Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lists, Lists, and More Lists

By Cathy


Ideas for a blog post can come from several different places, maybe an article that was read, an experience, thoughts, feelings, or as in this case – a suggestion. In my last post, I mentioned my Journal Of Lists. Pam, one of our faithful readers, left this comment, "The journal of lists sounds excellent. Can you do a blog post about that?" Yes, Pam I can! I would love to share a few things about my journal.

Lists are a delightful thing to me, no matter what type of list it is. I even like my grocery list and I love to mark things off on my Will Do list. I keep a Book List where I record details about books I’ve read; the title, author, main character’s names, and the year it was written. Daily I try to add something to my Blessings List. I think you get the picture! I love lists!


My Journal Of Lists is a simple, 6" x 8.5" black, spiral-bound notebook. It was rather dull looking so I put stickers on the front and tied on a few metallic ribbons to spiff it up a bit. In it I keep lists of everything: words, feelings, colors, phrases, observations, and memories.  I’ll share a few of my titles to give you an idea of what’s written on the pages.

  • In A Jar
  • Orange
  • I Am
  • Sounds AT (wherever I am)
  • Favorite Scents
  • Today I Celebrate
  • Signs In The Library – I go to the library all the time, but have never stopped and looked at all the signs. I quickly found 20.
  • Words, Words, Words – a continuing list of words I find that make me happy
  • Delightful Phrases – a continuing list of phrases from books I’ve read
  • Through The Binoculars – I listed ten things that I saw through my binoculars, not common things like trees, but things I would not have noticed without the use of the binoculars, like turtles on a log across the river.
  • Crayon Names – This one was just for fun, because I love Crayons and love their names: granny smith apple, thistle, maize, dandelion; just to mention a few.
  • Down Under – I turned over a large rock and recorded ten things I saw under it. Finding ten things was harder than I thought it would be.
  • Pick One – I picked one thing, my grandmother’s crystal goblet, and recorded everything I saw in detail.
  • Multiples – After collecting six rocks I listed 25 differences.
In case you're wondering where I get my ideas for lists, I have a list of list ideas. Although some of the ideas or mine, I did search Google and found hundreds of list ideas.



Keeping a journal of lists is a simple thing, but the benefits are huge. Lists can be a short way of journaling, where I list where I am, what I’m doing, what I see, hear, and taste.  I can look back on the list and recall a fun day or activity. It’s also a valuable tool for strengthening and training my eye for photography and challenging my senses. For instance, one of my most recent lists was, Observations From The Hammock, where I wrote down what I saw above me, below me, to the left, to the right, and what I heard. Lists can be short or long, although I do try to always list at least ten things.

I hope I’ve inspired you to start list making. It can be a fun activity. Lists get right to the point and they're easy to write. You could get a really cute notebook and use different colored pens. You could sketch, doodle, or paste pictures along with your words. The possibilities are endless.


I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that today is officially the first day FALL. This is the start of FALL in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Today, the length of night and day is approximately the same. In celebration I will take my Journal of Lists outside and record my observations of this first FALL day. Even if you’re not a list maker, take a few moments today and celebrate FALL. You might even want to share a FIRST DAY OF FALL picture in our Flickr photostream.

It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill.
They meet.
~ Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

9 comments:

Carol said...

This is such a great post full of great ideas! I remember Pam's comment, and I was curious too. I am so glad you followed up. I have always loved lists too, but I never gave them this much thought. You can bet your sweet bippy that there will be a lost in my journal today! Thanks !

sherrygaley.com said...

Cathy, I am an inveterate list maker too, although not nearly to the extent you are! And I remember reading about lists as a way to journal and it appealed to me as a short cut for busy days... So thank you for exploring the idea here. Love the word list idea too. Not that I'm playing with poetry I am noticing great words a lot more. By the way I love your images here -- that second one especially!

terriporter said...

I inherited list-making from my mom who always had numerous lists going at any one time. And I agree with Sherry that lists are a great way to journal. It's not always just about the photos, it's about the story as well and making lists, as you said, is a great way to remember that story. Love your photos, especially that sweet leaf caught in the barbed wire, and how it is signalling the first day of fall!

Sarah Huizenga said...

I love your idea of a journal of lists. I keep photo challenge ideas pinned to a board in Pinterest for the very same reason, for ideas. But I love how you have actually followed through on doing yours. I must be better at following through.

Roxi Hardegree said...

Gosh! You bowl me over! In a good way. I like what you said," "Lists get right to the point and they're easy to write." that's the kind of writing I should be doing. So far all I have is a To Do List on my phone and funny story, the other day when I checked it I read, 'External hd with swim suits'. I thought what in the world is that supposed to mean and I couldn't figure out if Aut-correct had scrambled it or what. Much later I remembered it was a note to self of where I'd hidden my EHD before we went on vacation. LOL Sad part was, I had already retrieved it.

Dotti said...

A list of lists! I love it! When I was working, I always had a to do list both at the office and at home. Since I retired, not so much. I wasn't able to wean myself from the planner I used for years and still use it to write in appointments and jot down an occasional task or two. I love the idea of lists as a way of journaling because I am not good at journaling! (And spell check doesn't like the word "journaling". Go figure.)

AFishGirl said...

You had me at crayon names! This is so delightful, Cathy. It sounds like gratitude fills your pages and this way of "being present," of observing with all your senses, well, it's just wonderful. I am happy to come home and see this post.

Carol said...

@roxi - that is so me!!

Barb said...

I'm finding out new things about you, Cathy. I didn't know you made lists. I sure like some of your creative list ideas. I think they encourage mindfulness - being fully presen and aware. You're right - that's a very helpful trait in photography.

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