I’m A Listaholic

My name is Kelly, and I’m addicted to lists. I can’t do anything without first making a list. Put me on a committee, and I eagerly volunteer to make the list. Put a new project in front of me, and it’s not the challenge I get excited about it – it’s making the list. I make a list of things I want to cook today, things I want to cook next week, things I need to buy, things I need to sell, things I should give away, things I need to read, things I need to do, things I should clean, things I want to try, things I want to make, people I need to visit, people I need to call, articles I need to write, blogs I need to post, clients I need to call, things I want to teach my son, things I want to un-teach my son, things I want to do to be better, and things I think others should do to be better. Christmas time is the mother load of lists, with beach trips and birthday parties following close behind. If you write on my list, I will tear it up and start over. If the ink smudges – do over.  And changing pens midway through – yep, that’s a deal breaker. Thanks to technology, I now start with a paper list, and then turn it into an electronic list, and then find a way to get that list on my desktop, laptop,  iphone, and ipad. And the current challenge is to get them all to synchronize – a project which will require, of course, another list. I have actually made a list to go out and buy a fresh notebook and pen for my list.

Apparently, not everyone has this same affliction – like the waitress at my favorite restaurant. When I give her my order and she doesn’t write it down, I start to shake.  When I tell the doctor all the weird symptoms I’ve been having that make me convinced I might have prostate cancer – she doesn’t even pick up her pen. When I called customer service last week to explain how my new video camera  was making this weird beeping noise when I took before and after videos of my new spray on tan, I swear Raj did not even pull out a piece of paper. While I’m addicted to lists, my husband is list-challenged. To date I have never seen him make a list – not one. I’m thinking of calling Guiness. I say he has a problem. (In fact, I have a list of his problems.) He says I have a problem. He says to me, “The house is on fire, things are exploding, we are all stuck inside, and you only have thirty seconds to get out? What will you do first?”  I answer, “Make a list.”

Point well taken. Maybe I have a problem. I should take care of it. I’m sure there are steps that would help me fix this. Let me just find a sheet of paper – I think this deserves the blue notebook with pink swirls. And where is the pen that matches? Maybe I need to go buy a new one. Let me put it on this list of things to do today – or does it belong on the list of things to buy – or the list of things I need to fix in my life?  Will the madness never stop?


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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  1. When do the listaholic meetings start? I’ll be in the front-row ready to say, “Hi. My name is Colette, and I’m a listaholic. I used to be a postaholic too, but I’m in recovery.” Again, another great blog from the inspiring, motivational speaker Kelly Swanson.

    • Colette, I never considered having listaholic meetings – and we could have a 12 step program – and you can earn badges – wait, let me get out a piece of paper and start a list. I used to be a postaholic as well. I got over it – just received my six months pin – but now there’s a post-it app. Uh-oh. As it turns out I am addicted to APPS too. It doesn’t matter if I needed an APP to tell me what’s on sale in Peru – but it’s on 1.99 – I’ll buy it anyway. I’ve got an APP for everything. Now I need an APP that keeps you from buying APPs. Thanks for listening. And it takes a great motivational speaker to know one! 

  2. Colette, I’ll pick you up on the way to the meeting!  My preferred notepad is Cambridge, large or small, with spiral binder AT THE TOP.  White paper one month, yellow paper the next.  When I really want to treat myself I buy a new, smooooth writing pen.  As I type this I have a small notebook to my left, another small one to my right, on top of two large ones.  I know exactly what kind of lists and notes are in each, I am not disorganized about this!  I have often thought that Ann Frank’s diary has nothing on reading through my piles of notebooks with lists in them.  You can tell a lot about a person and what’s going on in their lives by reading their archived lists! :)

  3. Yeah, well, I have lists too. About 400 hundred of them – on about 400 different little notebooks, scratch pads, post-it-notes, backs of electric bills and store receipts, blank deposit slips, wadded up napkins, Sunday Church bulletins… And they all are spread out in my purse, on my desk, in the car, in kitchen drawers, the bowl on the foyer table, OLD purses, coat pockets, closet shelves, nooks, crannies and cubby holes. I make the lists, lose the lists and every once in a while, FIND an old list with things like, “The 5 steps to program your VCR.” I’m defective.

  4. Nope… don’t do the list thing.

    Now what was is that I needed to do next…?

    Hmmm… maybe I should write a list… 

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