List is an interesting word. I looked it up because I am feeling listless today, in the sense that I can’t figure out what I feel like doing and hence I’m doing very little. This happens occasionally when I find actual moments of unprogrammed time. It makes my brain go haywire because I know I should be doing many, many things, be proactively tackling things to stay with the curve (there’s really no getting ahead of the curve around here), but I’d really rather sit and read, write, think…the freedom to do that isn’t really there, it’s just an illusion.
These times happen occasionally because I neglect (or forget or don’t have time) to make a list of things to do. The list is there, I just didn’t write it down. And so I have nothing to prompt me to keep moving and then I slowly lose momentum, all the while knowing that this lack of initiative will be regretted later.
In any case, looking a word up in the dictionary is doing something, right? I remember reading the dictionary for fun, when I was young and carefree. Words and their origins are almost like friends to me. The commonly used ‘list’ describing our organizing tool is not the same as that of the ‘list’ in listless, which is about desire (Middle English ‘lysten’ related to lust). So being listless is having a lack of desire. The concept of choosing is also in the origin, which makes sense, as being listless feels to me like having too many choices but not wanting to pick anything at all.
List has many other meanings as well. There is of course the still used sense of leaning to one side, as a damaged boat in the water. This also rings true for me today, as I messed up my left side the other day doing who knows what. The twinge has traveled from my neck and shoulder down into my lower back. I’m definitely listing a bit.
So I’m calling this a listless, list-free, listing Saturday. Perhaps I’ll pick a few things to get done and set my ship slightly more aright. In the meantime, I must also point out that cats really have no problem with listlessness (they don’t make lists and they are totally okay with it) as documented by this photo montage of Pablo. Oh, to be a cat…