Thank you Gilbert and Sullivan! (Mikado).-I’ve added you to my list of quotes and listings .

BUT my lists are not little.Nor ,unlike the list Koko sings in the Mikado,are my lists about the people I would like to eliminate -the “pestilential nuisances,”….the unfortunate person with flabby hands and a weak handshake, the lady novelist ….My lists contain things to do ,to get ,to strive for .They stretch back years.

In fact I was going through some of my old writing the other day ,looking for pieces about babies and discovered a list written in the Darwin Hospital 40 years ago . .What struck me about this list (apart from it still sitting there all that time):

What reason did I write it ?

How stupid to go writing lists on the day after a birth

Did I actually do the items listed ?

So why do we /I write lists ? I write daily ones ,weekly ones ,yearly ones-ie goals for the year and then fit the months and weeks to the goals. These lists I do evaluate ,but often the same goal recurs year after year .

I write shopping lists ,birthday lists, task lists ,books to read and find in library, films to see,Spanish phrases to use or find meaning or learn questions to ask doctors/psychs/ google ,you name a list type or subject and I have it.When I was working used to number items 1-5 and start at the beginning.I rarely got past the no 2s.Because lists regenerate themselves :there are lists within lists.Rather like renovations -start off doing one thing and others pop up.Sometimes it can be like starting a fire ,and one should tick off and eliminate or lists and renos become raging fires which consume the creator. Like Phoenixes rising .

Reasons for List making (I am comfortable disclosing these reasons)

Makes me feel like life is in control ,that I can look at a list and tick at least one item off and feel like I have accomplished something

Seems like I am organised ,and my life is mapped

Keeps me busy

Prods memory

Stops my jumping from one thing to the next and not completing

Stops me buying duplicates or foodstuffs I don’t need

(This does not always work.I have a large stock of chic peas and sanitisers from the recent CV time-just because I couldn’t manage to read a list and hold stuff with my gloves,as well as hurrying to leave shop before too many people

Have you ever purchased your own Op shop donation?)

Other reasons (not so comfortable about these)

My love of lists started as a child when we moved between countries or between places in the same country ,and between schools.Lists made me feel like life was sustainable and the core of it would stay the same ,as I was instrumental in composing my own lists.

Lists trick one into thinking that life is predictable The fact that a number of items are not done or never eventuate is irrelevant .They have been written down and still somewhere in the world they exist ,done or not

Anxiety shifter – I can list an item even if unable to do it :with mathematics for example which I never really understood ,I could write a list of formulas and felt better


I feel needed .I have some important things to do .Lists fill in empty spaces and unused time .They also compensate for the things I should be doing instead of writing the list

Some lists are creative and imaginative.There is an art in list writing and tallying up.Its a jogger of memory and can spark future possibilities ,many of which are not achievable.But no matter

I am a list addict .I just hear the word”list”and feel happy.It has a soft ,comfortable sound which resonates in my busy head

See -I’m writing a list here and I should be composing a creative blog entry

If you are reading this ,please let me know about your listing habits.I can add your reasons for making lists to a list.

And No,I didn’t do those items in the Hospital/Baby list.No lists for a while either .Babies are a listing cure.