Life’s To Do List

August 27, 2012

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One of the reasons that I like to read memoir, non-fiction type books, is the same reason that I am a social person that likes to get to know people. Other people teach us, put into words, what sometimes we, ourselves, cannot.

In this mind frame, on my reading list for a few years now is a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. A friend of mine had the book on his coffee table so I asked to borrow it and decided I would begin reading it at the beginning of the summer. (Interesting side note: Books take much longer to finish, once you have a baby.)

In the “May” chapter, about finding more fun, she puts into words a realization that I realized was true for me too. She says:

…being Gretchen and accepting my true likes and dislikes brings me a kind of sadness. I will never visit a jazz club at midnight, hang out in artists’ studios, jet off to Paris for the weekend, or pack up to go fly-fishing on a spring dawn. I won’t be admired for my chic warddrobe or be appointed a a high government office…It makes me sad for two reasons. First, it makes me sad to realize my limitations. The world offers so much…

Boom.

I am not the adventuring type. So as much as I might like to be an amazing beach-bodied, sun-bronzed surfer (#78 learn to surf), I am far too afraid of the ocean and all things moving around in it to be one. I know the beauty and awe that is held within the mysteries of nature, and as much as I might like the occasional leisurely hike, I will never hike the Appalachian Trail – although, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (#116) definitely stays on the list, stopping at Hostel type sleeping accommodations and drinking wine and cappuccinos along the journey. I am not much of a risk taker so I may wage a friendly bet but would never “let it ride” in Vegas or jump off a cliff in one of those squirrel suits. Although I could be convinced to paraglide off a mountain in Switzerland. Go figure. I guess we’re all not as one-sided as we’d have ourselves believe.

Life's To Do List
#24 Rent a house with friends (in this case a ski house)

The world has so much beauty and so many adventures that even if we both quit our jobs (well, we’re half way there) and money was of no matter we would still never be able to see, do, experience, love, and live all there is to see, do, experience, love and live.

It’s not that I feel sorry for myself nor am I am a glass half empty person. In fact, this realization has freed me to some level. I know that there are many things that I might not be able to do in this lifetime…but there are so many things that I can.

And aspiring to do as many of these things as I can is half the fun.

At least 10 years ago, I started a Life’s To Do List. No not a “Bucket List” It is a To Do List.

I used this list to plan out adventures. I used it to buy birthday presents (#50 – swing on a trapeze), take vacations {Stay at an Ice Hotel (#51), Pyramids of Giza (#32), visit Germany for Oktoberfest (#76)} and keep track of milestones in my life {Get married (#1), have children (#2), get a dog (#12), live abroad (#114)}.

All this ✓, ✓, ✓, ✓ing gets me excited.

Beale Street

I have accepted that I might never be able to do allllllllllllll of the many things I want to do. Usually there is either not enough time or not enough money and now with a child in the mix – there is not enough of either. But sometimes the hardest part is just saying yes.

So, I urge you to think about the kind of person that you are. What experiences are just not you? Kite surfing in Cabarete or exploring the off-beat nightlife of a new city on your bike? Good news – you don’t have to be that person. What are the things that you have always wanted to do? And what’s stopping you from doing them? Maybe some things remain unchecked (like #78 learn to surf). That’s ok – your Life’s To Do List should change and as it changes you will have plenty more micro adventures to experience. So what ever number you are starting with, whether it’s something small like planting a tree (#42), something open to interpretation (#33 Make a Difference ), something silly (#21 Ride on a firetruck) or something big (#65 See all 7 Wonders of the Natural World) – whichever you start with, just start. 

3 Comments
    1. Amazing Jen. I love this…You're writing is great and I can't wait to pick up your first book! 😉

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