Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oh, Checkin' it WAY more than twice

Because Stie was kind enough to expose her neuroses, at my request, I thought I'd let you all in on a little Jessica secret. I'm obsessed with list making. See the picture above? Lists from last Saturday...all in use. I took a picture and thought I'd make a list to tell you all about it.

1. The types of Lists you'll find lying around my house:
  • To-Do List--the most important. Has all tasks (mostly in order) of the day, plus things I add during the day, knowing I won't get to them, but don't want to forget.
  • Calorie List--found on the back of the to-do list. Usually left incomplete when the calorie allotment begin to look hopelessly too small.
  • Positive/Negative List--also on the back of the to-do list. I'll pick a kid (usually Emma) and track how many happy and not-so happy interactions I have with her during the day. Of course, we have LOTS more Positive interactions when I'm tracking. Which is the whole point.
  • Grocery List on the Fridge--this is the list with all the food I realize we are out of during the week. Not the master shopping list.
  • Master Shopping List, with Daily Menu List in right corner--made on grocery day. Menu saved and magnet-ed on fridge.
  • Idea for Blogs
  • Big Events list--this is the page or two I start making to prepare for Christmas or trips or Girls camp. Luckily I only have to bring these babies out once in a while.

2. Stuff on Today's List (in order):

  • scrips
  • 10 min E
  • 10 min G
  • 10 min J
  • 10 min S
  • school (getting them out the door deserves crossing off, as does:)
  • dress all
  • run
  • Daines (watching niece and nephew)
  • Cyn card (write b-day card to friend)
  • McD
  • Genie/frame (involves Christmas presents, don't look parentals!)
  • plane ticket (for weekend with Paige, Tammy and Adrianne)
  • blog (CHECK!)
  • ham (for tonight's ward party)
  • 2nd day
  • practice Kara (for song E and I are singing tonight)
  • Chr party
  • adhere 3 (shorthand involving that STUPID Christmas card)
  • stamp/cut (ditto)
  • tie on (ditto)

3. Reasons I make lists

  • I have 4 children, a husband, a house, a calling, a blog, friends...I couldn't possibly keep all my stuff in my head without the list(s).
  • I feel so happy when I cross something off.
  • I feel much more in control, when I can SEE it.
  • It reminds me (the 10 min kid thing) of stuff I would let slip away otherwise.
  • I have to think less, because it's all right there.

4. Therapists who have told me to stop making lists

  • BYU therapist
  • Dr. Scott at LDS Social Services
  • Ryan
    (except this was years ago, and I've really learned how to not obsess about not crossing everything off. I did stop for about 2 years and it really helped. I am able to do it now and have it help, not hinder my life)

So go ahead: comment about how exhausting this all seems, or OCD, or how you are exactly like this and you love it. Comments...they're almost like a list, you know.


Pineapple Princess said...

Wow, we are a lot alike. My brain only works on paper. I have most of those lists and now I even have my "travel list" on the computer. Each person has a category and once I print it off, I add or subract according to time of year and destination. I love it.

Do you also have a list of the lists or the list you write of things you have ALREADY done, just for the shear joy of crossing a whole bunch of things off!

List makers make better bloggers!

Lauren said...

Boy Howdy! I am so relieved that you make lists, too...I make mine out of sticky notes...One time my dad gave me a cartoon strip entitled "Imagine Life without Sticky Notes" The cartoon pictured a woman surrounded by sticky notes that reminded her to do things like "pee" "poop" "chew"... I sensed I may have a problem from his prompt. The main reason I need my sticky notes list is I have a genuine problem forgetting things! I saw a t-shirt once that said "I Know I Came In This Room For a Reason". I should have bought it because it sums my life of standing in various rooms of my house wondering "Why did I come in here?" Thank you most of all for being so candid. Oh...if you get a chance...check out my blog...I finally posted a picture of myself...too bad it's hideous!

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

I love lists. I think you've inspired me to make more than I do. Like... when I was working, I would put something that was really important on a postit and stick it on my computer since I looked at it all the time. I would stare at it and loved it when I completed the sticky and could remove it from my computer. Now, I'm having that same computer problem (can you say "blogging"?) and I think I might try it again. Hmmm. I need to put "buy postits" on a postit.

