I recently went through a box of personal keepsakes. You know, those things you’ve put away in a box because you don’t want to throw them away, yet you also don’t know what to do with them.

I’m organizing and building a room in our basement, so I need to dwindle the clutter down. I opened box after box and realized that many things that I thought I needed to keep were worthless this time through. I ended up throwing a lot of it away. This actually made me as happy as my wife who has moved the boxes around more times than I have.

Then I opened a box I hadn’t had open for about a dozen years. It had memories of my Mother who passed away in the early 90’s from lung cancer. I miss her a lot. She was my musical mentor and my biggest encourager.

As I flipped through the pages, photos and albums, I remembered something about my mother that I’d forgotten. However, now, I do what my Mother was famous for.

I create lists.

As I thumbed through notebook after notebook, I found what was important to my Mom each day. Most of the pages were dated. There were shopping lists, things to do, symptoms of her worsening illness.

Everyday I write things that need to be done. Important people to call and things that have to be accomplished. Then I have thick journals that I keep track of long-term “things to do”. I’ve filled several books in my career; and they sit on my shelf behind my desk.

It seems so 80’s compared to the digital clutter in my pocket and on my desk. But it works.

Someday I’ll switch entirely to a computer list, but for now, I’m keeping my handwritten scrawls. My Mother would be so proud.