Letter XVIII: When the world is too loud, write a list

My letters are typically published via email to your inbox, and I select a few every now and again to feature on the blog. Letter XVIII was originally published by email on 17th March 2020, and was re-published on the blog on 17th March 2020. Subscribe at chrismarr.co.uk

It’s noisy out there in the world. In my head, too. 

I can feel it. Vibrating inside me. Like all my molecules and atoms are bouncing off each other. 

It’s affecting my attention. I’m constantly distracted. It’s exhausting. 

It’s times like this when writing lists help me to get some perspective and get a grip of what’s going on in my head before it gets out of control. 

I’m a work in progress, just like you. Which means I don’t have all the answers and I certainly can’t solve the problems happening in the world right now. 

But I can always write a list. And lists make sense, at least for me.

Simple statements. Actions. Ideas. Thoughts. Worries. Out of my head and on to paper. Freeing up space in my head. Turning down the volume. Helping me to focus on one thing, even just for a brief moment.  

Here’s a list of lists I’ve written this past week or so:

  • Things I do that I know are bad for me
  • Things I do that I know are good for me
  • Things I do that help me to calm down
  • Things I do that make me anxious
  • Things I can still do during a pandemic
  • What am I worried about right now? 
  • What am I taking for granted right now?
  • What am I in control of? 
  • What am I not in control of? 
  • What am I beating myself up about right now? 
  • What needs doing right now? 
  • What would make today great? 
  • What amazing things happened today? 

Find someplace quiet, open up your favourite journal, pick one list, take a deep breath, and write down everything on your mind.

When the world is too loud, write a list 🙂



“There can be absolute bedlam without so long as there is no commotion within…for what is the good of having silence throughout the neighbourhood if one’s emotions are in turmoil?”

 – Seneca, Letter LVI