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Living My Dreams

To Do List…seems like a place where you compile a list of those dreaded things you need to do, but can never quite get them done unless they are in your face. After seeing a new friend’s “Life List” it occurred to me that a “to do” list does not need to be a negative thing.

One of my very favorite plaques says:

Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty, well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, chocolate in one hand and a latte in the other, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming loudly …“WOW! What a ride!”

So, call it a “To Do List” or a “Life List,” or “List of Dreams,” or even “Bucket List,” these are the *things, (in random order) that having accomplished them, (or even most of them!) will make me feel like I’ll be skidin’ in broadside when the time comes!

*I do, however, reserve the right to add to or delete from this list at any time! Example: skydiving was on the list, but I got 2 compression fractures in my back in a boating accident in Maui, so that is now officially OFF the list! AND, I never even knew all the places I wanted to travel to, and I’m adding places I might actually be able to go to!

  1. Return to my former svelte size 6 (okay, I’ll settle for an honest 8 – no vanity sizing!)
  2. Spend a full day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC
  3. Have one of my creations featured in a Somerset Magazine
  4. Get to the point where “exercise” is truly no longer a dirty word
  5. Ditto for “organized”
  6. Run a 5 mile race (ok I’d settle for jogging it VERY slowly!)
  7. Visit the Amazon
  8. Go from vegetarian to vegan
  9. Finish the “heart quilt” I started in 2007
  10. Visit all 50 states
  11. Get all the “stuff” I no longer use out of my life
  12. Catch up my scrapbooks – I mean all the way up
  13. Have one of my recipes featured on a blog other than my own
  14. Buy a Betsey Johnson dress (and actually be able to wear it!) Bought it! Now just need to get into it!
  15. Spend a day combing through all the shops at Chelsea Market in NYC
  16. Have one of my scrapbook layouts published
  17. Take all the grandkids to Disney World
  18. Explore the Amish country
  19. Win the lottery
  20. Have only one size of clothes in my closet
  21. Go to Japan
  22. Kiss my man on the Eiffel Tower
  23. Visit Normandy
  24. Write a novel
  25. Teach a class at an art retreat!
  26. Design a line of scrapbook paper and embellishments
  27. See every kind of penguin in person (preferably in native habitat!)
  28. Achieve “Platinum” level with Regent
  29. View the Northern lights
  30. Ride in a hot air balloon
  31. REALLY swim with dolphins
  32. Go on a Windstar cruise
  33. Learn to crochet
  34. Attend Brave Girls Camp
  35. Visit the Weems family castle in Scotland
  36. Spend a month “living” in Italy
  37. Learn basic Italian
  38. Have my blog featured in “Artful Blogging”
  39. Visit all 7 Continents (5 down, 2 to go!)
  40. Go on safari in Africa
  41. See the Great Wall of China
  42. Make a whole bunch of mosaics for my garden!
  43. Attend a performance at the Sydney Opera House
  44. Go to Prague
  45. Revisit Budapest and see Heide and Franz again
  46. See a polar bear in person
  47. Become “Bi-polar” as in being in both the Arctic AND Antarctica!

Now, in fairness to myself, there is much that I dreamed of doing in my younger years (or just fell into w/o dreaming them!) that I have already accomplished, and I need to have a separate section to honor those accomplishments. To not do that would make me feel ungrateful. So, while it seems a bit less than humble, and like I’m “tooting my own horn” I need to remind myself that I’ve already:

