Listing is a large part of many birders lives. To some, it gives them a reason for getting involved and too the unlucky few it is their reason for being. They feel as if it defines them. It is easy to be 'sniffy' about the whys and wherefores of keeping lists if you are not that way inclined, but, to a certain extent, we all get sucked into it. I have. And at a certain level, I still am.
But when you look at it, listing is an area in which you can never truly be fulfilled. It is an itch that will always need scratching. Even a moderate lister, particularly if in an arena where others around you (say a patch) are listing too, will find the wheels of fortune sending you into moments of highs and others of lows. Today's self-found Wryneck will be forgotten when next weeks dipped Bluethroat rears its ugly head.
It is like running up a very long down escalator. You will never have the energy to reach the top. The best you can hope for is to reach a speed at which you will stay in place. A couple of good birds will send you a few steps further up, but those dips will knock you back again - and if the knocks come thick and fast it can knock some birders off of the escalator all together.
The ones who have it sussed are those who can enjoy the view from wherever they happen to be on the moving steps. There are some who will maintain that they have never stepped onto this escalator at all. I simply don't believe them.