bucket list(s)

My cousin Jodi has a life list on her blog. And on our 3 month biking trip [this summer] I carried 2 torn out pages from a Real Simple article called 'What are the top-three things on your lifelong to-do list?' And I read it every so often.

James always challenges our family to write individual and family goals each New Year... and mentors a number of law students and young entrepreneurs to do the same. Creating a life list is an exercise to determine your goals. It gives you focus, direction, priority, meaning. And if you keep shooting for your goals---and mapping the way to achieve them---you will keep evolving as a person and might very well enjoy your life more.

Family frolics reflects our family's goal to: live life fully, enjoy one another and live with as few regrets as possible. Sure we have regrets---both of omission and commission---things we have said and shouldn't have, things we wish we would have done. But with just one shot at this lifetime, we aim to love well, dream big and frolic often.

Sure, we decided to sell our home, sell our cars, take the boys out of school and shove everything in storage: to cycle Europe and live in Florence, Italy, for the year. Why? Because we knew that if we did it: we would never regret it. We also knew that if we didn't do it: we might regret it. Living abroad for a year with our kids was one of our dreams.

As far as we are concerned, our sons are growing up too quickly. If we could we would put stakes into moments and memories and try to slow down the good times and passage of time, we would---but time keeps moving whether we like it or not. So the best we can do is soak up our time, each other, and aim to create a plethora of good memories (we find the best way to create memories is to go outside our routine!), find fun things to do as a family and laugh together often.

Here is my developing list of things to do in my lifetime:

  1. build wood burning outdoor oven
  2. learn to knit
  3. become proficient/conversational in Italian
  4. live abroad for a year as a family (no regrets!)
  5. walk the famous Spanish trail
  6. get MBA.
  7. own backyard chickens (see Anthony's blog pickinachicken)
  8. write a cookbook
  9. publish a non-cookbook book
  10. wear a cowboy hat for [at least part of each day] one full summer
  11. learn to play the accordion
  12. learn to cut up a chicken. (I did it! Plus a yummy recipe)
  13. work for butcher (be able to butcher a whole pig, whole cow, etc.)
  14. work for fish monger
  15. go to culinary school (read about my year of cooking school)
  16. learn to bake bread (facing my fear of yeast)
  17. master 'canning'
  18. run my own successful website where I make enough money for it to be my primary job.
  19. buy a second home in the form of a cabin/condo/villa (so I guess we should buy a first?)
  20. live in New York for at least 3 months (... and up to but not exceeding 18 months)
  21. build and use greenhouse
  22. buy a painting I love and hang it in my house (preferably with a rooster or bird in it).
  23. pay off all school loans
  24. get paid the big bucks to work a 'real job'
  25. become a kick-aXX photographer
  26. go through an 'itunes' phase
  27. have an entire wall be a white board
  28. have another entire wall full of maps/pictures/notes and pins from family travels (or a rather large table)
  29. offer cooking classes
  30. glass-blowing classes with my family
  31. go snorkeling. (Hawaii 2009)
  32. remodel---then sell---a house (September 2008)
  33. go on romantic vacation with husband to exotic island where huts sit on top of the water and you can watch the water through glass in the floor
  34. go on family trip to New York
  35. go on family trip to Greece 
  36. have 'that feeling' of walking into a grocery store and knowing I can cook/make/work with anything there. (aka tackle all food fears; see 12-17 above).
  37. live in Italy.
  38. play on a city basketball team for has-beens like myself
  39. wear my wedding dress (again) and marry my husband a fourth time (short story: east coast elope, west coast wedding, again for catholic church approval... I think the 4th should be our 50th anniversary)
  40. that book: my husband's 40th birthday. he knows the one.
  41. make 'grandma's strawberry jelly' all on my own. (soooooo good.)
  42. subscribe to a CSA. (community supported agriculture).
  43. braces. to straighten out my teeth.
  44. finish up my MMFT (I have over half of an MMFT).
  45. pick a cookbook and cook every recipe in it---from start to finish. 
  46. buy sexy red boots (only I have to think they are sexy) and wear them often.


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