Saturday, January 1, 2011

Life List

I first spied someone's honest-to-goodness life list on The Internet a few years ago and was immediately intrigued, though I never felt like I had time to sit down and let myself imagine all the things I would put on my own.  But in October of 2009, when Jason and I went to Hawaii, I used some of the (very long) flight to brainstorm ideas, a few of which I've already accomplished.  And then a few weeks ago, when we were stuck in Quebec for two extra days, I had the same journal with me and got it out to work on the list.  Yesterday, I sat in bed for an hour and finished it up, though I'm not sure a list like this is ever "finished," since it's really a work-in-progress.  The first day of 2011 seems like as auspicious a time as any to write it all down here, in one place, for the world to see, and dream a little dream about which things I'll tackle this year.

Take tennis lessons.  Make an entire Thanksgiving dinner for a big crowd.  Create a family cookbook.  Take my parents on a trip.  Go to a writer's retreat.  Go whale-watching in Hawaii.  Wear a big hat at the Kentucky Derby with my girlfriends.  Take a girls’ spa trip to Arizona.  Create a system to track all the books I read.  Publish a book review.  Earn my yoga teacher certification.  Learn to make bread.  Ski at Aspen.  Knit a hat.  Learn to ride clipped-in on a road bike.  See the sunrise from the tip of Maine.  Read the complete works of Shakespeare.  Drink beer in Bruges.  Sit in the front row at a concert.  Live in an apartment in Paris.  Become (re-)fluent in Spanish and conversational in French.  Write a book.  Take an architectural tour of Chicago.  Throw a surprise party.  Give away a large sum of money anonymously.  Swim one mile.  Make a soufflĂ©.  Try caviar, foie gras, and truffles.  See a play on Broadway.  Take a photography class.  Sleep outside under the stars.  Eat at a three-star French restaurant.  Go fly-fishing in a huge river out west.  Take a literary tour of London.  Take the girls to Disney.  Publish a magazine article.  Run another marathon, possibly with Annie or Jemma.  Go to NYC with Jason, and have a picnic in Central Park.  Celebrate the summer solstice.  Drink wine in Napa Valley.  Learn to make my mom’s seafoam.  Do a yoga headstand.  Buy a cottage.  Go to church in Rome.  Make Martha Stewart’s croquembouche.  Ride in a gondola in Venice.  Establish a scholarship fund.  Build or buy a house with my dream bedroom (fireplace and view of water).  Participate in a flashmob.  Choose and learn to make a signature cocktail.  Teach my children how to cook.  Institute one-day-a-week “sabbath” from technology.  Make a quilt of Annie and Jemma’s baby clothes.  See Africa.  Take a road trip across the USA in an RV.  Stay in a thatched bungalow on stilts over the water with Jason.  Try tai chi.  Take the girls camping.  Run a six-minute mile.  Research my genealogy in The Netherlands.  Hike part of the Appalachian Trail.  Drink a pint of Guinness in Ireland.  Take a ballet class.  Floss my teeth daily for one month.  Dance the waltz with Jason in Vienna.  Learn to make my own pasta.  Learn to compost.  Do a race event for charity.  Do a triathlon.  Buy an expensive piece of art for our house.  Teach an adult to read.  Drive a convertible down Highway 1.  Leave a ridiculously generous tip.  Throw sweet sixteen parties for both girls.  Earn a master’s degree.  Publish a poem.

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