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Sunday, April 17, 2022

To List Or Not To List?

For as long as I can recall, I've made lists. In fact, this compulsive habit pre-dates a lifelong pre-occupation with my abiding passions. Before I fully realized how much literature, music, and film meant to me, I constructed lists of dinosaurs, super-heroes, Olympic events. When we were quite young, one of my sisters once discovered a "list of my lists", something we laugh about to this day.

Only recently have I begun to recognize that making lists was likely an antecedent for another lifelong passion - writing. As a child, making lists of things - at least to start - probably helped me make sense of my world. But soon after, I remember wanting to absorb what was on those lists and be able to retrieve it later. I've now come to think that collecting stuff like a magpie on those early lists was a way I used to make novel associations that could be useful, somehow. Useful that is, in a poem, a song, a story.

No one in my early life - including me - saw a blossoming writer buried in my lists. One consequence of that: I was not encouraged to pursue writing as a vocation. Neither was I discouraged from doing so. The magic of my life since ceasing full-time work in 2010 has been the daily freedom to let my lists - which have continued unabated - take me where they will. What early habit of yours have you seen made manifest in later life? 

   

 

4 comments:

  1. Do you still have your "List of Lists?"

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    1. Anonymous; I do not. Happy to report I've evolved enough to have dumped that compulsive part of the habit. But I'm also quite sure I'll never stop making lists.

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  2. Pat; Ahhh, the idea of a list. I will have to show this post to Rose. She loves lists and, although at times I have been known to oppose her lists, I am much more appreciative of them as they do keep things in line - especially when it comes to what is needed and what there is to be done. As for my younger days .. well, not so much lists but definitely collecting things. Not sure if, as you indicate, it has lead to anything in my present life, although I do still tend to collect things. Sometimes a lot of things. But it's all good. My vinyl album collection - of various types of music - was started in my teens and numbers over 1200 today. And, from time to time, I still add to it. Other collections are, thankfully, not as numerous, but are just as enjoyable. Referring back to you post on Self-Sabotage, I never had to patience, and probably not the talent, to write or compose. Laziness, in my opinion, creeps into the equation for a few things but I've been told by many that I am incorrect in feeling that way. I do try to write things down more these days than years ago. But most of that is just wanting to make sure I don't forget.
    Be well,
    Bob

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    1. "Anonymous" Bob; Lists are indeed an excellent way to remember "...what is needed and ...needs to be done." And though I've been known to use those as well - as you indicate Rose does - this post is less about the lists per se and more about what I now believe that lifelong habit was ALWAYS pointing me towards - i.e. "novel associations that are useful" - the most succinct definition of creativity I've ever encountered. Thanks for the comment.

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