I wondered what had happened to all my “life lists.” The Life List is a technique I used for many years to help me figure out who I was, without the overlay of abuse, the abuser, and others’ opinions.
I found one this morning in a box of papers. This list is over 30 years old. I quit smoking in my 20s. My current reactions are in bold below.
Much of this list, 4 pages, were pictures of china from the Sunday newspaper’s magazine. The patterns are mostly pastel, stylized flowers on white backgrounds. I still like the china patterns, although of the seven I cut out, only one is something I still really like. It’s yellow spider mums on a white background, called “Dreaming” by Denby. I’d include an image but can’t find one to copy, sorry!
Aside from the china, the list says:
…herbs hanging by a string, I do this.
an orange/clove pomander in every closet, I don’t do this.
growing vegetables in pots, I don’t do this.
a fave radio station’s call letters I’d probably still listen to that station, if we didn’t live on the other side of the country!
small white ashtrays at pier 1 I don’t smoke any more.
The white German china which was my Mom’s and the Corning Centuraware my Dad used as everyday. I have some of each, so they’re still “me.”
A list of flowers: columbine, lily of the valley, miniature roses, daffs, vinca, Icelandic poppies I still like all of these, but don’t grow many flowers.
Linen placemats/table cloths, Definite change here: I have cloth placemats, but rarely use a table cloth.
Berries for breakfast. Yum!
I thrive on change – a man who can rest but not stop. Not the way I see my former self. I don’t think I really thrived on change, but I desperately wanted it since this is from the time in my life when the emotional pain was constant.
Not interested in a man who rests but doesn’t stop — in some ways. In others? Yes, this is still true.
Wrap around skirts, bell sleeves, capes. I still like these, but don’t wear them. I’m pear shaped, so they’re not flattering any more.
A plain shoe doesn’t drown out you! Who cares? But I still wear shoes which are pretty simple.
Lastly: Perky, smart, happy, pretty … such are dreams. I find this sad.
Some of this is taste, obviously. Some of it’s who I wanted to be or how I wanted to be seen.
It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t understand the need for this how much these lists meant. They were affirmation, vindication, and hope all in one.
I threw the pages out after I wrote this. Interesting? Yes. Do I want to keep it?