Sunday, 28 December 2014


Melissa Gaggiano Photography

            I absolve myself of ever again writing a new year’s resolution. For many a year I have tried and never once have I hit the benchmark of all that I resolve to do to make myself into a fabulous, picture perfect version of myself.

Somewhere, toward the end of my teen years I was romanced by the idea of having new years resolutions.  This no doubt relates to my torrid love affair with list making [read ‘List Girl’]. With mucho gusto I ran off a voluminous list of activities and goals I had never before achieved, which would somehow transport me to a new state of Melissa – a brighter, healthier, more brilliant version of me.

Within one week of day zero I would have started 3 out of the 20 or so things on my resolution list. After two weeks I’d have gotten tired of the things on my list. By the end of January I have forgotten there was ever a list.

You see, I love a list, I really do. But New Year resolutions are completely lost on me, because I am trying to be a person that isn’t really me. It would be a different case if resolutions were more about satisfying my inner core, as opposed to making myself more in the vision of society perfection.

And so, as we are days away from the New Year I abandon the resolutions that I will ultimately fail at. I just want two things – good health and general happiness. I will not wait till the stroke of twelve for my resolve to kick in. I won’t even set myself unrealistic examples of how I am going to make these things happen. A list, I finally understand, will not bring happiness. Happiness comes in the between moments of thought and action, moments we do not plan. And as for having good health, that will come when there is simple balance in all things that I do. Not too little, not too much.

P.S. But a plan, and a schedule would be a far better thing. Don't you think?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

List Girl

I’m a list girl and I’m not just talking exclusively about shopping lists. I may still do birthday wish lists. I do best episodes of ‘insert favourite show’ lists. Making up perfectly cheesy titles for Steven Seagal film lists. New potential creative project lists. Books I just have to read lists. The ultimate music list for the iPod, you know, in the unlikely event that space aliens take me away into the void of space where there may, or may not be good music. That’s the sort of thing I do.

My adventures with lists began in my teen years. Not really knowing my own mind I made lists of things I thought I wanted based on the books I read [IE Pen Pals] and shows I loved to watch [IE Blossom]. For a couple of years I lived with the belief that life would be perfect if I had the clothes on those lists. But of course I never got those things, which makes me suspect the thrill came more from writing the lists rather than the supposed acquisition of those imaginary items.

My love of the list carried through into adulthood and to very loosely quote a loved film [Clueless], ‘my main thrill in life is a list, it gives me a sense of control in a world full of chaos’. It can be said many a list has been my saving grace professionally. And perhaps to an outside observer my almost doubling up of lists might seem like overkill, though to my credit it meant nothing fell through the cracks.

My strangest list came about in my early twenties. I was still living with my folks and in a desperate bid to feel independence I saw my car as my apartment. I thought about what I would need to make my car less automobile and more of a squishy spaced bachelorette pad. Out I whipped the pen and pad, and began my list making. Over a matter of weeks my car came to be filled with the useful, strange and the just plain silly. On the back seat there was a plush monkey, a cushion, pillow, sleeping bag. Cue to the tiny boot and I had an unread novel [got through that quickly], a massive bag of chips [got through that even faster], there were rollerblades [because that was how I rolled], a Friends board game [not my thing, but seen as how the rest of the world just loved Jennifer Aniston I thought it sensible to have this in my car in the scenario that a random party took off at a friends house and I could whip out this board game cranking up the buzz to wild, crazy. Or, not!]. Though I can’t recall all of it there were probably a couple of other wack items packed into the boot to make that car feel like my special place.

So this is what happens when you’re a list person. And you might laugh and mock the habits of your ever so slightly mad, list making, potentially OCD friends. But face the infinite list induced facts, with a friend like this by your side you can be prepared for anything – be it space alien abduction, or a party just missing some board game action.