Today this blog celebrates the humble tool of many a brilliant mind:  the list.

To demonstrate, here is list of lists I like to make:

  • grocery lists
  • packing lists
  • to-do lists
  • movies to watch lists
  • books to read lists
  • books to teach lists
  • books not to teach lists
  • people to e-mail lists
  • reasons I love you lists
  • things I’ve vacuumed lists

And a list of lists I’m currently in the midst of crossing off:

  • things to purchase/get (lens cloth, etc.)
  • things to do at school (e.g. fax visa to Frances)
  • things to do at home (take crap to salvation army, for example)
  • things to write (like write this blog post)
  • money I owe and or owed to me ($50 to j)
  • things to pack  (socks x2, panties x4)
  • thoughts about packing (do we want to bring lamps?)

By calling the list a “humble tool of many a brilliant mind” and then demonstrating my very capable list-making ability, you may think I’m being a bit of a showboat.  You  may find yourself thinking, “that Mandy sure is impressed with herself.”  Well maybe you’re right.  Maybe I can put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as the case may be) and make lists with the best of them.  I hesitate to toot my trombone too tenaciously, but come on, folks, we’ve all got our gifts.  (and perhaps it goes without saying that mine is not alliteration)

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In my home there is an ongoing debate about the value of the lists–as in, does the act of making a list consume more time and/or energy than the actual completion of tasks on the list?–but this blog is interested celebration, not criticism, and as such we will not consider this debate further.  What we will instead consider* is the greatest joy of listmaking: the cross-off.  I can think of few acts more gratifying than putting pen to paper and, with vigor and delight, making a swift, straight line through the completed task.  I’ve even been known to write an item on my list after it’s completion just for the joy of then crossing it off.

 

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So, friends, if you noticed all that “packing” nonsense on my list, it’s because I’m outta here in the morning.  I’m hitting the road (or the air, actually) for a long-awaited vacation.  I’ll go ahead and apologize for how, over the next four weeks, this now vibrant blog post will begin to dwindle, it’s sparkle a sequin short, it’s humor rather stale on second, then third, glance.  But it’s the best I can leave you with, ’cause it’s an hour and a half past my bed time and my pillow is calling.  I’ll miss you, though, and I promise, I’ll come back with something worth writing.

 
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*We may also consider, at a later date, why a discussion of list making seems to enable one to use to “royal We” with abandon.