Oh, and I got your pic instrucitons. It seems semi-complicated, but on my next post where I have a few pictures, I'm going to make you proud and try it. Wish me luck!

Me & My BOYS said...

I think it's a little OCD, but maybe you wouldn't forget things that way. I forgot to do my visiting teaching last night. Should have made a list.

zeeny said...

I like lists as well because I often forget things if I don't write them down. I don't get down on myself if they aren't crossed off though.

Annie said...

I am so with you on this. I love lists, love writing them, love how they line up my life in a tidy script, love being able to take the information out of my brain and onto the paper.

I have working, daily lists and meta-lists for my life that are in a bound moleskine notebook. My posterity is going to get to know me through lists (I fear). When I have nothing to do, like I'm waiting for the kids during a music lesson, I get out a paper and make a list. Recreationally. I'm over the border of crazy :)

By the way, I like your pos/neg interaction list! Great idea...I need that intervention with a certain child o' mine right now.

Amber said...

I just popped over here from Stie's place and after reading how cool both of you are, I have resolved to be a better OCD list maker. :-)

Ilene said...

Hello, My name is Ilene and I am a Listmaker.

I even write things I completed on my list that I forgot to initially write down just so I can mark them off as done. I love that visual cue of getting something done.

Of course I fail to write exercise and calories consumed down because I don't like the guilt they invoke as I open the freezer door (where my lists are kept) to get some ice cream.

Celia Fae said...

Do you ever take a day off from lists? I make lists too but then I get overwhelmed by my list. I imagine that I would be more overwhelmed without one, though.

This year I didn't make a Christmas list. I've decided to do it more organically as things come. So far it is working out okay, but maybe by the end of Christmas I will be singing a different tune.

On today's list: watch a little tv.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I didn't even touch on the lists...oh, girlfriend, we are so the same.

I would not be able to get anything done without my lists. If I don't make a list, then I forget everything I'm supposed to do and am mad the next day when things didn't get done.

HILLARY said...

I need to start making lists. I know it would help me stay focused. I think I don't so I don't have to be toooo responsible! Thanks for sharing :)

Paige said...

This is so celia. She has them typed out and up on her cabinet, in categories like you. My only list is the Target one. I'm sure I have some OCD. It would have to be my kids hair. I am OCD about their hair. I would never let my girls not have their hair done, or a matching bow. If their hair gets messy or the bow falls out I have anxiety everyday.

I'm also OCD about exercise, but you can relate to that.

AMY said...

I've tried the list thing because I never get everything done but then I lose my list. ??? How ??? Not sure what happens...maybe it's my subconscious way of acknowledging that I'd never get it all done anyway. :)

Bridget said...

I am a list maker too. When I was at BYU I was so obsessively organized. I mapped out my day to the minute including eat lunch from 12-:12:25. Study psych from 12:25-1:15pm. It left no room for a conversation with someone across campus. I have since learned how to allow for a little human error and realize somedays not everything will get crossed out.

Lorena said...

First of all, Jess, you know that I am a list-maker, too. You tried to get me to stop, and I am doing better, but I love lists. I love crossing things off and feeling like I have actually accomplished something during the day. I will have to post my housework list, which of course was made on Excel so it can be printed weekly.

As long as you are coming out of the list-making closet, you forgot to post the list about what hairstyle you did on the girls and when. That was my favorite discovery in your kitchen.

Auzigirl said...

I make lists but then I forget to look at the list to see what I need to do. Or I forget the list at home and can't remember everything I should be doing.? I need to be better about it.

Carie said...

As you know, the name of my blog is carie-list. Up until this point in my life, I THOUGHT I was a list maker.

Now, I am pretty sure I am just an amateur (I just looked up how to spell "amateur"- don't want to spell it wrong.)

I do keep a notebook with me and write everything down in it, always.

Paige said...

You are giving to heidiram. See our blog for the rules.

The Hansen Clan said...

