Musing Again: Mystery Lists

question marks
Irrelevant image. Or is it?

I came across notes the other day in a folder titled “Blog Ideas.” There were two lists of words. The first group contained this list of seventeen items (Sorry for the numbering glitch; I can’t get my new WordPress site to give me a single 1-17 list):

  1. Get up at same time each day
  2. Eat right
  3. Exercise
  4. Tell the truth
  5. Live minimally/declutter
  6. Meditate
  7. Dream big
  8. See problems as challenges
  9. Act with kindness
  1. Accept what cannot be changed
  2. Focus on the present
  3. Express gratitude
  4. Take responsibility
  5. Never make excuses
  6. Don’t hold grudges/forgive
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  8. Strive for quality

The second group was shorter. It had only six items.

  1. Nurture social relationships.
  2. Take the time to listen.
  3. Choose friends wisely.
  4. Don’t seek approval.
  5. Avoid social comparison.
  6. Speak well of others/no gossip.

I am curious whose lists these are. Are they original with me or did I copy them? And from where might I have copied them?

As I stared at them, I began to see that the first, longer list focuses on the individual, while the six-item second list deals with the individuals life in relationship to others.

I don’t think I’d have come up with the second, shorter, more social list. They don’t sound like me, although I have nothing against any of them. But I reacted differently to the first list; they do sound like me, though the list itself is a bit longer than I’d like. So we really need so many?

How might you edit these lists? Anything left off that you’d want to add? Want to delete anything? What would you do with them if you were me?

I look forward to your Comments.

6 Responses

  1. Marian Beaman
    | Reply

    Well, I’m not sure how to answer your questions as I too am a lister: keeper and hoarder. Minutes before I opened your post, I found this list which may be useful because it contains a positive vibe about aging:

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Well, well, well. Here we are. Surprise, surprise, surprise. My mom texted me this morning, asking if I’d put out a post this week and I simply answered, “No.” Silly me.
      Janet Givens recently posted…Musing Again: Mystery ListsMy Profile

  2. Jenny C.
    | Reply

    I have questions about both #1s on your long list. With respect to #1 on the left: Why should one get up at the same time each day? Regarding #1 on the right: How does one discern what cannot be changed?

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Jenny, thanks for joining in here today. Good questions, naturally. Since I first found these lists and wrote up the post (many moons ago, actually) I’ve found the “get up at the same time each morning” to be quite common. But, you’re right, they never say why exactly. Something about good health. I’ve found I’m pretty bad at consistently doing anything the same, except perhaps for my morning oatmeal. Don’t you tend to get tired of all this advice? I’m getting pretty weary of all the good advice floating around. That IS that about?
      Janet Givens recently posted…Musing Again: Mystery ListsMy Profile

  3. Arlene Smith
    | Reply

    I might move #6 from the second list to #1 on both lists. When my father passed away, my husband said, “Your dad was such a good guy. I don’t remember him speaking ill of anyone.” I have racked my brains for years and I still can’t remember him saying a bad word about anyone. That summed up a life well lived, and it meant that many of the other items on the list grew from there.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Arlene, what great memories you must have of your dad. That’s great. I’m wondering if that #6 is qualitatively different from #9 in the upper list. Oh well.
      Janet Givens recently posted…Musing Again: Mystery ListsMy Profile

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