The Joy of Making Lists

As soon as Boxing Day has passed and I know for certain that Christmas has departed and taken my visiting daughters with it and I have managed to quit sobbing and have dried my eyes, then I have a tremendous urge for lists.
These lists need not necessarily be of the New Year’s Resolutions variety despite the season and all. Those particular resolution lists tend to fade as quickly as my promise not to eat my weight in Turtles over the holidays.
These lists that I am compiling are more like lists of methods to put my life in order and, of course, on the top of the list is buying bins, because we all know that one can never own too many bins.
Another list might be of columns I will write and characters I will invent for my fiction and ideas along those lines.
I also might make a list of preparedness tactics should our power fail after I’ve listened to the tales of those who had their hydro recently extinguished by Mother Nature.
Mother Nature has a nasty side to her and a list of how to fight back seems appropriate in light of recent storms. Candles and flashlights are the obvious along with extra batteries and plenty of matches.
Foodstuffs that can be barbequed or roasted over an open fire along with the leftover Christmas chestnuts seems a good idea.
Knowing how to drain the water lines in the house isn’t as straight forward as having plenty of bottled water on hand. And Turtles. One should always have an ample supply of Turtles in the event of a blackout or flood or forest fire or locusts or pretty much anything.
I’ve started a list of wisdoms that I have acquired in 2013 under both headings of good and bad.
Items on this particular list might be if you adopt two sweet orange kittens, chances are the butter is going to get licked if left unattended. Now is that good or bad?
The kittens are definitely good, so cute and so entertaining, but the licked butter, not so good.
Another acquired wisdom is if you live far away from your daughters you will have regular bouts of homesickness for them, and some days that feeling of being homesick will be crippling.
Or the ever-enlightening if you do too many kakuro puzzles, you may go blind and suffer irreparable damage to your brain.
Another wisdom I have acquired as the world’s slowest learner is if you let Gracie sleep on the bed one night, she’s going to want to sleep there every night and after her canine gratefulness has turned into a sense of entitlement, she will hog the bed; without a doubt.
Sneeze sitting down if you’ve ever given birth or thought of giving birth or if you own a uterus.
Knitting is akin to solving world hunger, as both are hugely satisfying or I presume hugely satisfying because I haven’t solved world hunger just yet, but I do knit.
If you want to be a grown-up or appear to be a grown-up get napkin rings.
Always carry a camera and be prepared to use it.
Carry a pail when you go for a hike, preferably a small yellow metal pail. My Grandpa Stewart always had me carry a pail when he and I went on walks, not because we filled said pail but because simply carrying the pail with the idea of finding some fabulous treasure opened my eyes much wider and created a space in my brain called “possibilities.”
I’ve started another list on the balance between work and relaxation and exercise and good eating habits and nowhere on that list does it say: Eat Turtles. So self-improvement is possible at any age, it turns out.
Why don’t you start your lists and see if it will stop you from crying if your daughters have just left?
It could be as effective with sons, but I have nothing to go by.
wendistewart@live.ca

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