I am a total list maker too! I love them and they love me. We work well together. We need each other. My lists never mock me although sometimes they do "hide" from me. But I really do love lists and I love people that love lists because only a true "list lover" really "gets" me. You are awesome and you and Emma did such a great job singing tonight. You are gifted in so many ways! Thanks for sharing it with those of us lucky enough to know you :)

Paige said...

Boo, I missed the singing. Did you record it? I want it on YouTube.

Lauren said...

I notice someting from your list...So you sing, too!?

Kenny, Linsey and Caleb said...

I can only have one list or I will lose track or go crazy, but I totally support the need for them. Our maid makes a shopping list, but she writes the items like prose with commas in between and it drives me crazy so I don't use her list and just buy what I feel like eating.

Jill said...

There's nothing wrong with trying to be organized! Our brains are overrated...they can't remember everything! Hence, lists are a must!

Denae said...

I love lists. But lately they haven't been helping too much... I still feel crazy in my mind and overwhelmed. And I've been losing my lists too much too.

Thank you for sharing yours. I want to hear more about the therapist thing and what he/she said. I think I need one.

crystal said...


We have the same gene! In fact, it's a huge joke in my family. As soon as we have some kind of thing planned, someone says, "Crystal, go start your list!"

Sheesh. What kind of moron therapist would tell you to stop making lists?

I'll blog mine for ya. We'll get endorphins going, just from looking at each other's lists.

Karen said...

I can't function without a list. I love crossing stuff off. I'm with PP...I put stuff on it that I know is already done (or will be for sure, like getting kids out the door to school), just so I can cross it off.

Next on my list: stop blogging, and keep working on Mom's Christmas present.

gab said...

I enjoy lists too. At the beginning of the week I make a master list and then break it down into lists by categories (to do, do get, do call....etc) and then I break those down into daily lists.

My desk is one giant mess of lists. The fact is I would rather make lists than do the things on the lists.

Also, love making lists for my kids every day!!! Let's start a new generation...

Erika said...

why would you ever need a therapist? Better check - one of them probably wrote a book about you - you're too interesting.

Abbie said...

I'm pretty sure it runs in our family, or maybe it's due to the fact that we both have ovaries. I'm also a semi-obsessed list maker.

J'net said...
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J'net said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J'net said...

COMMENT #30! Oh my gosh... 29 comments! You REALLY need to publish your articles! You COULD use all the subjects you blog and call yourself OPHRA!... Then all your "listing" friends would take a BREAK from their lists and sit down for 60 minutes and WATCH you!!!
IS Jessical TIME on that list? Add it TODAY!!!
and it can't be an appt. IT has to be quality time with yourself doing SOMETHING YOU LOVE!!!
Aunt J'net

J'net said...

SORRY, guess I got over zealous and added myself #30, 31 and 32??? Just got so excited about taking a # and standing in line? You can erase those repeaters,
It's NOT any better the 2nd and 3rd time... I'll work on keeping it to ONE single comment from now on. Learning to blog is new to my generation!
Check my blog at
Luv, Aunt J'net ONCE!

Adrianne said...

I should makre more lists because then maybe I would get more done in a day, and be better at blogging...can I tell you that I love reading your blog because it makes me feel like I am living by you, instead of on another continent?? I miss your lists.

Tammy said...

I do remember you loving lists. I do lists much less infrequently, but from time to time I do them. I keep a lot in my head, but I do understand the satisfaction of being done with a whole lot of stuff!!! You are cute.

TexasTwinsTwice said...

hi--we don't know each other, so this odd--but i've loved reading your blog! I stumbled onto it recently through our mutual friend's blog (Kara B.). I just have to tell ya, i love your insights & perspective! You are very inspirational as well. So there is your random comment from a stranger today! =)

Amber said...

Okay, I've been just giggling over your blog, you are funny as EVER. I was happy to see your Christmas cards this year with your URL in there -- don't make it the last homemades! PLEASE?

And just the cutest family I've ever seen. AND I studied your lists. I admire you, always looking for new tricks..thought the lists might be the key...but the bottom word on your center list looks peculiar.

No need for explanations. We all have issues. ;)

Merry Christmas ROMNEYS!