A Mighty Fine Idea

It’s been a Life List kind of week.

After I heard Springsteen sing Thunder Road this week, I was talking with the other Life List girls about what’s next.  Julia’s about to run the New York City marathon.  Audrey’s keeping busy with her Etsy site and designing all kinds of things, and has an intimidatingly organized list with all kinds of tabs.  Willow checked off “architecture license” not long ago.  I went back and snooped through everyone’s lists, since we all put them online on google spreadsheets to share.  We’ve made some progress, this past year. It’s impressive.

If you haven’t heard this story before, it all started with Mighty Girl, who posted her list of 100 to-dos, and writing about her progress in achieving them.  The number 100 is important; if you’re determined to write that many things down, you go through all of the really big ones pretty fast, and then you have to dig deep and get to the tiny, everyday things that turn out to matter just as much.  A couple of years ago, three of us ended up on a road trip to a wedding, and had 22 hours of car time in 48 hours.  We figured it would be fun to write down our Life Lists while we drove.   And then, well, we started working on them.  And dragging other people into the game, and helping each other, and talking about it. It’s changed everything.

This week, in the middle of talking about our Life List goals, THIS happened.

The Life List thing just got bigger.  I love this.  I’ve never met Maggie, but I’m so proud of her. She’s figured out what matters, and figured out how to make things happen.  She’s a cheerleader and a networker and a storyteller.  She wrote a long time ago that it’s easy to assume that all of the things you want in life will just drift across your path; at some point you realize that you have to work for those things, and save up for them, and plan for them, and make them happen.  And then you go buy a ticket and go on a cruise around the Greek islands, or whatever’s next on your list.

She wrote something else yesterday that made me feel so much better about my list:  that you shouldn’t have anything on it that’s a chore, or that’s there because you feel guilty, or smacks of “obligation.”  That is not the point of your Life List.  Take all of that mess off, and by all means DO the things you need to do- but put all of those things on another list.  Your To-Do list.  The Life List is about something different.

I overhauled my list.

Most of the same things are on it. I took off a few things that don’t matter, and I relocated some others to my to-do list. I add things to mine as often as I check things off. I think it’s a fluid sort of document. It should leave plenty of room for surprises. Whole sections of my list are vague, vague, vague.  I think that’s ok too.  I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.  I’m trying to leave room for surprises there, too.  Also, I have some goals I’m not ready to write down yet. They’re a little bit too new and fragile to go public.  We’ll see.

You can see the whole list here, but know what would be more fun?  Start your own, and then start telling people about it, and start checking things off, and send Maggie a message.  You’ll be surprised by how much fun that is.

Let’s get to work.

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