One Word, Sixty-Five Things

“Own a grand piano.” One of the items I checked off my Amazing Life List last year.

Diligence is the mother of good luck.
~ Benjamin Franklin

We’re three weeks into the New Year, high time to come up with my One Word and revisit my Amazing Life List.

My word for 2014 is DILIGENCE. My life works best when I apply myself consistently to the things that matter most to me. This includes taking care of my home and health, practicing the piano, writing morning pages and blog posts and fiction, working with my hands. I believe that being faithful in the small things will lead to bigger things; I already have some evidence of that. So I intend to stay the course.

Meanwhile, disappointed in my lack of progress on the Amazing Life List, I decided to up the stakes a little. I added back a few things I had removed due to their seemingly impossible nature AND decided to shorten my deadline. Since I intend to live to be 105, allowing myself fifty years to get through this list seems seems too generous. So here it is, sixty-five things I fully intend to do before I am sixty-five. Heck, if I can swing just eleven per year, I will be done before I am sixty. Then I can make a new list.

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. Tour the Mediterranean: Greece, Spain, Italy.
7. See the Great Wall of China.
8. Tour Egypt.
9. Visit Australia and New Zealand.
10. Go to Africa.
11. Go whale watching in Cape Cod.
12. See the Grand Canyon.
13. Set foot in all 50 states.
14. Spend a summer driving across the United States, coast to coast, with no itinerary.
15. Cruise through the Panama Canal.
16. Attend my 40th high school reunion.
17. Finish and revise my first novel.
18. Sign with a literary agent.
19. See my novel traditionally published.
20. Sign my book at an autograph session.
21. Have an article published in a national magazine.
22. Speak at a writing conference.
23. Master Chopin’s Scherzo in B-Flat Minor; perform it in public.
24. Master Mozart’s Piano Concert, K. 466; perform it in public.
25. Learn how to play the mandolin.
26. Write a song (piano and lyrics).
27. Learn how to play the hammered dulcimer.
28. Hear the Punch Brothers in concert.
29. Hear Mumford & Sons in concert.
30. Stop biting my fingernails.
31. Weigh 115 pounds.
32. Overcome water phobia and become a competent swimmer.
33. Sort through/get rid of everything I don’t need or love.
34. Plant an Eastern red cedar tree.
35. Own a house at the beach.
36. Make it my dream home.
37. Establish an herb garden.
38. Keep chickens.
39. Make divinity.
40. Make a scrapbook photo album for each of my children.
41. Make a scrapbook album Book Of Me.
42. Crochet a granny square afghan.
43. Knit a pair of socks.
44. Knit a sweater.
45. Organize my loose recipes/compile a family cookbook.
46. Make memory quilts for my family.
47. Go to pastry school.
48. Do a cartwheel.
49. Go sky diving.
50. Go parasailing.
51. Go snow skiing.
52. Review my French and speak it fluently.
53. Bowl a 200+ game.
54. Speak in front of 1000 people.
55. Fly first class.
56. Serve on a jury.
57. Be an extra in a film.
58. Learn swing dancing.
59. Swim with dolphins.
60. Get a tattoo.
61. Get another ear piercing.
62. Write a will.
63. Pay off my credit cards.
64. Meet, fall in love with, and become engaged to Mr. Right.
65. Have the wedding of my dreams.

What about you? Do you have a Word for 2014? And what is at the top of your bucket list? Here’s to the best New Year ever, for all of us!