For the Love of Lists

For the Love of Lists

My husband and I are getting ready to go on a trip, and in the throes of last-minute packing, I sat down, gathered all my lists around me, and started cross-checking them. My husband looked over my shoulder and kindly pointed out that I had no less than four different lists that I was checking things off of.

I love lists. I live and die by my lists. I could easily make a whole long list about WHY I love lists. My husband wanted to know if I felt like perhaps my four page-long lists were just a tad excessive, but to that I say a resounding no!

If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen!

My lists keep me somewhat organized and help me keep my head above water when I feel like I’m drowning in motherhood, work, household management, and all the other stuff I’m juggling. I was always a list-maker, probably starting in high school, when I used to keep little notepaper lists tucked into my agenda on top of the list-covered pages– and that was back when my memory was sharp and I had no other worries. Now, Mom Brain has turned my memory to mush, and if I don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen.

I still use a physical planner and have never really vibed with online calendars or phone reminders. Each week in my planner is divided into sections for individual days, which are covered in my daily lists. At the end of each month, there’s a blank page before the start of the next month, and those are inevitably filled with longer-term lists. 

Beyond daily tasks, I keep lists of gifts given by relatives to my kids, lists of gift ideas for my children and extended family members that I refer to throughout the year, and an extensive spreadsheet (aka a fancy list!) for Christmas gifts. For whatever reason, just seeing things on paper make me feel a teensy bit more in control of this spiraling life. Things can’t get lost forever in my head as fleeting thoughts when they’re put down on a physical paper in front of me.

If you’re a list maker like me, this blog likely makes perfect sense to you. If you’re not, like my husband, you may very well be questioning my sanity right now. But I promise… it’s the lists that keep me sane.

Erica Tran
Erica lives in Kenner with her husband Michael and her three sons, Benjamin, Joshua, and Elijah. After graduating from UL Lafayette with a degree in advertising and landing her dream job, she left her chosen field and now works part time as an administrative assistant for a Catholic retreat movement. She spends the rest of her time at home with her boys, finding lost toys and actively ignoring various messes. In 2019, she self-published her first book, The Sister. There's not a lot of free time between working, reading and writing, and chasing her kids, but in those moments she's usually sprawled on the sofa in casual denial about just how messy her house is.


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