Monday, October 1, 2012

Amazing Life List Version 3.0

I ran the 5K for YSC Tour de Pink on Saturday.
Finally settled into the new school year and resigned to the nip of fall in the air, I find myself turning inward. Mornings I am hunkered over my laptop, working feverishly to finish my novel; evenings I am huddled up with my mandolin, struggling to decipher tablature and play that big chord my teacher showed me last week. I am saying no to fun for its own sake and making time for people and activities that truly nourish me. My world is smaller and bigger at the same time.

There must be something about this season that prompts me to examine my long term goals, too. As a matter of fact, it was almost exactly a year ago today that I revisited the Amazing Life List I originally posted back in the spring of 2010. But checking in this morning, I was dismayed to discover that I have accomplished only four of those items in the past twelve months: starting a running program, running a half-marathon, singing karaoke in public, and finishing Jane Austen's novels. Why is that, I wondered?

I took a long, hard look at the list. First, I admitted that some of the items simply are no longer important to me. For example, along with my nightly wine habit I have lost the burning desire to drink a beer at Oktoberfest in Munich or attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Second, I realized that while I wouldn't turn down certain opportunities--like a trip to China--I cannot imagine myself actually planning the itinerary when there are other places, like Ireland and Africa, that truly call me to visit. Finally, I recognized that much of what provides me with true satisfaction is much more affordable than a trip overseas; something as simple as trying a new recipe or learning a new craft brings me great joy and pleasure.

So I decided it was time to make a new list. I have whittled it down to 66 items and have already started work on some of them. Those highlighted in blue have 2012 deadlines; those highlighted in pink will be checked off by the end of 2013. In the meantime, I will be plugging away at the others, open to opportunity. If I happen to bowl a 200+ game and meet Mr. Right while I'm at the bowling alley, so be it!

  1. Spend a summer in France.
  2. Spend a week in New York City; see the sights; attend a Broadway play.
  3. Cruise to Alaska.
  4. Visit Hawaii.
  5. Go on a walking tour of Ireland.
  6. Spend a summer in the Mediterranean: Greece, Spain, Italy.
  7. Visit Australia and New Zealand.
  8. Go to Africa.
  9. Go whale watching in Cape Cod.
  10. See the Grand Canyon.
  11. Set foot in all 50 states.
  12. Spend a summer driving across the United States, coast to coast, with no itinerary.
  13. Cruise through the Panama Canal.
  14. Go on a cruise with my parents, children, and brother and sister-in-law.
  15. Attend the St. Patrick's Day parade in Jackson, Mississippi.
  16. Attend my 40th high school reunion.
  17. Do the Southern Caribbean cruise itinerary on Carnival Cruise Line.
  1. Finish, revise and polish my first novel.
  2. Find a publisher for my novel.
  3. Sign my book at an autograph session.
  4. Have an article published in a national magazine.
  5. Speak at a writing conference.
  6. Attend a national writing conference.
  1. Master Chopin's Scherzo in B-Flat Minor.
  2. Master Mozart's Piano Concerto, K. 466, and perform it with an orchestra.
  3. Learn how to play the mandolin.
  4. Write a song (piano and lyrics).
  5. Learn how to play the hammered dulcimer.
  6. Play in a music ensemble.
  1. Stop biting my fingernails.
  2. Weigh 115 pounds.
  3. Overcome water phobia and become a strong swimmer. 
  1. Own an iPad.
  2. Own a grand piano.
  3. Own a sexy car.
  1. Sort through/get rid of everything I don't absolutely need or love.
  2. Plant an Eastern red cedar tree.
  3. Own a house at the beach (might be on a lake, might be on the ocean - doesn't matter as long as it's someplace warm).
  4. Make it my dream home.
  5. Establish an herb garden.
  6. Keep chickens.
  7. Get a kitten and name it Panzer.

