I didn’t know about life lists until sometime last year (for someone who blogs for a living, I’m surprisingly slow to pick up on things like this), at which point I was completely enthralled with the idea. Shocking, I know, considering I make lists to keep track of my lists for trips and work and stuff. I mean, you guys don’t even know how hard it was for me to not create a whole life spreadsheet. (Okay, fine, I made one. But I’m not sharing it, so don’t tell. Shhh.)

Anyway, so I’ve basically been working on it for a year. Partly in my head, partly on Post-Its, and partly in various documents on my computer. And finally I decided, ENOUGH! Does it have any power if it’s not shared? I don’t know, but I want to share it — I want it to be real, and I want a reason to work toward checking off the items.( A reason other than the fact that these items are things I just totally want to do. Because, I guess, that’s not reason enough? Whatever.)

One of the things I loved about creating this is that it not only gave me a way to articulate things I want to accomplish, but it gave me an excuse to look back on things I’ve done; things I’m proud of. Just because I’ve already done it doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of being on the list, you see — if I hadn’t already done it, it would be on there, so why not put it on there and have something to cross off, right?

(Yes, I do that with my to-do lists, also. SHUT UP.)

So, with no further ado (because this has been a lot of ado — much, and about nothing, really), here it is: My Life List. It doesn’t all make sense, and I might not do all of it, and that’s okay. Let me know what’s on yours — maybe I’m missing something! (And shitballs, that was more ado, wasn’t it? Sorry, y’all.)

(Big thanks to Kate O for inspiring me to separate this into sections, which has helped immensely. And, fellow life listers — if I stole your idea, I’m totally sorry and you can tell me I stole it and I’ll add in a link. I promise I didn’t do it on purpose!)

Key: italics mean it’s in progress, bold means I’ve done it. If it’s bold and in italics, it probably requires explanation

1.    Live on the beach
2.    Own a house with a backyard and guest rooms
3.    Live a laid-back life on a laid-back island, in the Caribbean or elsewhere
4.    Marry someone who makes me laugh and think
5.    Know the best restaurants and bars (hole-in-the-wall, fancy, whatever) in every city I love
6.    Become a regular at a local restaurant or bar (Norm!) (preferably, within walking distance of the beach house I’ll live in)
7.    Live in a truly energy-efficient home
8.    Plant a beautiful flower garden and keep it alive for more than a year

9.    Spend a month (or more) in Europe without everything planned out
10.    Fly first class on a long flight
11.    Go to Egypt; see the pyramids and the Sphinx, etc.
12.    Do a Pacific Northwest wine tour
13.    Hike and camp Machu Picchu
14.    Drive throughout the Northeast in the fall to see the leaves
15.    Attend a Final Four basketball game (TWICE!)
16.    Take a roadtrip with girlfriends
17.    Go on an African (photo) safari
18.    Ride public transportation alone in a major city
19.    Spend enough time in another country that people no longer assume I’m an American tourist
20.    Go to Hawaii and visit at least three islands
21.    Go horseback riding along the beach
22.    Zipline through a rain forest
23.    Visit the hometowns of my ancestors (which would probably involve finding out where they lived, I suppose, and also who they were, and gah, this sounds like a lot of work.)

Good Stuff
24.    Help homeless animals in more ways than adopting
25.    Become fluent (again) in Spanish
26.    Learn French, German, and Italian well enough to get by
27.    Take a painting class
28.    Surprise my goddaughter with a really amazing, life changing gift
29.    Celebrate a major anniversary with good friends at a fancy party
30.    Start or join a book club with a wide variety of people
31.    Send my family on an all-expenses paid vacation
32.    Learn to be a better photographer and print, then frame and hang my favorite photos
33.    Own a nice camera
34.    Be a season ticket holder for the closet college’s football and basketball teams
35.    Hike a mountain and have a picnic of wine and cheese at the top
36.    Write down my parents’ stories
37.    Develop a pet product and donate proceeds to an animal-related charity
38.    Star in a play (in high school — Arsenic and Old Lace, I was Aunt Abby — but I’d like to do it again)
39.    Read the classics I missed in high school
40.    Commit favorite quotes to memory
41.    Organize a 5k to benefit charity
42.    Know the names of all my neighbors
43.    Send cards with a handwritten letter on people’s birthday

44.    Start exercising first thing in the morning
45.    Be good enough at golf to play without constant embarrassment
46.    Learn to surf (thanks Erin)
47.    Be confident in a bathing suit, regardless of the size on the tag (without the help of any boozy drinks)
48.    Coach youth sports
49.    Waterski all the way around a lake
50.    Complete a sprint, Olympic, and Ironman 70.3 triathlon
51.    Win the swimming leg of a triathlon
52.    Learn swing dancing with my husband and be GOOD at it
53.    Play in a beach volleyball tournament
54.    Learn to breakdance
55.    Take an adult tap class (and perform!)
56.    Paddleboard (I mean, I did it, but not very far or for very long or very well, so I think it deserves another go)

57.    Become an expert wine taster (Taste 1000 wines and KEEP NOTES)
58.    Cook a vegetarian meal that meat eaters love (I have yet to win over my Dad, but there are several meatless meals that Jared totally digs)
59.    Grow vegetables, then eat them
60.    Make a pie like my Grandma’s
61.    Dedicate one afternoon a week to drinking wine with a couple of friends (this would require not having to work every afternoon, so I guess I should add WORK LESS)
62.    Learn to identify 100 cheeses by taste
63.    Put together a cookbook of my favorite recipes to share with friends

64.    Have a beautiful (and beautifully organized) closet
65.    Keep my house clean on a regular basis
66.    Print the good photos I have saved on my computer
67.    Create a travel file and keep notes on where I’ve been, what I liked best, what I would do differently, etc.
68.    Go through old home videos, edit them, and put all the keeper parts into a digital file

69.    Win a Halloween costume contest in something I created
70.    Wear something stylish that I sewed myself
71.    Put all my printed photos into albums
72.    Organize all my crafty supplies and keep them in one place (even the same room would be a start)

73.    Write a book that makes people laugh
74.    Write a book that makes people think (these can be the same book or different ones)
75.    Have someone recognize me (by name or sight) because I wrote something that resonated with them
76.    Interview a really, really famous actor (Sean Connery)/athlete (Misty May-Treanor, Aaron Rodgers)/writer/____
77.    Write for a living
78.    Have a column in a local newspaper
79.    Put all of my favorite articles/posts/stories together in one place

80.    Develop a signature style
81.    Find the perfect mascara
82.    Phase leather out of my wardrobe and own high quality, beautiful, cruelty-free shoes and purses and jackets
83.    Buy a pair of high heels that don’t hurt my feet, regardless of cost
84.    Decorate my house in a way that makes me smile
85.    Learn to mix patterns successfully
86.    Find the perfect perfume
87.    Own a DVF wrap dress
88.    Put together a collection of cool hats

89.    Throw out the first pitch of a baseball game
90.    Bid on and win a big ticket item at a silent auction
91.    Sing on key (so, um, taking voice lessons should probably be on there)
92.    Curate an enviable repertoire of jokes
93.    Be able to sew more than a button
94.    Get in a fight, and preferably win
95.    Walk a red carpet
96.    Perform a stand-up comedy routine
97.    Be an extra on a favorite TV show
98.    Watch an old movie outside, either at a park or on a beach
99.    Perform “We Didn’t Start the Fire” at karaoke
100.    Dance on a table in public

Is this list final? Hell no. I’m sure I’ll add things as I think of them, and I’ll remove them when they no longer appeal to me. But it’s a start, right?