Saturday, March 17, 2012

Life's Lists

I've posted on the topic of "lists" before - in relation to New Year's resolutions and bucket lists for example. But lists aren't just something we make once a year are they? My DH keeps a running list of groceries to buy on a small post-it note next to the coffee maker. Certainly when I have a big event to plan [can you say "wedding"?] I really start making lists! But even when I'm just feeling overwhelmed with the number of things I need to do, I make a list and then try to prioritize my "to-dos" to help motivate me to start somewhere!

The reason I bring this up again is I just found the most wonderful website: Lists of Note. It is a website devoted to lists made by notable people and it is funny, profound, surprising, mundane - depending on the list and the list-maker. Here are a couple of examples:
  1. William Safire's Fumblerules of Grammar - rules of writing which are humorously self-contradictory.
  2. Woody Guthrie's illustrated New Years Rulin's for 1942.
  3. F. Scott Fitzgerald's list of Things to Worry About [and things not to worry about] written to his 11 year old daughter Scottie. 
  4. Wartime Golf Rules - an incredible list of rules at the Richmond Golf Club in England during the Battle of Britain. The first rule is "Players are asked to collect Bomb and Shrapnel splinters to save these causing damage to the mowing machines."  They get better!
I'm serious; if you have even 15 extra minutes, check out the website and just browse through the archives.

Now unless we're famous our lists probably won't make it onto this website, but if you keep a journal and if you are in the habit of including lists in said journal, someone someday will probably read them. Don't you wonder what they will think?

A currently best-selling book called One Thousand Gifts [and the website by the same name], is described as "a celebration of grace and a recognition of the power of gratitude" and has inspired many people to contribute to online collaborative lists or to make their own. There is even an "App" for it! At the recent funeral for a good friend I learned that she was inspired by this book, and in the last few months of her life kept a list of all of the things for which she was grateful. Truly inspiring and as you might imagine humbling to hear the simple, everyday things that she knew were really important. And don't you know that her family is grateful to have this list and to be able to pass it down to children and grandchildren to help them remember an amazing woman?

If you don't need to make any lists at the moment, go check out the websites above for some inspiration, and happy list-making!

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