Everyone has secrets. Some are big and will be carried to the grave, possibly revealed on the secret keepers last breath. Hopefully the secret will have as much impact as a marshmallow being thrown at them but maybe it will be a life altering moment. Some are small and poisonous, like the darts blown from a jungle dwelling man’s dart gun. Secrets that have pointy edges and many barbs will do more damage than the big smooth arrows. Then there are secrets that we have as children, things like switching our “best friend” allegiance more often than we change our socks. Whether you like Mark or Darren or indeed, Sarah. Secrets start as soon as we are old enough to understand that knowledge (no matter how important it may seem to the other person) is power. Then there are the secrets we aren’t sure we even want to tell ourselves. There are secrets that we aren’t sure are even secret anymore. How can this be? Because the secret is actually a habit…and people know about it.
The secret I finally realised the other day? I’m a list addict. I cannot do multiple tasks without first writing a list. I have lists stashed all around the flat, at work, in my handbag, on my laptop (both my work and personal one), in my backpack and in my head. I have lists that I’ve not even written down yet but I know they are there. Lists are beautiful and clean and well-ordered and oh my god they brilliant! They make perfect sense – because why on earth would anyone go shopping without a list? Honestly? Why? It makes me itch just thinking about it. It’s not just shopping either where my lists come in handy. Going away for the weekend? I make a list. Housework with more than one task to complete? I make a list. Several tasks to complete at work? You guessed it – I make a bloody list. Yes my lists are many and varied in what they contain and for the most part, I am grateful for them. But as the “bloody list” exclamation may hint at, I am also slightly freaked out by my inability to shop, clean, work or have a “spontaneous” weekend or even night away without first scrabbling for an old envelope and a pen and writing out what I need. I’ll admit this right now – I’m weird. You all know that but this? This is just plan batshit crazy.
Case in point – my parents are staying for the weekend and we have planned it for a couple of weeks. When I say planned, I mean we picked a weekend I’m not racing and they are not doing something interesting that parents who don’t have children at home anymore do at weekends. The first thing I did? I made a fricking list. I listed the following categories:
- Food to buy
- Cleaning to do
- Stuff to do
Yes – I am that girl. I had to categorise my lists. The piece of A4 didn’t just have 1, it had 3 lists. I don’t live in a big flat. I live in a 3 room, ground floor flat. How many rooms need cleaning? 3, well 3 1/2 if you count my cute-but-compact bathroom. But no, this weirdo over here on the sofa had to list the cleaning tasks. It gets worse. I also have to cross off the task when it’s done even if that item was empty the bin. Why? I DON’T KNOW WHY! Oh, yeah – because I am slowly going crazy.
Oh the shopping list. I have been known to have a minor meltdown because I left the list at home. To add insult to (mental) injury, having a list and not having a pen is like water torture. Items must be crossed off as they are put in the trolley. Any items not purchased (for any reason including change of mind or lack of availability) must have the word “No” written next to it. Why? Because my rather worried looking reader, that is the way of the List. It doesn’t end there though. The list for going away anywhere is the piece de resistance in all list making ventures. It usually is 3 or 4 lists within one page and in separate sections: clothes, toiletries, electricals i.e. hair dryer, mobile/laptop, charger cables (with the number thereof also documented) and finally, just in case I develop sudden amnesia, a list of the things I would be taking anyway like my handbag, purse and coat. I know it is insane. I know I sound like a crazy woman but I can’t help it.
So there you have it, I am a list making, list abiding, list LOVING weirdo. I can’t live without them – even for a pint of milk and a block of cheese. You now know my dirty little secret – if only it wasn’t so well-known to start with.