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I feel a list coming on …

January 1, 2012

I find a list focuses my mind for the big events like holidays, Christmas or New Year with its resolutions, parties and visitors. They can be a focus of joy but can become an out-of-control monster.

My home has been draped with the things, my bags bulge and I cannot leave the house without them.

When I find an oasis in my life – I have become an expert at this,  particularly when the washing up needs to be done, ironing board is poised or the vacuum cleaner beckons –  I find myself  browsing the dreaded list – prioritising, underlying, inserting new lists and sub-clauses.

They can take many forms: electronic or normal note pads, leather bound journals, scraps of paper or Post Its, nothing is too large or small – I can work wonders with Magic Tape and a stapler.

I prefer fine paper and pen but I can be desperate to write a list so any thing will do!

I have a cull from time to time,  as some lists have an outcome so far away that I have forgotten what it is, or it has become unacheivable .

For instance plans to move to semi-detached –leafy- lane with a drive, integral garage and an acre of land.  Or preparing to retire and travel the world.

On occasion I reassess a list maybe not the world this time but master a foreign language instead.  Sometimes the list becomes or obliterates the focus and the result is not as hoped.

My daughter going to live in Brazil for instance, The daughter – Em and her well being and safe journey was the focal point, as her mother , with a list  I  provided all she needed and all went well without  too many hitches and tears.

Then I realised that I had not put ‘myself’ on the list – there were a few ideas but nothing on paper … so each day I grabbed and grappled with them – the ideas I mean – wept and laughed and wept again – and each day the seeds of ideas grew, blossomed and some withered and the next day another grew or died without ceremony or the use of a list.  Now I have a garden (a life) and a convenient compost heap, not in a semi – detached- leafy-lane, and it will not meet with Gertrude Jekyll’s approval – but it is mine – a work in progress not a pinpoint on the horizon always beyond my reach – but here and now.

I still have the fragments of a list, New Year is not over yet but maybe it doesn’t have the same urgency and focus.

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