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Life List Update 2014

23 Jan

Each year, instead of making a resolution I like to go through my Life List, remove items I no longer care about, cross off things I accomplished, and add new things I want to do. Life isn’t static and neither are we: we change we grow and I’m not interested in being chained to a list I made once and never altered.

I’ve noticed a change in me as I thought about the things I wanted to add this year. They are less grandiose and more personal. I think this might have something to do with the fact that someone I knew, young and in the prime of his life, died suddenly almost exactly a year ago. The things that were truly important to him became instantly clear and he was thankfully able to make some of those things happen before he passed. I remember talking with his wife, my dear friend Valerie, and in that time those things became clear to her, too. The hardship I’ve faced in the last year, between my friend’s husband’s death, multiple medical emergencies within my family, my husband’s layoff, his injury and subsequent surgery, a narrowing of our options due to unemployment, and other things, has affected me greatly and has definitely changed the way I view my Life List. I view a lot of the items on here as fun things, or goals to work on, or fantastic ideas I’d love to see come into fruition, but only a few are items that are truly important to my life. And that’s okay, because hardship has taught me what’s important, and that’s something I’m aware of everyday.

That said, keeping a Life List is a great way of having on hand a list of fun things to do when the opportunity arises, a list of goals to work on when you feel like you might need purpose or motivation, and is, overall, a good brainstorming exercise to breed enthusiasm for life and living.


First, the fun stuff: things I accomplished from my list during the last year and since my list began.

  • Write an eBook
  • Decorate Elias’ nursery
  • Make pickles
  • Own backyard chickens
  • Teach Elias to cook
  • Take a thrifting roadtrip with friends
  • Sing with Stefalynda
  • The the kids to Bodie


  • Pimp my closet
  • Learn to make his grandma’s black beans & chile mole
  • Learn to make my grandma’s fudge sauce & carrots and wine sauce
  • Create a Family of Isobel book
  • Create a Book of Seasons
  • Visit a local you-pick farm
  • Participate in Family Kite Day in the mountains
  • Host a food swap
  • Bike the Virginia Corridor Trail with family
  • Xerescape my front yard
  • Visit the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve
  • Get business cards
  • Get my business license
  • Swim in a turquoise sea
  • Participate in a drum circle
  • Tour a European castle
  • Teach Isobel to cook
  • Turn a wall into a photo gallery
  • Visit all the state parks & reserves in my area
  • Learn to edit video
  • Speak basic Spanish
  • Walk the English moors
  • Research our family tree
  • Have a family snow day with sledding
  • Visit the UC Davis arboretum
  • Have a campfire at the beach
  • Plan a getaway to the cabin with my friends
  • Try on wedding dresses since I missed my opportunity
  • Grow my own mushrooms
  • Help a needy family have a bountiful holiday
  • Cook a food for a homeless shelter
  • Bathe in a hot spring
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Taste ice wine
  • Tasting party for cheeses I’ve never tried before
  • Go camping
  • Try Geocacheing
  • Learn to work my GD sewing machine
  • Have an English-style tea
  • Walk on the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Knit a fancy scarf
  • Make homemade bagels
  • Fly First Class
  • Take family photos at the beach
  • Grow vegetables in the backyard
  • Create a coloring book for Isobel with my friends
  • Sing a karaoke duet of the accursed song, Time Of My Life, with Stefanie
  • Craft family Christmas stockings
  • Learn to bake truly excellent bread
  • Perfect my punch
  • Prepare for the apocalypse
  • Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant
  • Take a trip to NYC
  • Record my Grandma’s life story
  • Record Anthony’s Grandma’s life story
  • Create a car emergency kit
  • Explore the Tikal ruins in Guatemala
  • Cook a campfire meal
  • Become proficient at building a fire
  • Learn basic and advanced embroidery techniques
  • Crochet an amigurumi animal
  • Plant a dwarf orchard in the backyard
  • Learn to make preserves
  • Get a meaningful tattoo
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Set up a compost bin and a rain barrel in our yard
  • Visit the SF MOMA
  • Hike Vernal Falls in the Spring with family
  • Visit a Japan
  • Meet as many of my online friends in real life as possible
  • Start a movement for backyard herb gardens
  • Learn to make a delicious cocktail
  • Stay in a woodland cabin
  • Explore the Badlands
  • Visit a Viking museum in Sweden
  • Visit a natural history museum
  • Visit the Rosicrucian Museum
  • Photograph my favorite local sites
  • Throw my parents an anniversary party
  • Renew our wedding vows
  • Spend a summer devoted with day trips for the kids
  • Witness a huge lightning and thunder storm
  • Host a dance party for Isobel
  • Watch a caterpillar turn into a butterfly
  • Grow a fabulous herb garden on my patio
  • Visit San Juan Bautista Yard Sale Festival
  • Fondue party!
  • See Rifftrax live
  • Contribute financially to our family
  • Help Anthony get his game published
  • Carve our initials into a tree
  • Display my photography in a gallery show
  • Visit a giant planetarium
  • Look through Lick Observatory’s telescope

Life List: Grow a Garden of Poppies

17 Jun

I’m finally crossing grow a garden full of poppies off my life list this year. Next year we’ll work on expanding the color palette. I want a rainbow of California’s flower.

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