Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Life List: Time for an update

About a year and a half ago, I was inspired to write my own bucket list by reading the wonderful list my dear friend Sarah had created and shared on her blog. I did a little bit of research online as far as what was typical for these "before I'm gone" kinds of goals, and as you can imagine, there are as many of these out there as there are good ideas to add to them.

I found that some people have multiple lists for different things they want to do: places to go, adventures to have, restaurants to try, famous people to meet. When I began compiling my list, I included some very aspirational things that may never happen without heroic effort and everyday things that should be easy to do but for the million and one things that get in the way and then suddenly, life has passed you by.

Reinforced for me in this exercise was the magic of writing something down - when you can see it in writing it is more concrete, more tangible, and more attainable than a wish voiced in a conversation or an idea texted back and forth but never solidified. The list has given me something to return to, to measure my passing days by, and to inspire me for the coming days. It helped us "just do it" this past summer, giving me the opportunity to do more than one thing on the list in a single epic adventure. And that same trip inspired me to add a few more things to the list.

So after 18 months of some successes and some misses against the list, I'm officially updating it. It's still the big and the little things; that's what this blog was meant to celebrate, so it feels right for my personal list to have both. I still think of it as my Life List vs. a Bucket List, as it has added more life to the 365 days I have each year.

  1. Donate enough money to have my name on something at West Point
  2. Celebrate the 4th of July in Boston
  3. Win 1st place in my age group in a race - DONE!!
  4. Cross something off a friend's life list together
  5. Sing in a symphony chorus
  6. Go to the Olympic Games
  7. Watch Army play in a bowl game in person
  8. Take a train as my primary mode of transportation on a trip or vacation
  9. See my cousin Jay perform live
  10. Become a published author
  11. Visit the American Cemetery in Normandy
  12. Take my kids to the Army/Navy game
  13. Be in Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day
  14. Run a marathon in all 50 states
  15. See Mt. Rushmore - DONE!!
  16. Take a Creative Writing course
  17. Go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC 
  18. Buy something at the actual brick-and-mortar Akinz, my cousin Suzanne's retail store - DONE!!
  19. Swim around Key West
  20. Watch the Dallas Cowboys play a regular season game in Cowboys Stadium
  21. Spend a whole day riding roller coasters and amusement park rides with my kids - DONE!!
  22. Give a graduation speech
  23. Tour the White House
  24. Complete a full Ironman Triathlon
  25. Hike some of the Appalachian Trail
  26. Grow strawberries in my garden - DONE!!
  27. Learn to surf
  28. Visit Yellowstone National Park - DONE!!
  29. Sew matching outfits for my daughter and her American Girl doll
  30. Qualify for and run the Boston Marathon 
  31. Decorate a fancy cake, like one from a bakery
  32. Cook / bake every single recipe in a cookbook
  33. Own season tickets to something
  34. See the Rose Parade in person
  35. Take a vacation with my sister Susannah, just the two of us
  36. Read a biography of every U.S. President
  37. See Lenny Kravitz in concert
  38. Own a convertible
  39. Take my kids on a Civil War staff ride vacation
  40. Apply to be a contestant on The Amazing Race
  41. See the California Redwoods
  42. Walk underneath / behind a waterfall
  43. Legitimately begin a presentation with the words, "My fellow Americans..."
  44. Ride my bike across a state
  45. Hike to the most remote spot in the lower 48
  46. Ride my bike through a national park
A few more added to the list, a few more complete. I'm sure I'll keep adding ideas as they pop into my head.

What about you? Do you have a list? If you don't, what are you waiting for? Grab a piece of paper, a pen, a marker, whatever inspires you. Write something down. It doesn't have to be 46 different things - start with one, or three, or ten. Just start. You'll be inspired when you realize how rich your life is because of the big and little things that you could do if you made a point to.

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