List Lover

I know. I can sense the shock from you when you read that title. This is not the usual travel snapshot, giving you a brief insight into my visit to London or Luxor or someplace equally as wonderful. I fully intended to do that too. Then a couple of days ago I got thinking about all the comments left by my lovely readers and I noticed a reoccurring theme of the bucket list. Which got me thinking about the role of lists in my own everyday life. So … no travel today, just a post on the humble list.

I guess you could say I’m a list maker. At least for somethings. I wouldn’t typically write out a shopping list, unless it was for a major grocery shop and I wasn’t certain whether my often distracted mind could retain all the little items I needed to buy. I’m fortunate in that I have a great memory. It irritates the hell out of some of my friends as they know I’m unlikely to forgot much that they say, even when they sometimes wish I would πŸ˜‰ But that memory comes in handy with the little every day things like groceries. If I’m facing a particularly busy period at work, with lots of unrelated projects for a multitude of clients due to be done, then I may well start out my day with a hastily scribbled out list on a post-it – stuck to my PC screen as a handy reminder. Typically I make a mental list each week of what work I need to do and when I’m going to do it. I’m a planner. I like to know what’s on the cards for the next day, it helps me feel grounded and organised. What about when it came to planning for this blogging A-Z Challenge? Yep. List. In fact, not only did I make a list … I drew up a calendar on a piece of paper, little boxes with the dates, just like a wall calendar, and wrote down what I’d be writing about on each day. Fancy list πŸ˜‰

Oddly enough though, I will always make a list when it comes to packing for a trip. Always. And usually it’s written about a month ahead of my departure! But I would say that’s just a symptom of being over excited about whatever upcoming trip I have planned. You would think with all the travel I’ve been fortunate to have done that packing would be second nature. And it is. It’s just I have flash backs to that one trip … when I forgot my toothbrush. Granted it’s an item easily bought on arrival pretty much anywhere but still. The horror of it! Then there’s the issue of the thongs (I will remind you all here that I’m an Australian … “thongs” are those things you wear on your feet, the rest of you probably call them flip-flops). I have a habit of breaking or losing a thong on most trips. Once in Thailand, stepping out of a canoe in Khao Lak, I remove my foot from the muddy river bed … the thong has vanished. Stepping off a plane in Singapore’s Changi International Airport – the bit between the toes snaps (barefoot in an airport is most embarrassing folks!). Then there was walking around the street-side markets in Botswana  – thong explosion. Barefoot in Botswana. So … based on that, my travel packing list always includes at least two pairs of thongs (preferably to be carried on me at all times!). Oh & then there’s the tweezers! Show of hands, who never remembers to pack tweezers? I was guilty of that as well, until I put my hand through a cactus plant in the office of an adventure tours company in Swakopmund, Namibia. Nothing like the pain of cactus needles in your thumb and no way to remove the f**kers (excuse the language but … ouch!).

Which brings me to the trigger for this post. The Bucket List. I have a menu heading on my blog site with that very heading, listing all the places I’ve been and those I’m yet to visit. It’s not a concrete list by any means. It’s fluid and changes (and probably needs updating again). But why make such a list? Am I, are any of us for that matter, likely to forget the big ticket things we want to do in life? I’m not just talking travel here. Maybe your bucket list contains activities, like sky diving or running a marathon. If those are your passions and goals, are you likely to forget? In reality I think the answer is “yes”. We become so distracted by the every day demands of life that the dreams of what we’d like to do can get left on the sideline. The humble list serves as a tiny reminder not to forget about the extraordinary things outside the routine of daily life. So … tell me. Are you a list maker? For everything or somethings? Do you have a Bucket List for places you want to visit or things you want to do? 

This post is part of my contribution to the April 2017 A-Z Challenge

For a list (haha! I know right?) and links to my other challenge posts, click here

For those interesting in revisiting my 2016 challenge post for “L”, here’s the link: LIFE LESSONS

2017 Badge

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29 thoughts on “List Lover”

  1. What a great read – smooth, funny and even helpful. (Tweezers) We’ve done a lot of travel as a family, as time and opportunity presented itself. But now I am actually making my first formal travel bucket list. Because you’re right. If you don’t put it squarely in front of you, and keep it there, I’m not sure you ever complete a list like that.

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    1. Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it and got something out of it too. I think the bucket list has great merit – cliche or not, life is truly short and unless we remain mindful of the opportunities out there, we may come to the end and wonder what else we might have done to enrich that life.

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  2. Thongs and tweezers – now those are two items I probably wouldn’t pack. As long as I have a credit card, a phone charger and way too many T-Shirts, I’m good.
    I generally have a great memory for faces, events and the like. Groceries not so much, especially since I’ve become a Mom. So shopping list it is. Sometimes I forget to actually bring them to the store, though! πŸ˜‚
    Almost a year ago a couple of blogger friends (always looking to welcome new ones!) and I started posting “Top Ten Lists” on my blog, using different topics. Check out a random one: https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/2017/02/top-ten-thursday-breaking-up.html

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Tamara! Haha I can relate to forgetting to bring a list too πŸ™‚ Too funny! I do love a good list though so I’ll be sure to swing by and check out your blog.

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  3. I know the feeling of getting attacked by cacti! Happened a few times… Once, when squatting to pee in Mexico. Funny now. Not then! πŸ™‚ I constantly make mental lists of everything, but if something is really important or I need to truly accomplish certain things, I make a list. For grocery shopping, I always have a list. It helps to do things efficiently.

