Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | July 28, 2012

The List Keeper

I finally took the time today to clean my garage — something I’ve needed to do since my son Jonathan and I returned home from the Texas Water Safari. After the race, we put the canoe in the garage and stacked up our gear boxes, each stuffed with an assortment of items we used on the race and in total disarray. Since Jonathan lives in north Texas, it fell to me to tackle the job of getting everything back in order. Part of the reason for doing this today is because Jonathan and I are scheduled to compete in the Neches River Wilderness Canoe Race next weekend and I need to make sure that I pack the right gear for that particular race. Jonathan is already reminding me to be sure to pack this and that and to be absolutely certain that I do not leave the paddles at home! So, it is clearly time for me to make a list to make sure that I do not forget a thing.

As I was sorting, cleaning, and repacking each item of gear into its respective box, I came across a couple of Jonathan’s lists that he had made for the Texas Water Safari. As we prepared for that big race, Jonathan had written out several lists of tasks to complete — everything from modifications to our canoe to things we still needed to buy. As the race got closer his lists changed to reflect those final specific things we still needed to do or to have for the race. There are so many little things that can make a big difference that he did not want to run the risk of forgetting any of them. Reading the lists that I found today made me thankful for lists. Because Jonathan is a list keeper we had everything we needed for the 260-mile race from San Marcos to Seadrift.

They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In Jonathan’s case that is true because I too, am a list keeper. I keep a task list on my iPad and iPhone so iRemember to do stuff. I have short lists scribbled on sticky notes on my desk at work and on my mirror at home. Even with all my lists, I have the additional safety net of having Amy, my assistant, who is one-hundred times more reliable than Siri. Amy also keeps lists of things I need to do and is very good about reminding me. The busier and older I get the more I depend on lists to help me stay on track. Even with all of my lists and as careful as I am, occasionally something will fall through the cracks and get overlooked. That’s life. Forgetting stuff happens. That’s why I am committed to keeping my lists and checking them twice. Hopefully I will continue to get to where I need to be with what I need to have and, by keeping lists, make it harder for things to fall through the cracks.


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