Growing up, I didn’t know any better.
I thought everyone was hyper-organized and used checklists to keep track of things. As I got older, I realized it was just that my dad had spent years as a military and airline pilot and had carried that practice over into his non-aviation pursuits.
As an aside, it was not unusual to “push back from the gate” in the motorhome at 9:10 pm for a “redeye” trip across the desert at night to arrive at 7:30 the next morning, with time allotted for two fuel stops. Drivers rotated shifts, changing positions on the fly. Definitely a long-haul mindset.
In any case, I’ve continued to use checklists. I love to solve problems, but solving the same problem over and over again has no appeal. The power of a checklist is that you can solve the problem once, document it on the checklist, and then it’s solved forever. Lessons learned go into updated checklists. They are a great way of capturing knowledge.
When we first got our Catalina C34, the complexity of the systems and operation was a little intimidating. But like most things, complexity goes away when you break it down into smaller chunks. Building the checklists was a critical part of learning how to operate and maintain the boat.