Why Lists Scare the Crap Out of Me. .



I often find myself staring blankly into space. I know there has to be a hundred important things I should be doing at this moment, but thankfully, I can recall none. So I curl up on the couch with my two-year old to watch an episode of Curious George.

Then I start getting random texts.

“Did you send that important email?”

Oh yeah!! I send email.

Oliver would like some milk, but we are out. So I water down half and half; he actually doesn’t mind it.

I get a stern text from my cell phone provider that disconnection is imminent. I pop online and pay the bill.  I feel quite responsible.

I have gotten by like this for years. I hear people declare they could not get through their  life without lists. I admire these people, but then feel slightly annoyed at their organization skills. I relate this feeling to seeing a pencil thin women holding a two day old baby and realizing it is hers. Seriously? I still look pregnant from my almost three year old. But, just as flat bellies come naturally to some women, lists and personal organization seem to drive others.

Can this level of organization be learned? Or is it some divine gift handed out at conception.

I can just see it:

“You there!! Sally! You shall be divinely organized and have a super flat stomach after birth .Yay for you!!!! High fives!”

“Daniela? I’m sorry. You will not have a super flat stomach…ever, and will spend a good part of your life  walking in circles wondering what you should be doing while wearing Spanx, but you will have nice hair and a fair bit of wit and charm. That should help you through it. Good luck!”

Okay, maybe I do not need divine gifting to be a list writer.  It could be a little less denial/procrastination/laziness, but I feel like if I sat down and actually started writing down all the things I am supposed to be getting done or need to get done, I would never stop writing and subsequently end up in the fetal position.

Plus, if  I do confess to all the duties I have been shunting on paper,  I would be committed to see them through in a timely, responsible fashion. Since I am not currently a list keeper so “I forgot” is a legit excuse. If I had one, the best I could do would be “I ignored that one because I didn’t feel like it” or maybe “I couldn’t read my hand writing…” The last one could definitely be true also, but still lame.

But, then again, this is what my mental list is currently doing for me:

  • Pick up milk after dropping Owen off at school.
  • Rest
  • Take out meat for dinner.
  • Check Facebook.
  • Make tea.
  • Change over laundry, throw clean stuff at end of bed to be folded….someday.
  • Lay down in bed, cause I am there anyways.
  • Play a round of Candy Crush to exercise my brain.
  • While laying there think of what to do with meat defrosting on counter, remember the breakfast dishes are still sitting there, and Oliver dumped dog food earlier….
  • Close eyes and fight off from impending stress.
  • Realize Oliver is still in P.J.’s and so am I. Also realize I bought milk in my P.J.’s and summon appropriate amount of embarrassment.
  • Find Apple remote. THE SMALLEST REMOTE CONTROL IN THE WORLD. Work up sweat, count it as exercise.
  • Watch a little T.V. snuggling with Ollie.
  • Leave to pick up Owen from school in P.J.’s.
  • Notice I have 1km of gas remaining in my tank.
  • Try to rock jammie bottoms while pumping gas.
  • Get home and look at thawed meat.
  • Throw in fridge (preplanning for tomorrow nights meal, I feel quite organized by this) and order pizza (children cheer and praise mom)
  • Do breakfast dishes before Ryan gets home cause I don’t want him to think I am lazy.
  • Get into clean jammies (for freshness factor).
  • Knit for charity fund raiser and watch this weeks Downton Abbey (Ryan does bedtime with the kids).
  • Stuff pizza box into overflowing recycling bin, make a mental note to empty tomorrow.
  • Fall into bed exhausted.
  • Clean laundry is bugging me so I try to kick it onto the floor while lying there, this resembles a seizure.
  • Check email, FB, Instagram, get organization inspiration from Pinterest, try to pass frustrating level on Candy Crush. Again.
  • While falling asleep, think of all the things I forgot to do today.
  • Wonder if I should start making lists.

I was hoping to find some level of acceptance about who I am, but while writing this, I recieved an email from my ten year olds teacher. Owen has either failed to hand in homework, or it has been late all week. She will be monitoring his written agenda to make sure appropriate ToDo’s are recorded ( I am not kidding, that is what she said).

Cue eye twitch.  My chaos, is becoming my kids chaos. That stinks. Could that email have corresponded with this post more creepily? Is this God telling me if I don’t write lists, then Owen will become a drop out bum? That one day, when he is a man, he will say “I could have been so much more, if only my mom had wrote lists, showing me the importance of personal organization? I never really had a chance..”  he then stares off whistfully; with a small tear in the corner of  eye as he and turns to serve his next customer their fries and burger…he wouldn’t be a total bum, he would have a job.

The thought of writing a list scares the crap out of me, but for my boys, I could try..

And if I did, I think I would need this super fab Kate Spade notepad. Maybe pretty lists would be less scary. I can see myself whipping this out at the grocery store. All divinely organized women with super flat bellies would be nodding approval at my stylish ToDo List, willing to overlook that Oliver and I are still in our pyjamas.


