Let me tell you about some of the lists I have, on my phone and in notebooks.
I have grocery lists (obviously).
I have lists of books I have lent out with the names of the people I lent them to.
I have lists of random codes I need (combination lock for the gym, lock for the community hall I teach at, etc.)
I have lists of story ideas.
I have lists of artists whose work I enjoyed and wanted to look further into (above).
I have lists of license plate numbers from two separate incidents (almost three years apart from one another) I had to report to the police.
I have lists of “characters” I see in my day to day life, A.K.A. people who will get written into something in the future.
I have lists of topics I need to research to match up with my story ideas.
I have “To Do” lists on both macro and micro scales (“go to the dentist eventually,” vs. “send that email”).
I have lists of random account numbers and passwords for things/places I don’t use often enough to remember.
I have lists of topic ideas for this blog.
I have lists of things I worry about.
I have a list I call my “NOTE TO SELF” list, of stupid shit I keep doing that makes me sad/ill/generally unhappy, to remind myself to stop doing it.
I have lists of goals, both long-term and short-term.
I have lists of what I need to do in order to reach those goals.
I have lists of story ideas I should pitch to certain blogs I frequent, like xojane, but haven’t yet pitched because I’m scared of rejection.
I have packing lists from past trips I’ve taken, because I always forget something obvious like pyjamas or my glasses.
I have lists of books and movies people have recommended.
I have lists of journals and publications I can submit my writing to.
I could go on and on, but I feel like this list is long enough.
Lesson learned: Lists make my world go ’round.
I write them when I’m too excited to remember things. I write them when I’m too busy to keep track. I write them when I’m worried and need to get my feelings off my chest. I write them when I’m stressed and need to calm myself down by figuring my shit out. I write them because sometimes I’m forgetful. I write them because it’s what I do.