I Made a List*

Lists are fun things to keep in your art journal, especially when you’re trying to get a journal entry done quickly. You could include personal lists like favorite songs, favorite books, etc. or even your to-do list– assuming you don’t keep your list on your arm.

To do list tattoo on forearm

Photo of to do list tattoo by Rob and Stephanie Levy via flickr and licensed under CC 2.0

Oprah (among others) has popularized the idea of a gratitude journal. The idea is to write down 3 things that you are grateful for, and to do so every day. I have done this as a practice occasionally and found it helpful. However, I have a good friend who hates the idea of gratitude journaling with a fiery passion. For her, it feels like someone is forcing her to feel grateful, whether she wants to or not. It becomes another item on the endless list of stuff that women are supposed to do: prepare healthy food for the family, do a zillon loads of laundry, exercise, keep the house sparkling clean, maintain your pre-pregnancy weight, floss, meditate, keep an up-to-date scrapbook for every child, bring cupcakes for the bake sale (are you exhausted yet?), and oh, write down what  we are grateful for. I get it.

So what’s a journaler to do? Make your own list of whatever you want. You could even make a list of the lists you want to make. Put it in the back of your journal, and when you want to do a quick entry, you have a list of ideas. Here’s my list of lists:

  • Places I’d like to see while I am still alive & kicking
  • Vegetables & herbs I’d like to plant
  • Creative projects (sometimes I sub-divide into categories like: Paper, Sewing, Crochet, Jewelry, etc.)
  • Recipes to try
  • Favorite foods
  • Movies I’d like to see
  • Books recommended by friends, family, and internet strangers
  • Songs I want to learn
  • Goals for year, month, week, etc.
  • What’s on my desk
  • Things I want to draw

You can embellish your lists with fancy lettering, backgrounds, or pictures (drawn or collaged from magazines). I’ll be posting some of my favorite lists as I get them scanned or photographed.

*This sentence always makes me think of the REM song “Untitled” (second verse).