This year I have decided to be better at lists. Don’t get me wrong, I love lists, and I’m pretty good at them. But my lists are almost exclusively for everyday jobs and chores. I have weekly to-do lists. I have daily to-do lists. I have lists for the children. I have writing lists and nursing lists. I have lists for shopping, birthdays, seeds to buy, allotment plans, and holidays. But I’m going to do better.

On the last day of my Return To Practice course for nursing, my mentor gave me a few pieces of advice. One of them was to keep a notebook, and after work each day, write down some of the good things I had done as part of my nursing duties. It only needed to be a smattering of words, not an essay. She explained that it’s so easy to sit in the car on the way home stewing away about the one thing that went wrong, the one thing that I could have done better, rather than focusing on all the things that had gone well. She explained that it doesn’t take long to have pages filled with good things and eventually a notebook full, a whole book bursting with positivity that can nourish you on a particularly tough day. So I gave it a try.

Now, nine months after starting back as a Registered Nurse, I have a notebook filling up with good things. Over the months it has expanded too. I have found myself noting down things that I have done well as a mum or a writer too. It’s such a cheesy idea but it’s been really helpful. I already feel excited about the day when I will have completed a full year and can look back on each day, letting all that positivity feed into my present. And it has got me wanting to write lists about other good things in my life.

Some of you faithful readers may remember my attempt at a walking diary a couple of years ago. I started with good intentions, then the weather got bad and we didn’t walk much for a bit, and it fizzled out. So I’ve started it again! Sticking in little maps with coloured lines showing where we went, noting down the weather, where we had our picnic, the wildlife we saw, and the funny things that happened or the children said. And I’ve already enjoyed looking back on the two or three walks I did manage to put in the first time round. 

I’ve also taken the plunge and joined Good Reads. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a way of keeping track of what you’ve been reading. Yes, it’s essentially a digital list. To the right, here on the blog, the beady-eyed of you will have noticed my Good Reads plug-in. It’s currently not working (and I’m not too sure why!), but when it is up and running, it will show the books I’m currently reading. Good Reads is also a nice way of connecting with other people who love reading, and getting recommendations for your next read. I’m hoping it will help me find book recommendations for Little Owl. She’s a very sensitive reader and will often abandon a book half way through, unable to go on for fear of what is going to happen next. I’ve been reading tons of books for her age group to find things she might like (my latest haul from the library are pictured above), and having read a book, to be able to reassure her that things turn out well and she can keep reading to the end! It’s also lovely to be able to leave reviews for authors whose books have really hit the mark for Little Owl. I understand these things make a big difference to how well a book does…as I’ll find out for myself come June!

Anyway, do you keep lists of ‘good’ things? What are they? Do you find it helpful?

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