A confession at the outset. I am a very very scattered and disorganised person. I am the kind of person when managerial teams are picked, who is deputed to be the ideator and left at that. And a team of efficient micro managing types need to be rolled in to iron out all the details of my extravagant ideating. I am the queen of ideating, I need my worker bees to do the implementation. Unfortunately, God forgot to assign me some when he sent me down, and I end up doing all my own implementation. Which is not a good thing for the task at hand. It always gets done slipshod or incomplete, or I manage to goof up big time.
For those who believe in the maxim God Lies in the Details, well, I’m on the ungodly side of the divide.
Which is why I turned to list making in the vain fervent hope that I would be able to get through my day without needing to be shot in the head by the end of it by forgetting essential tasks, i.e, Brush, rinse repeat, before stepping out of the house, and then wondering why folks roll their eyes, keel over and pass out when I try to make scintillating conversation in confined spaces. Let me not digress. I end my day with my list book. Currently, I have nicked a Hulk pocket book from the child’s stash. It is pretty reassuring to know the Hulk, grim, green and with torn pants and an elastic waist that doesnt split as he morphs from Edward Norton into Hulk is the repository of all my tasks for the day. Dare anyone peep inside and check how much I actually manage to cross off by the end of the day?
I sit in my armchair at the end of each day and tick off what I actually manage to achieve through the day from my list of things to do. Then I carry over the incomplete items into the list for the next day. Thankfully, having a bath and brushing one’s teeth rarely make it into the carryforward list. Eating, of course, never does. What does make it to the carryforward list is generally the stuff marked Immediate and Urgent. Like deadlined yesterday features that need to be submitted before commissioning editors have hyperventilation attacks and need to be calmed by the immediate strapping on of oxygen marks and hypodermic bearing health care personnel. Like bills which have to be paid immediately or we will be reduced to having dinner by candlelight. I’m super efficient. The mails that need to replied to pronto, form the third category of the must do carry overs.
Seriously though, I am a great fan of making lists. I make lists for everything. Lists of groceries to be bought. Lists of clothes and stuff to be packed when I am going out of town. Lists of phone calls to be made while travelling in the course of my day. Lists of books to be bought. Lists of cosmetics to be bought. Wish lists of clothes to be bought. I measure my life out in lists. It gives me the false sense of being in control, when the truth, as you and I know, is that lists have very little to do with reality. Take for instance, a grocery list in your hand and you hitting the hypermarket. The grocery list talks of wildly interesting items of necessary consumption like cooking oil, pulses, detergent and such like. The heart draws me to the creams and lotions and shampoos and conditioners. Which quickly fill the trolly, before I finally manage to tear myself away from their enticing alluring beckoning Succubus like charms and make my way, shaken and drained, to the the provisions and pulses, where I spend half my time squinting to check the price on each item and scouring the shelves desperately to find discount offers to justify the off list items I’ve chucked into said trolley. As you can surmise, my priorities and my lists have still to meet. Having said that, I do reach a happy compromise by chucking out whatever essential groceries dont fit within my budget after having allowed for the non list shopping. So I still have my list intact for the next day, the next round of shopping.
I’m also the queen of making lists of stuff to pack when going for a trip out of town. The list generally looks like this. Pack lots of clothes and shoes. And handbags to match. Its a simple list. I also am very particular. One column is also devoted to cosmetics and skin and hair care requirements. This often necessitates a last minute run to the store because all the very essentials have to be bought in small sizes.And of course, the city I am going to will never have a decent drug store in its city limits for me to be able to pick anything worth using when I land. Never mind if even the stretch of Baga beach gives me much better cosmetic and skin care options than a hypermarket in Mumbai does. I dont really feel confident about travelling if I havent got my Liss control shampoo and conditioner. In travel packs. Or my foaming Neutrogena face wash. And such like. This is a very important list. I’ve packed according to a list, and then spent an agonised evening trying to get to a drugstore from a South Goa Five Star Resort, because I forgot to put in sanitary napkins in the danged list. Im very optimistic that way.
Why this random post on lists? Because, I’ve realised, in the making of all these random lists in the course of my life, I’ve forgotten to make the most important list. The list of the things I really want to do before I die. And thats a list I need to start working on right now.