Let’s Talk with James M Jackson

April 13, 2017

By James M Jackson

I am a list-maker. Regardless of whether I became one through genes or social training, I owe this trait to my father. Lists come in two forms: the recording (events, transactions, possessions) and the “to do” list or check list.

Each Saturday morning, my father recorded the value of each stock he owned (and used blue and red pencils to graph whether he was making or losing money on the stock). He kept a notebook in the car to record miles driven between gas fill-ups and how many gallons the tank took. (In those days, a decrease suggested we should check the tire pressures or perhaps schedule the car for a needed tune-up.) He had bird lists by year, state, some individual parks, etc. He kept a list of all the scientific papers he authored or co-authored. Another list contained papers he had peer-reviewed; another for books he had reviewed for journals. When he died, I knew where to find insurance policies, burial instructions, etc. because, of course, they were all included on a list.

I, too, keep a bunch of bird lists and watch my automobile gas mileage. I also keep track of all the books I read and maintain an inventory of our library, including where a book is located since we have both northern and southern homes. Even in retirement, I create monthly, weekly, and daily to do lists. I’ve found check lists to be increasingly important to me. I have one for closing our house up north, another what to take between houses, etc. So far on my current Hawaii trip (late March, when I am writing this), I have twice managed to leave my cell phone behind.

On the way to the airport from home, I remembered the phone was plugged into the charger to prepare for the long flight. Since the phone was at the end of its life, , I bought a new one as soon as we arrived in Honolulu. And left that behind at the home of friends we were visiting in Hilo. They Fed-Exed it to my next hotel, so we are reunited.

I’m working on a new checklist to include everything I need to remember before leaving ANYWHERE. How about you, are you a list-keeper?

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Posted in Let's Talk, with James M. Jackson, zed: Former Authors • Tags: , , , , |  9 Comments


9 thoughts on “Let’s Talk with James M Jackson

  1. I make grocery lists. Sometimes I remember to bring them to the store. I make packing lists for travel. But usually I make after-the-fact lists, which I like because they show me how much I’ve done.

    1. I am not a shopper so when I do go shopping its with the intention of buying certain things — which I don’t do when I leave my list home. I taken to making those lists on my phone with a higher probability (still not 100%) of having the list that way.

  2. I have lists for everything. And when I accomplish those tasks, I make a new list. They keep me on track with my writing projects, which is especially necessary to achieving goals and to prioritizing.

    1. A kindred spirit regarding work — I may take things to a different level with respect to other lists. 🙂

  3. Like Terry, I make grocery lists and I make packing lists for travel. Something my husband and I have begun is a list of things we both need to know should something happen to the other one of us. And yes, I keep a list of books I’ve read, my TBR list, and books I’ve reviewed.

  4. I’m a lister too! Same with books, birds and places I’ve visited – yes, all on paper with colored pens.

    1. Wow, Amber, I’m impressed. I actually made a to do list today, but it’s scribbled on a little piece of paper, no colors involved. I did make another list (no colors) for what I have to bring to our family get-together tomorrow.

  5. I have lists, piles of them, but I’m always misplacing them and having to remember anyway. Just yesterday I found a list from earlier in the month and I’d only checked off two things. Grr. Getting back on that list to to-do stuff.

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