I’m getting ready for my solo road trip to Iowa City this weekend. I’m meeting up with Freda, Madeline, and Kelly for the U of Iowa vs. Iowa State football game, and I. Am. Stoked. In preparation for my travels, I’ve begun My Packing List. I absolutely love making lists. And since the rest of my week is pretty crazy, tonight is really the only time I have to prepare.
I’m a really bad packer. I always over pack, and not in the “I just don’t know what the weather is going to be like” kind of way. I pack 6 different pairs of shoes for two nights away because I just don’t know what I’ll feel like wearing, and I like to have options. So packing is a big job for me. But while I may bring 7 sweatshirts, I’ll forget pants. And thus the need for a List.
So far, my Packing List consists of 3 categories: Clothes, Accessories, Other Stuff. Then there are subcategories that are broken down by day. So, Friday, I’ll need these 2 pairs of pants, these 4 shirts, and these 2 pairs of black heels to choose from. And this continues on through the end of the trip. And because I forget things all the time, there are things included on there like KEYS. Really, Pharon? You really think you’ll be DRIVING to Iowa and realize you’ve forgotten your car keys? I’m impossible…
One time while packing for Mexico, I had Geo read me my list back to me so I could make sure I had everything. He read,”Okay, um…comfy jeans?” Check. “Regular jeans?” Check. “Black shirt with thing on collar?” Check. “Black shirt without thing on collar?” Check. “Thing for the night? What is that?” I said “Check” and quickly moved on. I realized at that moment that my lists are unintentionally coded. Instead of writing “my blanket” I wrote “thing for the night”, embarrassed that someone would find the list and discover that I still have my childhood blanket (another post all in itself). So besides the vague descriptions of clothes that only I can understand, I guess I also code items that I wish didn’t have to be on the list, but MUST be included out of fear of forgetting them. I remember a list I made once that had “Thing I Need” under the Miscellaneous header, which to this day I have no idea what it was. I had out-coded myself.
I don’t know what it is about lists, but I just feel incredible when I can check off items. I have about 6 lists running at any given time in my life. Right now it’s: Blogs I Must Read, Blogs I Must Write, Books I Want to Read, Gift Ideas, Target List, and a list of offensive Russian Phrases that might come in handy some day. I feel so organized! And this doesn’t include my many, many, many To Do Lists. I have a To Do list at work (two, actually), I have Things to Do This Month, Things To Do Today, and just general things I have to do in my lifetime. You know, stuff like “Understand Math”. Sometimes I’ll add items to the list after I’ve done them, just so I can check them off.
So, I’ve got my Packing List almost done. I’ve put it into 3 columns, and made all the bullets into check boxes. I can’t wait to start checking things off. Tonight, I’m going shopping with my mom and Prinna, which will be good because just now I added a header called, “Things to Buy”. A list within a list. Perfection.