Amazing Life List Version 3.0

I ran the 5K for YSC Tour de Pink on Saturday.

Finally settled into the new school year and resigned to the nip of fall in the air, I find myself turning inward. Mornings I am hunkered over my laptop, working feverishly to finish my novel; evenings I am huddled up with my mandolin, struggling to decipher tablature and play that big chord my teacher showed me last week. I am saying no to fun for its own sake and making time for people and activities that truly nourish me. My world is smaller and bigger at the same time.

There must be something about this season that prompts me to examine my long term goals, too. As a matter of fact, it was almost exactly a year ago today that I revisited the Amazing Life List I originally posted back in the spring of 2010. But checking in this morning, I was dismayed to discover that I have accomplished only four of those items in the past twelve months: starting a running program, running a half-marathon, singing karaoke in public, and finishing Jane Austen’s novels. Why is that, I wondered?

I took a long, hard look at the list. First, I admitted that some of the items simply are no longer important to me. For example, along with my nightly wine habit I have lost the burning desire to drink a beer at Oktoberfest in Munich or attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Second, I realized that while I wouldn’t turn down certain opportunities–like a trip to China–I cannot imagine myself actually planning the itinerary when there are other places, like Ireland and Africa, that truly call me to visit. Finally, I recognized that much of what provides me with true satisfaction is much more affordable than a trip overseas; something as simple as trying a new recipe or learning a new craft brings me great joy and pleasure.

So I decided it was time to make a new list. I have whittled it down to 66 items and have already started work on some of them. Those highlighted in blue have 2012 deadlines; those highlighted in pink will be checked off by the end of 2013. In the meantime, I will be plugging away at the others, open to opportunity. If I happen to bowl a 200+ game and meet Mr. Right while I’m at the bowling alley, so be it!

  1. Spend a summer in France.
  2. Spend a week in New York City; see the sights; attend a Broadway play.
  3. Cruise to Alaska.
  4. Visit Hawaii.
  5. Go on a walking tour of Ireland.
  6. Spend a summer in the Mediterranean: Greece, Spain, Italy.
  7. Visit Australia and New Zealand.
  8. Go to Africa.
  9. Go whale watching in Cape Cod.
  10. See the Grand Canyon.
  11. Set foot in all 50 states.
  12. Spend a summer driving across the United States, coast to coast, with no itinerary.
  13. Cruise through the Panama Canal.
  14. Go on a cruise with my parents, children, and brother and sister-in-law.
  15. Attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Jackson, Mississippi.
  16. Attend my 40th high school reunion.
  17. Do the Southern Caribbean cruise itinerary on Carnival Cruise Line.
  1. Finish, revise and polish my first novel.
  2. Find a publisher for my novel.
  3. Sign my book at an autograph session.
  4. Have an article published in a national magazine.
  5. Speak at a writing conference.
  6. Attend a national writing conference.
  1. Master Chopin’s Scherzo in B-Flat Minor.
  2. Master Mozart’s Piano Concerto, K. 466, and perform it with an orchestra.
  3. Learn how to play the mandolin.
  4. Write a song (piano and lyrics).
  5. Learn how to play the hammered dulcimer.
  6. Play in a music ensemble.
  1. Stop biting my fingernails.
  2. Weigh 115 pounds.
  3. Overcome water phobia and become a strong swimmer. 
  1. Own an iPad.
  2. Own a grand piano.
  3. Own a sexy car.
  1. Sort through/get rid of everything I don’t absolutely need or love.
  2. Plant an Eastern red cedar tree.
  3. Own a house at the beach (might be on a lake, might be on the ocean – doesn’t matter as long as it’s someplace warm).
  4. Make it my dream home.
  5. Establish an herb garden.
  6. Keep chickens.
  7. Get a kitten and name it Panzer.
  1. Review my French and speak it fluently.
  2. Bowl a 200+ game.
  3. Speak in front of 1000 people.
  4. Fly first class.
  5. Serve on a jury.
  6. Be an extra in a film.
  7. Learn swing dancing.
  8. Swim with dolphins.
  9. Get a tattoo.
  1. Make lye soap.
  2. Take a cake decorating class.
  3. Make divinity.
  4. Make a scrapbook photo album for each of my children.
  5. Make a scrapbook album Book Of Me.
  6. Crochet a granny square afghan.
  7. Knit a pair of socks.
  8. Knit a sweater.
  9. Organize my loose recipes/compile a family cookbook.
  10. Make memory quilts for my family.
  1. Write a will.
  2. Pay off my credit cards.
  3. Achieve financial peace.
  1. Meet my life partner.
  2. Have the wedding of my dreams.
What’s at the top of your Amazing Life List?