All my life, I have been a list maker…I love lists! I make them for grocery shopping, chores I need to do around the house, Christmas gifts, etc. The “notes” app on my phone gets a lot of action. I cannot relax after work until everything on my list has been checked off. Perhaps I have a touch of OCD (my sister would say more than a touch!), but I feel like my lists help me stay organized and it is such a great feeling to check things off.
As a teacher, I get home a lot earlier than my boyfriend, who has a lengthy commute. I do a lot of the chores around the house completely by my own choice (he gladly helps out when I ask him to). I notice that I often give him a run-down when he gets home, like a verbal list of everything I did- I “took out the garbage, brushed the dog, emptied the dishwasher”, etc. I honestly do not do this to make him feel bad, but I never really thought about WHY I do do it…until this past week. I was having a conversation with my sister, who was complaining about all of the things she does around the house. She said she has a tendency to tell her fiancee the daily chores that she does, too, and bluntly stated, “you know it’s because dad always called us ‘do nothing takers’, right?”. I was floored…I never really put the two together. That was my father’s favorite insult towards us throughout our childhood and he still calls us that to this day. I never really thought about that being an influence for my need to prove to other people that I DO things.
I am a proud list maker and I have no desire to change that. However, I do think it is important to recognize behaviors and examine why we do the things we do. I do not like to blame the way I act or how I think on my childhood, but it would be naive to think the way I grew up and how I was and still am treated by my father did not influence the person I became as an adult. It makes me want to be more cognizant about when I do this and why. I will add that to my current list 😉