like throwing french fries into a flock of seagulls

I like a list.

Any kind of list: a to-do list, a got-done list, a shopping list, a packing-in-my-suitcase list (I like those a LOT), a movies-to-watch list, a menu-for-a-party list.

I’ll even add something to my list that wasn’t there, just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing it off.

I wish I were kidding.

And even though I resisted the Google-Machine at first, I love me some Google Reader.  It’s basically an alphabetised, chronological, organised list of things I like to read from the internet.  Turns out, Google Reader is my idea of heaven.

Lists are written in my journal, on slips of scrap paper on the kitchen counter, on legal pads at my desk, on my computer.  I even have 40 draft posts started here.  In a list.

But all those lists?  Can make me feel a little crazy.  Like throwing french fries into a flock of seagulls.

Oy, the noise, it is in my head.

Okay, so I can be a little Type-A.  But that is not my natural state.  I have learned this.  The lists are all about control, about fear, about having something to show for my time, about feeling like I do – I am – enough.

Flipping through my journal this morning, looking at a list with several un-checked items, I found a note I had written to myself.

What if I didn’t write a list of what I want to do today, and instead wrote a list of how I want to feel?

How would the day look? What would get done?

Who would I be?  How would I dress for that?

That last question is a tip to the fact that sometimes my day stalls out in front of the closet when I have several things I’ll be doing – and I have no idea how to dress for all of them.

Rather than being concerned with formal/casual, professional/playful, colourful/plain, young/old, or even temperature, if I dressed for how I want to feel, it would be pretty hard to get it wrong.

The question of priorities on my lists – it seems that could also be solved pretty easily if I paid attention – focused on – how I want to feel.

Joyful.  Content.  Useful.  Strong.  Full of wonder.

How do you want to feel today?


    • Agh! It is also not lost on me that I have a life list at the top of the whole site. Still. It is important to ask the questions, yes?

  • Today is almost over—so tomorrow I want to feel 8 years old. I want to look at some of the new life coming back as spring approaches with awe and wonder even if that green life is a bunch of weeds. After all a weed is just an unwanted plant in the garden so if I agree to welcome all living things in my garden I will never have to weed again. (As I typed this I heard a similar quote from Scarlett O’Hare in my head—I will never go hungry again (I think that is it))

    • It’s all in the perspective, isn’t it? I’ve had a similar problem with the chickweed in our yard: it’s a pretty green, but it’s not supposed to be there, yet it keeps coming back, and it’s not hurting anything, and why am I trying so hard to get rid of it, again?

  • So I was reading your post and kind of giggling to myself about my own lists of lists and then you went and flipped it. wooo. my brain actually did a summersault.

    how do I want to feel today? confident, content, accomplished, happy, relaxed, hopeful, joyous, loved… sometimes my lists help me get to those feelings (or whatever other feelings I’m aiming for at that moment), sometimes they take me in another other direction. thanks for the brain fodder.

    • Brain gymnastics – definitely what I was going for. 😉

      I like your list of feelings. I certainly wasn’t slamming lists – just recognising that my left brain might not be the best director of my days.

  • a list of how i want to feel.
    how refreshing.
    i like that very much.
    it returns the emphasis to being rather than doing.
    thank you for that sister bear.
    love love love

    • Hee hee. You used my computer and it was signed in as me. CONFUSING. Looks like I’m secretly commenting on my own posts.

      So lovely to have you here, Sister E.

    • Sarah Jean, thank you so much! I do like my lists. And I love the way you put that – to intentionally write our lists.

      You have beautiful words and pictures.

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