Monday, March 01, 2010

Ambitious undertaking

Okay, here's what I've been doing.

Almost two years ago, Maggie Mason (Mighty Girl--my bloggy hero) wrote up a list of 100 things she wants to do before she goes. She called it her Mighty Life List. I like that. I like it a whole lot more than calling it a "bucket list," which is what people tend to say when I start to describe it. Now that she has it written out, she's working her way through it. She often urges anyone (everyone) to make a list of their own. She calls it "transformative."

I thought of doing something like that, but I didn't think I had nearly enough things I wanted to do to make a whole long list of them. Last Thursday, after reading her post about a conference she just attended, and how her roommate started to write her own Mighty List right there in their room, I decided what the heck? Let's see what I can come up with. So I grabbed a piece of scratch paper and started writing things down--things I've said I wanted to do, things I've looked at and admired, wistful vague wishes, things I thought I should do...anything I could remember. Before I knew it, I had twenty. And I wasn't done. The more I write, the more things pop up. I don't have a hundred, but I do have a lot. Here's what I have so far, in the order that they occurred to me:
  1. Go on on Alaskan cruise.
  2. Have Mom teach me how to make grape jelly.
  3. Dye my hair red.
  4. Read every book I own.
  5. Learn to spin yarn.
  6. Learn to weave (maybe with the yarn I just learned to spin).
  7. Make spaghetti sauce from scratch.
  8. Take guitar lessons.
  9. Make my home look the way I see it in my head.
  10. Read Les Miserables in the original French.
  11. Learn French (this should probably be switched with #10).
  12. Knit a sweater.
  13. Become a more confident seamstress.
  14. Get my weight under control.
  15. After I do #13 and #14-- make a quilt out of my "fat clothes."
  16. See the Grand Canyon.
  17. Learn how to apply make-up correctly.
  18. Have a pint at The Eagle and Child in Oxford.
  19. Ride a San Francisco cable car.
  20. Taste 1000 fruits (shamelessly lifted from Maggie's list).
  21. Learn to drive.
  22. Become dog-owned.
  23. See Stonehenge.
  24. Find my friend Suzanne's grave and lay flowers on it.
  25. Learn Gaelic.
  26. Take a yoga class.
  27. Use every single thing I receive in my CSA crates.
  28. Make that storage room I've been calling a craft room into a real craft room.
  29. Design a blog of my own instead of using a canned theme from Blogger.
  30. Take a cross-country train trip.
  31. Stand on the glass floor at the top of the CN tower in Toronto and look down between my feet.
  32. Take Mom to the Stratford Festival of Canada.
  33. Attend a Blogher conference.
  34. Go fishing with my Dad.
  35. Finish all of the half-done projects I have lying around.
  36. Get all my finished embroidery framed.
  37. Handmade Christmas (everyone on my list gets a handmade Christmas present from me one year).
  38. Visit Edinburgh.
  39. Walk home from work for one solid month, regardless of weather conditions (scrawled in different ink: except lightning!).
  40. Pay my respects at the grave of Jane Austen.
  41. Go Christmas caroling with my sister.
  42. Grow tomatoes.
  43. Write a novel.
  44. Join a choir again.
  45. Make a calendar using 12 photos I took myself, and distribute this calendar as a present.
  46. Learn to tango.
  47. See the Mona Lisa.
  48. Buy and decorate my own Christmas tree.
  49. Wade in the Pacific Ocean.
  50. Take a tai chi class.
That's 50! I found fifty in under a week! I know I'm not done. This list is supposed to be an in-process list, 'cause if you stay interested in what's going on around you, you're going to find more that you want to do. Right? Right.

As I was compiling, you know what I figured out? I started working from this list a while ago, before I thought to write things down. Here are some things that I could put in the "done" column already:

  1. Take bellydance lessons.
  2. Learn to use a potter's wheel.
  3. Buy a home of my own.
  4. See Kansas.
  5. Visit the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.
  6. Take drawing lessons.
  7. Learn to fix a toilet.
  8. Organize a "NASCAR experience" birthday present for my Dad from my family.
  9. Organize tickets for Cirque du Soleil as a birthday present for my Mom from my family.
  10. Get published.
Okay, lemme 'splain that last one. Yes. I've been published. It was an article that is completely not my field, a piece I co-authored with a friend of mine who was a PhD candidate at the time (she has the degree now). We'd done a presentation together at a conference and afterward someone suggested we write an article. We did. It didn't get accepted for the publication we'd been suggested to try, but another one liked it and bam! Published. And a good thing, too, after all the work we put into it.

All right. Off I go to see if I can think up some more, and to start figuring out how to do what I've put on here so far. Wish me luck! #33 is already booked and paid for, so that's progress right there.

P.S. to my sister. Any of these you wanna join me in doing, feel free. I mean, just 'cause I said I want to go fishing with Dad doesn't mean you can't come too. Y'know?


Hotch Potchery said...

I want a list, I want a list. I think I will use my half next week to start thinking it. Can I use the half as number one even though I will have already done it???

--V said...

I don't see why not. I could probably put those last ten in my list and immediately cross them off, I just decided not to. I think the only rule is that there are no rules. It probably doesn't even need to be 100 things, that's just what Maggie did.

Lisa Middleton said...

The Stratford Festival would like to help you knock off item 32 from your list. Write me when you are ready I am the director of marketing at the Festival.


--V said...


Well, that was unexpected.

Just Me said...

In what started out as a passive search to help with Nos. 5 and 6, I ended up with a bunch of information.

You've got gmail.