I don’t know why, really, but I’ve resisted listing out all the things I’d like to do/accomplish/attempt in my lifetime. But the other night, as I pulled the covers close, my mind filled with all the things I could do and just thought and thought and thought about this instead of getting some much-needed post-holiday rest.
It seems appropriate, at the start of the New Year, to do something like this, so I’ve been working on it for the last couple of days. These aren’t resolutions. I fail at resolutions, whole-heartedly. Mine are always uninspired. I had “Have Fun!” on my list of resolutions for years! (I’m fully aware of all that says about me!) But this list and exercise is more about thinking about the next year, and the next and next and next… and what all can happen. It’s inspired by Mighty Girl’s Life List, and the lists she’s inspired, in turn. It’s about thinking about possibilities. It’s amazing, really, the potential we have, and I feel blessed to even be able to navel gaze like this. Maybe that’s exactly what I hated about making a list like this for so long, the self-satisfaction of it all? The absolute priveledge it depends on and is proof of?
But, here I am dreaming about what to put here, anyway. And honestly, it feels really good! Amazing, in fact! It’s been a long time since I’ve felt inspired to even write something like this. I thought about specific things for this list, things I’d be able to check off. There’s the perennial items like volunteer more, be creative, be thoughtful. get in shape and improve my mind, but those things are generally hard to measure. These aren’t. There is a beginning. There is an end. I’m sure this list will change, as I do. After all, it takes more than a few days to come up with a list of things to accomplish in a lifetime, right? Still, here they are, a work in progress:
Own a piano and take lessons : Visit the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul : Start a charitable fund : Swim 30 laps without stopping : Run a 10K : Live in NYC for at least a month : Self-publish a book of my dad’s photographs : Begin and finish Iver’s baby book : Begin and finish Jellybean’s baby book : Start a nonprofit news website : Go camping to see all the remaining old growth hemlock trees in North Carolina : Go scuba diving : Learn all the national and state capitals : Cut my hair short : Take a workshop at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography : Do a photo-a-day project the year I turn 40 : Graft some branches from my grandmother’s apple tree to an apple tree I plant at my house : Visit every county courthouse in North Carolina : Become a friend of my local library : Visit all the national parks with Pat and the girls : Make a family tree for Iver and Jellybean : Read (or reread) 50 of the top nonfiction and fiction books, per these lists : Learn how to bake bread, and do it regularly : Go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade : Make apple cider : Visit every state fair : Go to a book reading once a month for a year : Play in the rain and splash in puddles with the girls : Work out with a personal trainer : Go to the opening games of the Olympics : Ride in a hot air balloon : Ride in a convertible : Learn how to cut up a whole chicken : Take Iver to Iver, UK : Plant a rose bush : See Wynton Marsalis with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra perform : Toss and spin a pizza crust up in the air : See the cherry trees blossom in Washington, DC : …
Have you put together a list like this?