  • Gotten married and stayed with my husband (truly the love of my life) “for better or worse” for 44+ years, when it would have been easier a time or two along the way, not to
  • Given birth to, and raised (w/o killing them) two amazing children who are now grown up, responsible citizens and parents themselves
  • Watched the birth of  three of my four grandchildren
  • Went to the Galapagos Islands and swam with sea lions
  • Vacationed in Patagonia, Chile
  • Visited the Antarctic and saw my first 3 varieties of penguins in person
  • Explored Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Vacationed in the UK and Germany
  • Took a European River cruise (Amsterdam to Budapest)
  • Cruised through the Panama canal (with stops in Aruba, Columbia, Costa Rica and Mexico)
  • Spent 3 weeks in London
  • Spent 2 weeks in Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice!)
  • Made spending four weeks a year in Maui a nearly every year thing
  • Built my own brick and mortar retail business from the ground up, ran it for 20 years, and sold it
  • Own our own home
  • Achieved (mostly through my husband’s efforts) a comfortable financial lifestyle, with enough of a cushion to sustain it through our old age (unless the whole country collapses!)
  • Accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior
  • NEVER been a drain on society
  • Earned the love of four grandchildren who call me “Gaga”
  • Learned to: cook, sew, scrapbook, garden, make jewelry, decorate pretty darn well, decorate cakes, knit (well enough to make scarves) make mosaics
  • Pretty much mastered operating a computer, both PC and Mac (there were times back in days of DOS when I never thought THAT would happen!)
  • Co-Founded the merchant’s association in Mt. Shasta
  • Spent many times contemplating to the point of tears, how content I am with my life (and pulled myself back from the depression that accompanied the few times when I have felt like I wished I had made different choices!)
  • Been documenting the life of my family through scrapbooks they will treasure when I am gone
  • Climbed to the 11,000 ft level of Mt Shasta before getting weathered out
  • Taken a trip to NYC by myself to meet a “cyber” girlfriend for the first time
  • Done enough genealogy to have discovered that my peeps have a castle in Scotland
  • Chosen a vegetarian lifestyle because I don’t want one more animal to die so I can stuff my face
  • Gone to San Francisco to meet Betsy Dijulio, whose cookbook – The Blooming Platter – I love, for the West Coast launch of that cookbook
  • Shook hands w/ Barack Obama at a Reno Rally in 2008
  • Touched Ringo’s head at a Beatle’s concert at Dodger’s Stadium a gazzillion years ago
  • Done (and still do, occasionally) political blogging at Talking Points Memo (often featured on cable news – not me, TPM) and Dagblog
  • Been the first female Rotarian in Mt. Shasta
  • Met a grizzly bear face to face on a path and took his picture
  • Explored a large part of Yellowstone and got stuck in a “buffalo jam.”
  • Saw the baby bison (red dogs!)
  • Learned how to solve “hard” sudoku puzzles
  • Taken a Caribbean cruise
  • Eaten snails at a French restaurant
  • Loved a dog almost as much as I love my kids
  • Flown in a tiny little pontoon plane and landed on water!
  • Gone on a police ride along – twice
  • Backpacked in the desert
  • Panned for gold
  • Hiked into the Haleakala volcano
  • Climbed to the top of Black Butte
  • Gone “indoor skydiving”
  • Watched Tangled and Frozen so many times I practically know the dialog by heart
  • Gone to see Riverdance on stage – three times!
  • Taught my granddaughter to cross stitch, knit, and tie her shoes
  •  Learned to snorkel
  • Survived the “tsunami” of 2010 in Hawaii
  • Stayed at the Madonna inn
  • Visited both Hearst Castle and the Hearst family’s vacation home, Wintun
  • Gone to Disneyworld
  • Visited Washington D.C.
  • Been an inch away from touching a whale in the wild, twice!
  • Swam with dolphins for 2 seconds
  • Fallen in love on the second date
  • Had a big wedding and a honeymoon
  • Gone to Graceland
  • Started my own blog
  • Had a cup of coffee with an actual author (Michael Wolraich – Blowing Smoke) at a little cafe in the East Village – this for a small town girl – was HUGE!
  • Went to The Creative Connection and actually introduced myself to Kelly Rae Roberts and Becky Higgins and shared with them how much of an impact they’ve had on my life!
  • Applied for and was accepted to do an unpaid internship with Kelly Rae Roberts (Highlight!!!) A dream so big I didn’t even know to dream it!
  • Got bit by a rattlesnake and lived to tell about it! (wasn’t on my list of things I WANTED to do!)
  • Went on an Alaskan cruise (okay, we’re up to 3 now!)
  • Took two of my grandchildren to Alaska – twice!
  • Visited the Mall of America
  • Learned to do mixed media art
  • Opened an Etsy shop and made a couple of sales
  • Went to the South Pacific (twice!)
  • Visited Australia and New Zealand
  • Petted a kangaroo (maybe not quite as good as holding a baby one, but right up there! I DID hold a koala bear and kissed him on the head!
  • Am once again able to wear the 4″ heels in my closet! Can’t wear them all day, but I can wear them long enough to go to dinner!
  • Seen a play on Broadway (and several in London!)
  • Stayed in a 5 star hotel
  • Cruised the Mediterranean
  • Lost track of how many countries I’ve visited!
  • Been whitewater rafting
  • Ridden on a motorcycle
  • Visited Cuba

The bottom line is, I’ve done a lot during my tenure on this earth. Were I to die tomorrow, I would have lived a rich, full life. Anything from here on out is the decoration on a beautiful, heavily frosted, cake!

8 responses »

  1. Janet,
    Your lists are AMAZING!!! I am now going to modify my life list so that I now have an accomplishment section too!! HOW INSPIRING!!
    ~Christina 😉

    • How funny Christina! You are the “new friend” whose life list is what inspired me to do one! But mine was really puny in comparison to yours, and then I realized how much I had already accomplished and decided it was worth celebrating! Glad I could return the favor!

  2. enjoyed reading this page. great idea to post the accomplishments also. we so often forget what we have accomplished only what we haven’t.

  3. hey – i live in Amish country – just saying!!

  4. Wonderful list of items both “to do” and “done”. I love your sense of appreciation for your blessings and joy for life. Nicely done and shared – thank you!


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