Updated: Jul 23, 2019
I’m a compulsive list maker.
Nothing extraordinary or exceptional about that.
I think in lists and tangent lists and come across as so obsessively organised to the point that the nickname ‘Monica’ teasingly replaces ‘Emma’ whenever I whip out my latest Google Doc or notebook of scribbles to check off around certain friends.
I write a daily ‘to do’ list and occasionally stick to it.
I write lists of overarching life-admin, the kind of jobs or errands that are a little more abstract and set on a blurry future timeline (must find a desk and chair on Gumtree or Freecycle; would like to get a plant for the bedroom).
The memo app on my phone is clogged with food shopping lists for elaborate recipes that I’ll never make, sight-seeing lists written for hypothetical holidays, lists of blog post ideas, magazine pitches, names of my fictional future children and / or pets, interview questions, lofty goals of achievement and my most brat-like of all – the Christmas & Birthdays present list for those inquiring what to lavish upon me at certain points during the year. (Certainly a hangover from childhood where whole afternoons were spent with a fresh Argos catalogue in my lap and a pen poised for circling, flipping between the toy and jewellery sections. I was quite precocious in my tastes.)
Then there are lists of books I want (quietly sitting on Amazon that one), clothes I’m on the hunt for to replace all the bits I’ve sold or given away (desperately seeking jeans), thoughtfully curated Spotify playlists to accompany every mood or occasion and rankings of the handsomest of famous faces on my personal The List (Ryan Reynolds has consecutively held the top spot for almost 10 years. Congratulations to you Mr Reynolds 😉.)
It’s inherently human to make a list. Even as far back as 3200BC, ancient Egyptians studiously jotted stuff down to refer back to at a later date (Letters of Note has a beautiful list detailing the excuses made by absentee workmen as to why they couldn’t turn up for a job “suffering with his eye” / “drinking with Khonsu”). Science confirms that our brains go wild for snackable bites over large lumps of information, and is there anything more devastatingly pleasing than to see a neatly stacked tower of bullet points conquered by the smug ticks of a ballpoint.
In a roundabout way (and I’m really reaching here), lists are kind of like real-life wishes we can grant to ourselves.
The wish of remembrance when running errands and dashing around the supermarket trying recall what you’ve run out of at home.
The wish of order and control as we try to grasp life by its shoulder and insist it ‘just slows down for one moment please’ while we attempt to catch up.
The wish of creation from wispy ideas that you kind of can’t quite make out in your mind yet, but hey, it might be good one day so best scribble it down…
‘Story idea: A woman who is being haunted by the ghost of Queen Elizabeth I. But Queen Elizabeth I ghost is secretly a recently dead actor playing a role who happened to snuff it in full costume. Capers ensue.‘ Copyrighted to Emma Taylor 2018, all rights reserved by the way – I don’t care if it’s a bag of fanciful shite.
Here’s my latest listicle brain dump.
1 / Ryan Reynolds
2 / Transcribe next ’10-Minute Chat’ interview Edit ’10-Minute Chat’ interview Pick out and create interview copy quotes Get interview approved Publish ’10-Minute Chat’ interview Pester friends and family to read interview
3 / Read backlog of Domestic Sluttery emails. (Now I’m quite possessive of my inbox; regularly culling sub-par newsletters and unsubscribing to dull-as-dishwater brand-spam. But if you like food, achingly beautiful things, art, books, sparkling women of history you won’t have been taught about at school AND the best of the sales all wrapped up in a wittily-worded bow then subscribe here.)
📸 Screenshots from Domestic Sluttery
4 / Finish ‘Stand Up Drinks Party’ sketch. DAISY MARSH WILL YOU CALL ME.
5 / Buy a swimsuit. This is my top contender.
📸 £25 from Weekday
Can my wardrobe handle yet another piece of polka dot print? No. Can I afford to splash out on a swimsuit when my money would be better spent on practical things like petrol and phone bills? No. Am I seduced by the fact it’s made of recycled polyamide and polyester, created from PET bottles, production waste and abandoned fish nets? … Pass me my purse.
6 / Go for a wild swim before summer comes to an end. Wear new cossie.
7 / My late naughties laptop is currently being held together by a decade of keyboard crumbs, tape and critical life-support from having to be constantly plugged into a socket. Entirely defeating the object of its purpose, but a testament to the longevity Samsung’s computer engineers have built I suppose.
Anyway, I’ve saved for a new one.
8 / Wash car. Check tyre pressure (Google ‘how to’????).
9 / Rediscovered my love for Robyn (of Dancing On My Own fame), add Call Your Girlfriend to the shared Spotify playlist with pal of the same name.
10 / Start / Procrastinate / Write / Delete / Re-write / Wallow in self-doubt / And submit x2 article drafts before deadline. Repeat process when notes on draft come back.
11 / Pick up bananas.
12 / In my one-day forever house that will be filled with kitschy art, antique lampshades and vintage tiling, I’m going to have a library. Even if it’s a cupboard-nook underneath some stairs or a cosy corner next to a window; so I can glance at patches of sky and greenery when I look up from whatever world I’ve jumped into.
If I win the lottery then I’ll spring for something more like this.
You’ll find me swooshing along some shelves on a ladder Bedknobs and Broomsticks-style
13 / And I shall be wearing this bougie coat of dreams whilst swooshing / holing up behind my secret bookcase lair.
14 / Go through accounts drawer and reorder paperwork folder ….zzzZZZZzzz
15 / To watch:
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 finale (I know, I know. Massively behind.) Sharp Objects Vanity Fair (Intrigued to see if this serialised version can capture super-schemer Becky Sharp better than Reese Witherspoon’s sadly boring 2004 film portrayal.) The Bold Type Fleabag Killing Eve (September can’t come soon enough.)
16 / Remember to start saving postage stamps for donation from now on. The RNIB and Macmillan accept used stamps which they can turn into vital funds. Would love to know if there are more charities who do this.
17 / With friends getting engaged, planning weddings and recently married, a lot of chat has been about idyllic post-wedding getaways and once-in-a-lifetime-type trips. I’ve jokingly jotted down my own money-no-object dreamy honeymoon shortlist.
Just for shits ‘n gigs.
Like any other normal person not even close to legally tying themselves to someone else.
Ok, I just like listing out fantasy holidays.
18 / 5pm Go for a run. 5.45pm Reward self for run with Iced Gems.
19 / Behold, the Perfect Winter Boot. Am imagining them paired with a miniskirt and the thickest of woolly tights that sports the toastiest of wind-bracing gussets.
20 / Nap*
*Avoid thinking about my shaky life choices and diminishing career direction.