  1. Review my French and speak it fluently.
  2. Bowl a 200+ game.
  3. Speak in front of 1000 people.
  4. Fly first class.
  5. Serve on a jury.
  6. Be an extra in a film.
  7. Learn swing dancing.
  8. Swim with dolphins.
  9. Get a tattoo.
  1. Make lye soap.
  2. Take a cake decorating class.
  3. Make divinity.
  4. Make a scrapbook photo album for each of my children.
  5. Make a scrapbook album Book Of Me.
  6. Crochet a granny square afghan.
  7. Knit a pair of socks.
  8. Knit a sweater.
  9. Organize my loose recipes/compile a family cookbook.
  10. Make memory quilts for my family.
  1. Write a will.
  2. Pay off my credit cards.
  3. Achieve financial peace.
  1. Meet my life partner.
  2. Have the wedding of my dreams.
What's at the top of your Amazing Life List?


Jennifer said...

I can help you with getting started on that granny square afghan whenever you are ready! May we go on the Southern Caribbean cruise with you? I want to swim with the dolphins, too! :)

Julee J. Adams said...

I will see you at our 40th, but I'm sure before.
These are truly worthy goals. But, know that they will probably change again and that's okay. We're works in progress.
Let me know next time you head this way and keep plugging. These are all achievable.

S.M. Carrière said...

That's an amazing list, Pam! I really should make one. So far (and off the top of my head), it looks a little like this:

Learn French.
Write Novels (done and will continue)
Become a full-time fiction writer (trying!)
Complete a Master's degree (eee... expensive!)
Own a horse farm. With my own food production.
Be a guest of honour at a convention.
Find love.

That's all I've got for now!

Denise Stewart said...

I'm in for all the travel ones if you need a travel buddy. And you have already hired me as your book tour coordinator to all 50 states, so finish the book so we can go, already. We'll knock out #20 on the tour. I'm doing #36 myself with a deadline of December 30, 2012 (so sick of all the junk). I'll do 49 with you but we have to find some dancing men (poor Joe). I love your list. Maybe, I should make one.

Pam Asberry said...

All right, Jennifer; let's start on the granny square afghan next week! What do I need? And yes, you MUST come on the Southern Caribbean cruise with us. The more, the merrier!

Pam Asberry said...

I really wish I could make it to the 35th, Julee; if it were any other weekend, you know I would be there! And yes, some of these goals might change, but I really do have my list narrowed down to things I really, truly want to do. And it would make me happy and proud to accomplish them all before I do. Which is why I am starting TODAY.

Pam Asberry said...

That's a great list, S.M. I can't wait to see what else you come up with!

Pam Asberry said...

This novel has been like the chains that Jacob Marley wore in "A Christmas Carol," Denise. But it seems important to finish it, which I *WILL* do by the end of October so I will be free to move on to other projects. I look forward to knocking out #20 with you, and glad you want to come along with me for #49 (Joe is such a good sport!) As for #36, you are WAY ahead of me, but I will get there eventually. :-)

Carol Kilgore said...

Good for you! You're so goal-oriented and organized. And you must have persistence, too.

I don't have an Amazing Life List. It would make me so crazy I'd never get anything done. My lists are small and day-to-day for the most part. I also have weekly and monthly lists, but things on those eventually take care of themselves, get marked off because I decide not to do them, or move to my daily list.

Pam Asberry said...

I used to have daily, weekly and monthly lists, but for the most part my days are so highly structured that I don't need lists to keep track of what I'm supposed to be doing. I do keep a calendar so I will remember appointments, meetings, and obligations of that nature, but otherwise everything is in my head. I think that's why the Amazing Life List is important to me; it keeps me from getting stuck in the mundane affairs of everyday life and keeps me reaching for bigger prizes.

Leslie K. said...

Before we left Louisiana, I took a swimming course called "Glide," which is based on the principles of something called "Total Immersion" swimming. I am not scared of the water, but I think my technique was so "off" that I made it harder than it had to be. This teaches you how to be more comfortable in the water and how to be more efficient. You practice it in small drills -- each building upon the last -- and it was pretty amazing. Kind of "zen." I don't know if there is anything similar in your area, but you might think about it.

Pam Asberry said...

That sounds great, Leslie. I will look into it. Thanks for sharing!

Libby said...

Those are cool goals. Also, being an extra is easier than you think, especially if you have an indie movie movement in your area. :)

Pam Asberry said...

I understand there are a lot of movies being filmed in Atlanta, Libby. So I need to get the word out that I am looking for a gig! ;-)