bring the next day, what I had to do after school, etc. I felt better knowing that I could get those things outta my head, and be secure in the fact that they were written down a piece of paper just in case I forgot. I don’t usually forget, which makes my list making even more pathetic.

This is how bad it is:

The Coupon Holder: I have a coupon holder in my purse. The only time I am without my coupon holder is when I am attending a wedding, or corporate event. Then I switch to my fancy little purse that can’t even hold my wallet, never mind my bulging coupon holder. Inside the coupon holder is a lined post-it note pad. When I think of something I need to get at a store, out comes the pad, item is written down and then the post-it is secured to the front of the holder, so I can easily view it when I get to the store.

The Post-Its: On this post-it I also write down things I don’t want to forget to do when I get home, something I need to tell the kids or John, calls I need to make, bills I need to pay. There is always a pencil in my coupon holder with an eraser. I don’t like messy lists.

The Menus: When I am hosting a holiday or party my list making goes into overdrive. I have folders in Excel that are marked for each major holiday or birthday. Inside each of these folders are documents for each year. For instance I have a folder marked 4th of July. Inside that folder are the menus that I have prepared since 2002. Each year is marked so I can look back at what I prepared the previous year. After the event I make notes (too much of this, need to make more of that, next time pick up this, etc). It helps me plan for the next year. The shopping list is included on this document also. I keep a hard copy with me at all times so I can add or cross out anything I purchase. Oh yes I am that compulsive.

The Folder: I have a manila folder that I use for each event also. Once I have decided on a recipe that will be used, into the folder it goes. I take this folder with me on my final shopping days in case I need to refer to it. This is the reason why I carry a purse that most people would call luggage.

The Decorative Menu: Then……I know you’re thinking what else can she possibly list at this point?? There’s another then?? Yup. A decorative menu is posted on my fridge at home along side final copy of the Excel list so I can do a run down of everything I need to prepare and cross off what I need to on the Excel list, while the decorative list stays in pristine condition on the fridge. The kids don’t even ask what were having any more; they just consult the fridge door. Even my guests will look at the fridge menu to see what we’re having.

The morning of a party I meet with my list checker Evan. He will run down all the dishes with me one last time, happily checking off what is done, reminding me what needs to be finished. My husband says I am neurotic. Maybe I am a little, but I can’t even fathom hosting a party without my lists. In the few days before I host a party John will announce several times a day that I am in a frenzy. Even yelling the word out like I don’t already know what a crazy person I must look like as I run around the house cleaning, cooking, doing dishes, checking and re-checking my lists.

My lists have helped me to enjoy these times and not be a in constant state of agita. These days are supposed to be enjoyable, not filled with anxiety about everything I had to do. So the lists help me in that respect. Knowing that my “to dos” are written down help me to have peace of mind.

Since I am on a little mini vacation right now I haven't written a thing down since July 3rd! Progress!
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