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    1. Haha! Oh, Liesbet! I shouldn’t laugh but your run in with a cacti is pretty funny (as you say, now it is anyway). I don’t envy you that experience at all. It’s a good point you make about lists to – they definitely help you to be more efficient with your time πŸ™‚

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  4. I am definitely a list maker, not that I always stick to it but like you it helps me feel grounded and like I have some kind of control of what I am doing (ha ha ha ha). I don’t have a bucket list preferring instead to live in the here and now rather than in the bye and bye. I tore up my bucket list and now only keep a list of things to do and experiences to have that truly, deeply and authentically inspire me. I feelthe term ‘bucket list’ is a euphemism for my big fat brag list. People aren’t really interested in what’s on your list, they’re only interested in whether or not yours is less exciting than theirs. πŸ™‚ Linda

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    1. The control element is certainly true. I think having a list to refer to can help with being more efficient. Actually sticking to it is a whole other thing! I’ve never looked at bucket lists as brag lists, I think I’ve always just taken people at face value that those are genuinely the things they dream of being able to do one day. Whether it ever eventuates is in their own hands of course. Thanks for your feedback, Linda πŸ™‚

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  5. I’m the exact opposite – my memory sucks πŸ™‚ I love lists though. Planning is a hobby of mine, sometimes I think I enjoy it more than the actual thing itself! Interestingly though I don’t make lists for packing. Which makes me a lousy packer. Maybe I should start! πŸ™‚

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      1. It’s weird because I love whinging it and the best things that happened to me were the results of my spontaneity but I just love spending time imagining the future aka planning πŸ™‚

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    1. I like the idea of a list of things to do in your home town or state. I think it’s so easy to forget about all the many great adventures you can have right where you live. It’s refreshing to “play tourist” at home πŸ™‚ I do both mental & written lists as well. I guess whether I write it down depends how important something is to remember? And there’s nothing wrong with a lengthy travel bucket list, it keeps the dreams alive πŸ™‚

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  6. Lol with that first paragraph! I was actually waiting for a new place… but this one is equally interesting, not to mention that I also used a list for my L entry.

    Speaking of lists, I just realized I love using them, everything from personal stuff like grocery shopping to work to-dos. I maintain a Bucket List series on my blog as well as on our publication’s website. Regarding travel lists, I tried putting up itineraries but I always end up going off course because I usually find something interesting in the places I go.

    What’s the next place on your Bucket List?

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    1. I’d say you’re definitely a list maker, Andy! That just make life so much neater πŸ™‚ Like yourself I try to plan my itineraries too but sometimes other things come up that you maybe didn’t realise we’re going to be an option – and then everything goes out the window! I’m heading back to South Africa this year so I won’t get to visit somewhere new until 2018 at the earliest. I’m not entirely sure yet but maybe Morocco or India. What about you?

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      1. It’s fun doing lists right? And I like ’em written on paper rather than my phone hehe. That’s the magic of being “lost” when traveling — you get to see the unusual side of a place or things you might have missed on your “perfect” list haha. Hey! I plan to visit Morocco in October. Just feed us with your South African ramblings, I’m so looking forward to it.

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  7. I live in the States, but grew up calling flip flops “thongs” as well. I only stopped when “thong” began to mean really, really, uncomfortable underwear.
    As for a bucket list, no I don’t have one, but I’m starting to think I should. I was against the idea at first, because I thought, “what do you do when you’ve checked off the last item? Sit in a corner and wait for death?” But now I see the value in writing down those places I still want to visit and those things I really want to try, because otherwise I might never get around to them. Thanks for this post!

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    1. Hi Ann! I confess I got a little thrill from knowing you used to call flip flops “thongs” too. I always feel like I need to clarify my meaning but not so in your case πŸ™‚
      I can see the pit fall of crossing off everything on a list and then wondering what now. It hadn’t crossed my mind before as I’ve never thought I’d be able to check everything off mine (plus mine isn’t particularly concrete, it’s a bit fluid). Still, having a list of things to do or try can help you focus on moving towards achieving those things. Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

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  8. LOVE a good list, I’m not very organised so I find them very helpful and I’m the same I always have a list for going away somewhere. Bucket list wise I do have one but surprisingly its not written down, which I now feel it should be πŸ™‚

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    1. It seems the consensus is that most of us love lists, and find them to be helpful in getting things done efficiently or reminding us of the little things. I’m a little like you in that my bucket list is primarily in my head. I mean, I have one on my blog page but it’s the only written version. I tend to change my list as so often that mental storage is best πŸ˜€

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  9. I’m not a bucket list person by nature – like you mentioned, I remember the big ticket things I want to do πŸ™‚ But I never grocery shop without my list – and on the rare nights I have trouble sleeping, my trick is to write a list of everything I’m stewing over so I can get it out, tell myself I’ll deal with it tomorrow, put it aside and force myself to sleep.

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    1. I actually really like that idea, Louise – making a mental lists of the things that are weighing on your mind and leaving it to tomorrow. I might have to try that. I often struggle getting to sleep, and I find my mind is too actively running over things that might be troubling me … so nice list tip there πŸ‘πŸΌ

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      1. I hope it works for you. I find it’s a mental trick that does for me. It acknowledges I’m stressed or worried about something and forces my mind to make a plan to deal with (ie: you’ve written it down, now you need sleep because you have a plan to deal with this tomorrow!).

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  10. I do not really do lists – except for this A to Z Challenge. I don’t really plan ahead either, except for holidays. And I don’t do research, unless it is for holidays.

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