I’m sitting here on the third consecutive day of rain here in glorious Berwick upon Tweed. According to the weather app on my phone it’s not going to stop any time soon. I haven’t walked the dogs – they’re not keen and neither am I – and the three of us are holed up in the spare bedroom/office.
Days like this have the potential to be dull and depressing. It’s very tempting to just drift around doing nothing in particular while moaning about the weather. It’s easy to waste hours watching YouTube videos or catch-up TV. Not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with these activities, but it’s too easy for them to fill time that I might later wish I’d spent doing something more constructive. I’m guessing no-one’s list of deathbed regrets will ever include “I wish I’d watched more cute cat videos”.
So I’ve told myself I’m going to make the most of a miserable, wet day by indulging in one my favourite activities – making a list.
I like lists. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that I love them. A good list is a thing of great beauty. And I am clearly not alone in my appreciation of the list as an artform. In the 1970s, there was a book published called “The Book of Lists” which was, quite simply, a thick book containing lots of lists. It had an index – a list of lists if you like. It became a bestseller and spawned a sequel, “The Book of Lists 2”.
So today I’m going to make a list of useful things I can do in a spare few minutes/hours/days. Then I can spend the next wet, miserable day editing it, prioritising items, planning how to do them. I can make further lists of all the steps I need to take to achieve each thing on the first list. I can makes lists of information I need, equipment I’ll use, the people who can help me.
Then maybe I’ll make a start.
But lists can also be helpful in building your self-esteem. You can make lists of things you’re grateful for, or things you’re proud of, or of compliments people give you. Try to add at least one thing to each list every day. And when you’re feeling a bit down about yourself, get those lists out and read through them to remind yourself of how good you really are.