Listmaker, Listmaker Make Me A…Margarita
I know, I know. I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL. It was the holiday weekend, and we had lots of family and friend gatherings, and we were busy. But there’s no excuse, you’re right. If you want to be a blogger, you have to, you know, blog. If you want people to read, you have to give them something to read. And I haven’t. I’m sorry, I’ll try to do better. I’ll make it up to you.
I have serious guilt issues, can you tell? I blame the Catholics. I do not consider myself one of those (and frankly, they are probably breathing a great sigh of relief). But, I was raised by two that were part of their ranks for many, many years. And while my parents did not practice the fine art of guilt tripping, I believe it is coded in your DNA if you’re a Catholic family, this propensity for guilt. I have it bad.
I feel guilty about a lot of things. I feel guilty for driving if I can walk. I feel guilty about staying inside on a beautiful day. If I have even the slightest inclination that I’ve hurt someone’s feelings, I’m horribly, obsessively guilt stricken. When I even think about not walking my dog, I feel guilty. So feeling guilty about not blogging is just one more thing to add to the list.
In all seriousness, I have a problem. I’ve got to learn to cope with this issue, to either let myself off the hook, or say I’m sorry and move on. Sometimes the guilt serves a purpose: I have a good work ethic, my dog is well exercised and I try really hard to be nice to people, even when I don’t want to. Sometimes, though, it’s out of control. My mom tells me to get a grip.
I’m working on it.
One of my biggest guilt issues is that I feel bad for not taking every opportunity, all the time. I’m afraid I’ll miss out, that I’ll have lost a chance at something great. I’m a consummate list maker, but this is where I’ve found solace from the guilt.
My sister and brother-in-law were in town this weekend. After seeing the copious lists my mother makes, hearing about my obsession with list making (and I mean, I make lists about everything: grocery lists, bill lists, chore lists, lists of food, lists of books to read and have read, lists of schoolwork…you get the idea), Chase commented that he must have married into a family of list makers, as my sister is the same way. Both my dad and Mr. B wholeheartedly echoed and agreed with this sentiment. Maybe that’s in our DNA too.
I make lists for several reasons. One, so I don’t forget stuff. Two, because I believe that when you write it down, it’s more likely to occur. It’s a sort of universal accountability. Three, it gives me a certain control over my world and the priorities therein. I get a certain satisfaction from crossing things off a list, and from seeing before me in print exactly what I want to occur. I’m somehow more conscious of my priorities.
When I lived in Seattle, the fabulous ML and I decided to make our own lists of 30 Things to do by 30. I have amended some, decided to give myself more time for others, and accomplished a lot. I had until the end of my 30th year to complete it.
I’ve at least attempted most of the things on that list. Those that I haven’t are things I’ve decided weren’t that much of a priority anymore, for various reasons. When I look at that list I feel less guilty for opportunities not taken, and more proud of things I’ve done, because, damn, I did a lot. And I was strategic about how to accomplish them.
I’m closing in on 31. I’ve got new lists.
Check out my lists on To Do’s.