Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Today's To Do List

let's title this Simpler Times

When I lived in Washington, D.C. I went to an art exhibit about lists. There were hundreds of lists on display, mostly written by famous people, mostly very poetic. Eero Saarinen wrote twelve things he noticed about his wife, “First I recognized that you were very clever.” Janice Lowry’s titled one list, “Fifty people I need to forgive.”

The exhibit was inspiring to me, so I bought the book and had it signed by the author. I dearly hope it’s somewhere in my parents’ basement because I can’t find it in California. Yet, even without it in front of me, I can paraphrase the introduction: Lists give us the illusion of control in an otherwise chaotic life. Or, a little more darkly, the illusion of triumph in what feels like an unaccomplished life. 

I have always written lists. And this Sunday, like every Sunday of my life, I wrote down weekly goals and taped them to my wall.
  • Take Kylee Martinelli’s 
  • Finish the Shadow of Man 
  • Have lunch with Rachel 
  • Buy outdoor Halloween decorations 
  • Invite someone over for Sunday 
  • Exercise four days this week 
  • Return Reija’s spatula 
  • Listen to General Conference talks 
  • Write up next week’s SLO itinerary 
  • Brainstorm Christmas cards 
And you know? It’s Wednesday night, and both my kids were happy today. I should have written that on my list. It’s one of the only things I’ve really accomplished in days, and I need that illusion of triumph.

b perry


  1. <3 the world needs more lists. And more of you.

  2. I love retroactive list-making. If you list all of the things you actually did accomplish in a day, or all of the times you could see you were a good person, it gives you the warm fuzzies.


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