Kate Spade Small Notepad

 Kate Spade Polka-Dot Small Notepad, $8 @ shopbymonika.com


Now, I am almost scared to ask….are you a list writer? Or live in denial like me? Did you become a list writer after years of wandering in circles, or have you always been this way? Please, enlighten me! Do I have hope?


21 Responses to Why Lists Scare the Crap Out of Me. .

  • Sarah Richardson says:

    Oh, Daniela, how I love you! You are so dang funny!! Missed you at the meeting on Saturday. xoxo

    • I missed you too!!! So much would have liked to have been there then at home with the plague. At least I got some work done. Love you too girl, I will be at the next editorial for sure! xo

      • Sarah Richardson says:

        At least I’ll see you at the CHRISTMAS PARTY!!! So excited I can hardly stand it! Eeeeeeek.

  • Stefanie says:

    i love this daniela! your writing is so real and so relatable – you have a gift! i make lists but my problem is i’ll have several lists going (on post-it notes or on those pads of paper with some realtor’s face at the top) and as they get tattered and torn being carried around in this or that bag, i end up having to consolidate them into a new list. i get GREAT satisfaction from recycling the old lists (even though the tasks have just migrated over to a shiny new piece of paper). i email myself to-do lists at work (i try to keep them marked as unread until i’ve done everything on the list but sometimes those emails just get so buried in my inbox that i forget about them altogether, until i remember that i forgot to do something so i send another reminder email to myself). sometimes i’ll do something that’s not on a list but i’ll add it to the list just so i can cross it off (also satisfying). oh and p.s., if i saw you and ollie in PJs i would think that you are both adorable. also, sometimes my mom reads your posts (when i share or comment on them on facebook) and she loves them…she’s often quoted you afterwards and told me how much she got from what you shared. so brava on your new blog!!!! xoxo

    • Oh my goodness Stef. I love you so much. And you know how I feel about your writing. Your methods crack me up. I have a TODO on my Iphone notes from 2 years ago. It still has outstanding items I am sure.

  • I’m so so so glad you’re back. This brought more joy to my Monday than you’ll ever know. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

    LOVE your no filter. Makes me feel half sane for all the ridiculous thoughts I have.

    I’m not a list-writer. Sometimes (like once in 3 weeks write a list) and it does make life easier which drives me crazy. Damn those lists.

    Ps. I bought myself a cute notepad with lil bicycles and balloons. Pretty stationary helps.

    • I knew pretty stationary would!!! I may try. Lord help me, this is my busiest time of year. I miss you neighbour. And I still have your film reel case. I am holding it hostage in the hopes of a pop by…

  • Brandi-Lee Doucette says:

    Can I tell you how much this sounds exactly like me?! I am horrible at lists, and I know they are the only way I will get ANYTHING done. Actually, I’m ok making the lists and following them for a day. And I am horrible at organization. I think about it daily, but whenever I stand in front of the closet/overflowing bedroom/bathroom drawer/garage/car/shoe closet, I get overwhelmed and say ‘screw it’ and go check Facebook or something else more mindless. It’s probably one of my least-favourite things about myself. So I guess you could say, I’m in the same boat as you…

    Also I’m shocked that something Kate Spade is $8! Super cute.

  • Sharlynne Pickering says:

    Ha ha Daniela your awesome! What a treat to read. I am a wannabe list maker, with many failed attempts, drives the hubby crazy, yup you guessed it, he’s a list maker! Matter of fact I posted on my FB wall today asking for a good recommendation for an organizing app, here’s to hoping;-)

    • Let me know how the app hunt goes! I have paid for a few, but have yet to find one that writes and completes tasks for me, I think that may be a ladies maid. I should live in Downton Abbey. Except I couldn’t handle the drama. xoxo

  • yvonne Ayres says:

    As you know Dani, I love to do lists. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than being able to scratch off that item which has been completed. One could almost say that I’m anal when it comes to organization and to do lists. I thrive on them. They give me pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. I must admit there are times when I wish I could be laid back, but I feel that we all have a purpose, a calling and maybe mine is the all mighty to do list. ps I sometimes do my best organizing in my jambes. xo

  • Megan says:

    Sooooooo happy you’re blogging it’s ridiculous. And this post is hilarious. I admit to being a lifelong list lover. I make lists everyday, to the point that it’s become some sort of bizarre therapy. But I think anyone can learn to do them to get more organized. Maybe not the point where it’s a psycho-compulsion, but I’m assuming that’s not healthy 😉 And I wholeheartedly agree pretty stationary helps.

    • I seem to preform better when I hit a compulsive level. But then there is the healthy balance thing, which I am starting to believe is a myth. You may need to show me a list one day, it could inspire me. I will bring my pretty blank note pad….Love you Megan. xo

  • Kary says:

    You’re Mental ToDo list is surprisingly like my own! The “kick laundry to floor’ part gave a good chuckle because based on my own experience I saw that coming!

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