We interrupt these honeymoon posts to share an updated Life List.

Since we're headed to Camp Mighty in only a few short weeks, the task of updating my Life List to hold 100 items has been hot on my mind. I only had about 25 up until last night, but then the long train ride last night coupled with a sick day today has resulted in ONE HUNDRED LIFE GOALS OF POWER!

What's amazing to me is how some of them seemed to come out of nowhere. I'd be sitting there, thinking about owning a dog, and then from nowhere I'd think "FUND A SCHOLARSHIP FOR STUDENTS TO GO ABROAD." Except instead of it coming from Nowhere, I think it came from Thewhere, as in The place where the deepest things only you know live.

Interested in making one of your own? Maggie Mason wrote a helpful post and remember- this is not a list that you make to seem reasonable to other people. At least one person is going to doubt your ability to complete some of these things. That person is not of your concern! If you can think of it, stick it on the list. Who cares if it never comes true? The mere act of pronouncing it starts the being possible, even in the tiniest way.

Here's my list, in all its glory:

1. Snorkel in Costa Rica
2. Paint a self-portrait
3. Write a letter to Barack Obama
4. Video interview my extended family about what it was like growing up
5. Track down some long-lost relatives in Germany and have dinner with them
6. Redesign my blog (or pay someone else to do it)
7. Publish a book
8. Translate a novel from French to English
9. Fly to Paris for my birthday
10. Spend a summer abroad
11. Own a bike and use it to commute to work.
12. Visit the Grand Canyon
13. Be economically comfortable
14. Run a 10k [Completed- 10k in DC in 2011]
15. Discover a fish I like to eat and learn how to cook it
16. Buy a sewing machine and make something usable
17. Make homemade butter/cheese/ice cream
18. Grow a watermelon and eat it
19. Visit Texas [Completed- SXSW in 2011]
20. Learn another language conversationally
21. Use my blog to supplement my income
22. Raise children
23. Have a wedding on our own terms [Completed- August 13, 2011!]
24. Learn one computer language
25. Accompany my brother (singing) at a concert in front of other people.
26. Learn to like at least one kind of eggs.
27. Swim with a dolphin.
28. Attend the New Yorker Festival as a speaker/guest/panelist.
29. Teach a class.
30. Get a professional headshot done.
31. Start a Saturday morning tradition that I continue for a year.
32. Open a B&B. Have my sister design it.
33. Master 10 dinner recipes that I feel comfortable cooking for a group of people.
34. Have a reunion for my residents from 3rd floor Prosser.
35. Organize a 1-day conference where unpublished writers come to share their work, write and make writerly connections.
36. Make a sizeable donation to Muhlenberg.
37. Take a trip with my siblings.
38. Take a trip with my mom and sister.
39. Run a half-marathon.
40. Run a race in a foreign country.
41. Go to Middlebury language school for another summer.
42. Make personal contact (letter, meet, take to lunch, etc.) with the following writers who have influenced me: Elizabeth Gilbert, Charles Baxter, William Trevor, Ann Patchett, Audrey Niffenegger
43. Attend TED
44. Create an office space that allows me to work, interrupted, at long stretches of time. It should be comfortable, inspiring and able to shut out the outside world.
45. Host a foreign exchange student.
46. Try having bangs.
47. Live in a house with fruit trees in the backyard.
48. Learn how to change a tire.
49. Invite Ingrid Michaelson to a party at our place. (Goal is, she accepts.)
50. Spend a period of time living close to family.
51. Do a multi-day hike and camp overnight.
52. Find an awesome pillow that is not too thin or too fat, but just perfect.
53. Rewatch Lost.
54. Have photos of family and friends framed and visible in our home.
55. Go on a safari in Africa.
56. Research and write a walking tour… then give it!
57. Be able to identify 10 birds by sight and sound.
58. Work on a farm again and milk cows.
59. Start a business with my husband.
60. Grow a tree and plant it in our yard.
61. Have a yard.
62. Surprise Chris with a weekend away.
63. Find a church/religious place that's for me.
64. Work in a bookstore.
65. Meet Dave Eggers.
66. Create an online community around No Is For Wimps.
67. Visit all the 826 Valencias. [Completed: San Fran, Brooklyn, Seattle, DC]
68. Learn to blow dry my hair straight.
69. Get a dog.
70. Have my dog trained to be able to go to nursing homes and bring him/her there on a regular basis.
71. Join a rowing team and get SWEET arms.
72. Get my MFA (if only because of the dedicated time to write).
73. Attend weddings in other countries. [Completed so far: India]
74. Gift a plane ticket for a friend to come and visit us.
75. Host a dinner with Chris for the top 3 people who have influenced each of our lives. Pay for travel expenses for those 6 people and host a long dinner where they can meet and we can thank them.
76. Speak French with my children so they have a base knowledge of the language at least.
77. Host a board game night and invite the board gamiest people I know.
78. Go to a movie and sneak into a second one after the first is over!
79. Write a wedding post and have it published on A Practical Wedding.
80. Pet an elephant.
81. Start an annual tradition with Chris that focuses on planning for the next year.
82. Once kids are old enough, make a fancy Back to School dinner every year.
83. Learn to tap dance.
84. Visit my host family in Aix-en-Provence.
85. Have my sister as my doula for the birth of at least one of my children.
86. Invest my/our money in a forward-thinking way.
87. Memorize the names (and order) of all the US presidents.
88. Visit Jefferson's home in Virginia.
89. Visit Hemingway's house in Florida.
90. Take at least one trip alone every year. Could be as simple as a long weekend to visit friends or fam.
91. Visit Pompeii.
92. Try Bikram yoga.
93. Get certified as a Yoga instructor.
94. Witness the birth of a baby (not my own).
95. Help found a scholarship to send students abroad.
96. Give myself a $1000 shopping spree to create a new wardrobe I feel good about.
97. Plant hydrangea plants in our yard and cut the flowers as they bloom to make the house homey.
98. Attend the Clinton Global Initiative.
99. Cook my way through one cookbook (however small!)
100. Tell a story on This American Life.

101. Help change a struggling city into a thriving one.
102. Use my communication skills to help people understand something difficult. Could be national healthcare, the DMV, Green Card applications or something else that's known for being a black box.


Meg said...

GOOD LIST! I love reading them. I find other people's life lists super inspiring. I can't wait to read about how you work on checking these off. Also, looking forward to hearing about the Mighty Summit!

Anonymous said...

I love this list and feel inspired to make one soon!

41. AMAZING, I did not know this existed and it seems totally awesome!

63. Have you tried Unitarian Universalism?

71. I recently started rowing on the machine at the gym and it is such a good workout.

Amusing Pursuits said...

Jen you'll have to let me know when you want to visit Jefferson's Monticello, I work for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and there are some other fun/interesting places close that I can recommend to make it a fun weekend.

Jen said...

Yes! Thanks, Annie!!

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