The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the tag “lists”

The Enlightenment of Lists

This delightful picture is two pages from a children’s book, Frog and Toad Together, one of a series of Frog and Toad books by Arnold Loebel. One of my coworkers, back when I worked as a librarian at a community college, had a photocopy of these two pages posted on the column above her typewriter. It was waaaay back in the day before the ubiquity of desktop computing, if you can imagine or remember such a time.

When I read it for the first time, I laughed. It was one of those crystallizing moments for me as a young adult. I realized my compulsion to make lists was not unique and I was not alone! And it was okay to make lists!

I make lists. People who don’t make lists find it perplexing and odd; and sometimes people find it tyrannical or micromanaging. For me, though, it helps organize my thoughts and my plans. A list gives me a clear trajectory for a period of time. I have found that lists can be magical, a spell to aid me in my day, my work, or just my thoughts.

In the past I have been a great worrier. I’d fret and worry about things that eventually never came to pass. Worry was robbing me of my present as I continually fretted over the future. Lists are one technique to dispel worry, at least for me. If I put it down on a list, it becomes concrete and I can handle it at a specified time…sometimes ‘when I get around to it.’ Somehow writing it down on a list makes it something I can handle and put out of my present mind. It’s amazing how creative you can become when you are not preoccupied with worry.

A lot of times, I don’t look at the list because I think I remember everything. And then I will discover an old list and I’ve done most of it anyway…or I haven’t and it didn’t matter. Then I can cross it off my list.

Crossing things off the list is a great act of magic, empowerment, and accomplishment. Even some minutiae is ‘list worthy’ just so you can cross it off. That’s part of the reason I have found the picture above so funny. I understand so completely the feeling of accomplishment in crossing off the routine, the small, and the large milestones in our lives. It is a tiny commemoration of a moment.

May your day be free from worry and full of commemorations and accomplishments, large and small!


A Life Through Reading

A Life through Reading

My parents were/are readers. I have some wonderful memories of my parents readings bits and pieces of books to each other and to us. They found this one author really hilarious. So one of them would read the book first and then read funny bits to us out loud. Then the other would read the same books and read different funny bits out loud. After my parents separated, and I lived (as an adult) with my mother. She’d continue to read bits of books and the paper out loud to me. I thought it was normal.

When I moved away from the Washington D.C. area, I discovered that one of the things I really missed was the Washington Post. Then when I had the opportunity to subscribe on my e-book reader, I discovered what I really missed was my mother reading it out loud to me. I read out loud to other people. In one relationship that didn’t work out, he really didn’t get what I was doing. He didn’t think it was fun, cool, or endearing. Lucky for me, Mike finds it endearing; maybe he pretends but he pretends! I think we’d still get along if he didn’t but you know some things are a real litmus test…

When she retired at age 55, my mother got to read all the time, something years of teaching didn’t allow. She’d go to the library and get shelves of books. To prevent taking out the same book, she started a notebooks of things she had read. Organized (of course!) by author’s last name, she kept track of authors and titles. Somewhere along the way, my brother and sister put the book into a word processing program, and then printed it off. The notebook which we all call The BOOK, is in a binder with alphabetical tabs. She’s eighty now and the book is substantial and hefty. A lot of the times, my youngest brother goes to the library for her. He takes The BOOK with him and consults it. The librarians know him and The BOOK. My niece was visiting and she took The BOOK to the library but she got things my mother had already read. She said to me, “I don’t use The BOOK right.” “Ah grasshopper,” I said, “It takes years to get wise in the way of The BOOK.”

My mother reads mostly mysteries and several years ago I started reading them again so we’d have some things to talk about and read out loud to each other. Now I consult The BOOK for ideas what to read next. We have different tastes, but I can rely on her for some pretty cogent and succinct assessments.

I have a BOOK of sorts of my own. I use the online community of Good Reads. It’s a cool place similar to this blog where you can write about what you read, and then read what others write about books. It’s very cool. I think it combines two things I love: writing and reading. You can find me at if you are interested in reading what I write about what I read. Perhaps in 25 years, it will be The BOOK for me.

So in these week of love remembered, read something you love. Go to the library and rekindle your love of reading.


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