Friday, May 16, 2008

LM's & NLM's

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who make lists (LM's)and those who do not--non-list makers (NLM's).

If there were a club for LM's, I would be President, CEO, CFO & of course, secretary--I would have to make the lists, duh!

There are many types of list makers--those who do it for work, those who do it for home projects, school, fun--top 10 movie lists, for example. There are those who have special paper for making lists or a specific pen. Some type them on the computer so they can be updated immediately and cleanly. Others who like to scratch the entire item out until it can't be seen. Or, I do have a friend who makes neat little boxes to check off when the item is completed.

There are some who like to keep the list until every item on it has been scratched out. Others like to re-write the list on a new sheet after a few items have been completed to keep the list looking fresh and neat.

I could be categorized in the following sections:
--Lists for home and work
--No special paper, but I do own a plethora of pads and pens--see picture for proof. Notice Haiku wanted to get herself into the picture. Her nails are really long. Don't worry, it's on my list of things to do.

--Upon completion, scratch it out until the item can't be seen
--Re-write the list to keep it looking updated and fresh

In fact, I just did all of these things this morning.

One mistake NLM's (non-list makers) make about LM's (list makers) is that we keep numerous lists. This is not true, at least for me. I keep two lists at home--one for short term (to be done this week) items and one for longer term items. I also keep two lists at school of the same variety.

I thrive on making lists and crossing off items as I complete them. There is a high sense of satisfaction in completing an item. I have even been known to write an item down (even after I completed it) just to cross it off. Most of the time, I already know what's on my list. Once I've written it down, I already know I need to do it and I don't really need my list to remember. The list is like a comfort blanket, really.

However, here lately--I'm not quite sure what it is--I can't remember anything. If I were to lose my list--even for the few things I need to do this afternoon--I wouldn't know what needed to be done. My mind has turned into a wasteland. If it's not written down on one of my lists, I simply can't remember! It's a horrible feeling. I've taken to calling my voice mail at work and leaving myself a message to remember to do something.

I really don't know how NLM's survive. It makes me want to write a list for them. How do they remember anything? What satisfaction do they have in completing any project?

Over the last 4 years, I have learned how NLM's survive. I'm married to one. He would be President, CEO and CFO of the NLM Club (notice he would not be secretary. NLM clubs do not have a need for a secretary). He doesn't need lists and survives just fine without them. Sometimes I ask him what things he has left to do (school is finishing up in the next two weeks and there is a lot to be done). I really do want to know how much work he has left to do, but secretly I'm making a list in my head for him.

This world needs both LM's and NLM's. Both groups serve a purpose. And in the end, it doesn't really matter which you are. Just know it and accept it.

There's nothing worse than an NLM pretending to like lists.


Ski said...

The not remembering things only gets worse from now on until the baby is about a year old or more depending on if you have a sleeper or a non-sleeper. As some friends of ours found out you can train a baby a bit but if they are truly a non-sleeper you just have to do the best you can. I had 2 non-sleepers, and now that Tabitha is three and starting to consistently sleep through the night (although now she is waking me up to go potty, sometimes I miss diapers) I feel like I am getting my memory back. How much did I forget about in the last 5 years? ;)

Amos said...

Welcome to Motherhood, when the brain just can't remember if the list was there, where the list even is, or what was on the list. Ski has it correct, it does come back. But while the little one comes into this world, make the lists of the things they do, because later when you scrapbook them, you won't really remember because it goes WAY too fast. I love reading your perspective on things, Laughed at how your hubby wouldn't be the Secretary of the NLM club. That was funny. Happy Belated Mother's day to you!

my3boys said...

I just wanted to let you know that I am a proud member of the list maker club. Today I folded an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper into fourths and then used each section for a different list. :) I would also like to add my "crossing off" method which was not mentioned. I cross off with one neat line. No scratching off for me...I've got to see where I've been! Too bad I'm not so anal about cleaning my house!!! ha ha ha...

Beverly said...

Sarah, I LOVED this post!! I laughed out loud numerous times, recognizing myself in your description of LM's. I, too, write down tasks AFTER completing them just so I can cross them off and receive that satisfaction. (Especially if I end up doing lots of things during the day that are NOT on my original list...I have to make myself feel better about really and truly accomplishing something!) And I also often don't need my lists after writing them out, because I typically remember what I wrote out. You're right; it's a security blanket!

Here's to all the LM's in the world! :-)

Tricia said...

Sarah, this is one of your best posts ever, from one LM to another. I keep a spiral bound notebook with me at all times, and it is my lifeline, my brain, and my sense of productivity.

My life changed drastically when I left the professional world to enter that of the maternal realm, and for a while, listmaking became my sense of purpose - marking where I had been, where I was going, what I really GOT DONE that day, amidst the diapers and dishes.

(I'm with Dana - I cross a single line through. Gotta see what was there. It's productivity, since I may have to accomplish a very similar list tomorrow. I'll want to note that this is not just dejavu, but another day with similar tasks, as motherhood can often seem to be.)

My style of listmaking has also changed since the boys were born. In my pre-parenting days, I would write down "Laundry," and then I would cross it off when the task was completely accomplished. Now? Well, the task may not get completely accomplished.

So now I write down Laundry, then bulleted subheadings: sort laundry, wash laundry, fold laundry, put away laundry. Four new things to cross off. Now THAT is a sense of accomplishment, even if only the first two get done.

I get it, Sarah. I so get it. :o)

Nathan Charlan said...

Your post has made my wife an obsessive listmaker. And I must say- it's AWESOME! She's been amazing at helping me in all areas of life - a true helper/completer. And the list making helps her keep track of it all.