this is absolutely not a list

I have never been one for New Year´s resolutions.  All that pressure.  Just no.  And yet I do still get that feeling a fresh new year brings, the desire to review and revise, get off on a fresh start, take some action to be this better version of myself that I imagine to be squirrelled away under the apathy. The me that, given free time and the slightest inclination, would choose to lie on the sofa watching some terrible and mesmerising documentary on TLC.  This year I feel like I need a plan.  Not resolutions, more a plan of action.  Because if there is one thing that helps the world make sense to me, it is A LIST.  If only everything in life could be sorted with a list I would be winning a Nobel Peace prize already.  House a mess? Make a list.  DIY to do? kids activities to register and pay for? Things to buy? Make a list!  Too many projects at work? Hell yeah, you know it, a list will make it all better.   It seems like the World can be fairly evenly sorted into list makers and non-list makers.  To those who do not List it is a pointless, fruitless, possibly disheartenening, exercise only serving to highlight how many things you still have to do. But my fellow list makers understand.  They know.  They know the pure satisfaction that comes from Crossing Things Off.  The sense of order and completeness it imparts.

I have a particularly vivid memory from when I was about 7 or 8.  I had a bunch of chores to do and I had a list of said chores.  Now before anyone wonders why a 7-year-old might have ´a bunch of chores´ and rushes in on judgement of my parents I should say –  both the contents of that list and where they came from are long lost to the mists of time.   The people pleaser I grew up to be, typical middle child, was already strongly present in me at this age and I was probably being an unbearable suck-up trying to garner favour with my parents and make my put upon older sister look bad.  Though also in fairness to my Little self, I doubt I was aware of these motivations at the time.  So don´t judge me too harshly.  So this desire to please, my Mum´s never ending to-do list of her own and, it is true, emphasis on children learning to pull their weight in however small a way culminated in this weekend morning (I presume I was not doing mid-morning chores on a weekday) with me wandering around doing little Jobs and ticking them off my list.  I do not know what the chores were.  Sweeping leaves off the driveway figures prominently.

All of this is BESIDE THE POINT.  The POINT. That I am trying to get to, and I apologise for you being exposed so early on to the ramblings of my mind but forewarned is forearmed and all that…  The POINT.  Is the list.  The pure satisfaction of scratching things off the list.  The memory isn´t about what the chores were, or the fairness or otherwise of doing them.  It is exclusively about walking around with this list of scribbled notes and the feeling of control and order and HAPPINESS that crossing each one off brought me.  So the list maker is strong in me and I think my general aversion to New Year´s resolutions is that sneaking feeling that I would be making a list of things that would not get crossed off.  And ultimately that would be more depressing and unsatisfying than not achieving any of the goals themselves.

But this year I do feel like I want to try and harness these feelings of fresh start, new beginnings, and actually make some kind of plan to help me make some headway on my vague good intentions.  The why I will get into later, it is likely to be long and rambling.  I am starting with this, just some writing to start getting some thoughts down on paper. I am not sure what form I want this to take.  The kind of ideas I have spinning around my head range from the mundane to utterly random and quite possibly ridiculous.  None of them, I am sad to say, are altruistic or well meaning.  This is purely about things I want to do in order to better myself, or improve my health, And my enjoyment of life.  Beautifully narcissistic right? But I guess that is the essence of the vast majority of blogs so I comfort myself that I am in good company.

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