Simplify 5: Keep Lists

So here we are, post-Christmas….can you believe it?! Where is time going? It’s almost incomprehensible that the last days of 2011 are slipping away. I hope that you had a wonderful holiday of one sort or another. We certainly did. What a whirlwind. I realized last night that I saw EVERY member of my immediate (and almost ALL of my extended) family. It was very special spending time with the people I love most in the world.

But, as Christmas fades into the rear view mirror, I’m remembering the list of things that I wrote down to accomplish after the holidays.

This brings me to this week’s Simplicity post…list making.

I want to talk about two kinds of lists- the practical and the heart lists.

Practically, I know that some people are list makers. I am a fan because it’s a great way to stay organized (like with grocery shopping and errands and such) but also it’s great for school, tasks around the house, things to remember when you’re going away, etc. The possibilities are really endless. We like to make our grocery lists on these pads of paper that attach to our fridge with a magnet. It’s handy because we always know where it is and we’re never searching for a piece of paper. Also, knowing that I do like to make lists, I got a HUGE scrap pad of paper (with a fancy cover and pen) in my stocking this year. Summary, lists are helpful and practical and if you’re anything like me, you’ll get a lot of strange satisfaction from crossing things off. Weird, but true.

Ok, the second kind of lists. My REAL favourite kind of lists. I think you can see where this is going. I read this book last year and it changed my life. The whole premise is that there is so much beauty and goodness around us and that we can become more joyful by becoming more grateful…and gratitude takes an awakening of sorts. Eyes open, heart open. The idea is to keep a list, a never-ending list of all of the things that we’re thankful for. I used to do this in the back of my journals when I was a teenager. I’ve written blog posts simply listing the good things in my life, from small (read: coffee) to large (read: grace and love). So while the concept of gratitude listing wasn’t new, Voskamp’s  book revitalized the idea and gave a much bigger theological context as to why gratitude matters. I am doing her a complete injustice trying to summarize her book, so if you’re at all interested, you should read it. Matt and I gave my mother-in-law a copy for Christmas (and that itself made my list that day). I think I started my “list” last January and last night I wrote numbers 1018 to 1024 .

I’m almost finished my trusty little moleskine and then I’ll be staring another one. This is a head and heart practice that I hope to keep doing for the rest of my life. While I don’t date my entries, I can usually remember exactly where I was or why I wrote what I wrote.

This type of list keeping has bettered my life in so many ways and has also simplified it in the sense that it’s easier for me to see what matters and what doesn’t matter.

Miss the other Simplify posts?

Simplify: 1 Work-Life Balance

Simplify 2: Incorporate

Simplify 3: Have Less, Live More

Simplify 4: Eat Well





One thought on “Simplify 5: Keep Lists

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