There is a never-ending supply of “Honey Do” lists neatly typed on our frig.  But it’s my husband that composes them for me, not the other way around.  Because I have more time.  These lists can be added to at any time via text, facebook message, email, or phone call. I’ve tried tearing them up, ignoring them, and losing them…but a new one always appears.


And I’m always supposed to know what the cryptic bullet points mean.


The Frig List
The Frig List



It’s not that I don’t want to do things for my husband (even though accomplishing things on one of my own lists is always more appealing), it’s just that I don’t like being reminded that I’m a complete list-making failure – which, surprisingly, never came to light in the decades before I was married or held down “real” jobs.


I’ve always loved accomplishing things. There is some innate sense of satisfaction that just creeps over me when crossing something off a list and an irking that follows me around when a list gets too long or too stale.


And fall weather triples the motivation.


I have multiple running lists at any given time: Goals/Dreams, Today, Office, Computer, Out, Home Improvement, School/Study, Money, Travel, Research, Shopping… Each of these lists can be broken down into smaller categories and almost all of my lists have one item that reads: “Find and combine lists.”


Basically, I’m a firm believer in “list-making will cure all that ails you.” I make them when I wake up, when I go to sleep and while I sit at red lights. I ignore sermons to start lists. I zone out of conversations to update them. If I don’t have paper, I make bullet points on my phone and ipad. And when I get really stressed, I find all my lists, combine them, tear up or delete the old ones, and bask in the glow of my master list Word Doc.


Therapy. Control.

This is why it amuses/infuriates me that my husband thinks he needs to make lists for me. Or school me in this most elusive art. (“Proper” lists are only made on paper that is attached to a notebook or binder that cannot be lost/is not removed from the desk, they are properly consolidated, contain only reasonable and attainable goals, are written legibly, and rewritten when multiple items have been crossed out.)


So…just when the frig list looks messy and satisfying with big fat marker lines, squigglies, and check marks, he thinks it’s high-time to type up a fresh one.


He knows my weakness.


Which keeps me on a continuous quest to stamp out the frig list. Either by completion or triumphantly penciling in explanation of why something is impossible – “Dealership doesn’t have recall parts yet; call back in a month!” “Doesn’t come in that size.” “Doesn’t exist.” “Almost $100 with tax and shipping; skip it?” It started working on its own.” “It broke altogether so I trashed it.” “No more paint that color; redo whole wall or live with it.” “Can’t sell, sister needed, gave to her.”


The most recent list seems doable and I am determined to have the satisfaction of crossing out every single item as I work toward one project/one blog post a day for a week!


I know, I know, you think I can’t possibly be getting anything done if I’m sitting inside writing?


Don’t underestimate the power of the list.