The To Do List

Lately I've been feeling very philosophical, very deep, very contemplative. Maybe it's the 27th birthday or the one year wedding anniversary making me reflect on life. I'm sure it has a lot to do with Keri. But whatever the reason, I've been looking at the grande scheme of things more often while deciding what really matters in this world. Suddenly a bad hair day doesn't seem to be a tragedy. If I can't find anything cute to wear I avoid freaking out and manage to remain calm. Who cares if the laundry is piling up at an alarming rate. Life is too short to stress over insignificant issues---and this is a difficult statement to make, coming from a true control freak.
But no matter how wild and crazy I get with this philosophical stuff, I will NEVER rid myself of making lists. I love them. The feeling of crossing items off makes me extremely giddy---to the point that sometimes I'll write down a 'to do' that I've just done, because I want to cross it off the list. Is that crazy or what?

Anyway, right before Nate and I started dating in the summer of 2002 I decided to make a list: things I want to do before I die. I WISH I would have saved that list but I still recall a few of the heavy-hitters from six years ago.

1. There was sky diving [eh, doesn't interest me so much anymore]
2. Being on The Real World [ick! I'm WAY too old for those shenanigans. And also too boring].
3. Travel to Australia and Hawaii [still all about this one]

The point is that in six years my life has changed a LOT. My goals have changed and my 'must do before I die list' has evolved also. I've just never taken the time to write it out but it's been floating in my brain for a bit.

I got this idea from Chelsea, who got the idea from Mighty Girl.

20 Things To Do Before I Die:

1. Succeed at my own creative business

2. Have healthy, happy babies [not THIS many, though]

3. Jam out at a Coldplay concert

4. Own a home with a wrap-around porch

5. Run a full marathon [our training program starts this week!!]

6. Stay in a Fijian above-water bungalow

7. Retire by the age of 55

8. See the Taj Mahal

9. Learn to surf

10. Eat tea and crumpets in England

11. Become a great cook

12. Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef

13. See the Aurora Borealis

14. Learn to play the violin

15. Watch the sunrise in Hawaii
16. Take pictures of a volcano's hot lava

17. Set foot in all 50 States

18. Make a difference in one person's life

19. Learn how to sew [especially if there are magazine subscriptions involved!]

20. Ice skate in Central Park

Much of my list has to do with travel, which I guess says a lot about me.

Before I studied abroad my list would have been much longer but now I'm able to cross off several 'to do' items: Irish Whiskey in a Dublin pub, learning the Spanish salsa, standing inside the walls of the Colosseum, attending Easter Mass at the Vatican, and becoming fluent in a new language. I can also say that I've tried SCUBA diving, gotten a tattoo, become a dog owner [this was a big one for a long time], saw the Piton mountains in St. Lucia [Oprah says this is a must, and I listened], and learned to ski. I think these items would have been on my list a few years ago, too.

So what does your 'to do list' look like? Fun stuff, serious stuff, or a combo of both?

More lists to come...


  1. Your list is amazing!! I don't have a life list for myself, but I'm thinking I'm gonna make one. :-)

  2. Okay, so I'm pretty sure you've taken care of #18, already. Just a guess...

    But #3? The best. And probably the easiest since they've just announced new tour dates! I saw them three years ago (geez, has it been that long?) and it was the BEST concert I've EVER been to. Period. Of course we scored tix in the first row...but it was awesome.

    Cheers to accomplishing your task list!

  3. I love this post, and am totally stealing it! :)
    I think my list will resemble yours in quite a few ways... although I have completed #3 (we had lawn tickets, and I won VIP tickets!) A-Mazing!
    #9, although I cannot say I was good at it
    #12, absolutely incredible
    #15, breathtaking

    I'm going to start on my list, bc narrowing it down to 20 will take time...

    I love your new perspective on life, though.

  4. Great post! You have lots of neat ideas. I hope you accomplish each and every one. I'm going to work on making my very own list in the next few days.

  5. Awesome list, and you've inspired me to create me own. I've also done a list of "what I'd do if I was suddenly a billionaire" and that was pretty fun too. Priorities, priorities.

    Oh, and I also put things on my to-do list soley to cross them off then and there. Totally.satisfying!

  6. your list looks awesome. Let me know when you decide to visit Oklahoma I'll tell you the main places to visit.

  7. Great list but I'm sorry to tell you Fiji only has one resort with over water bures (in Fiji they are called bures but in Tahiti/French Polynesia they are called bungalows). But let me tell you there are plenty of other amazing places to visit in Fiji. Here's my Fiji honeymoon bio if you're interested: Also, let me know if you are ever going there I have a Milwaukee travel agent I can recommend.

    Robin (aka. The Art of Engineering blog)

  8. FLASHBACK: Remember when we used to make gigantic collages out of magazine clippings?? Okay, we were such creative geniuses. I think I still have one in my old bedroom. HA! It's so awesome that you are starting your own creative biz.

    You have a tattoo??? You must share a pic and tell your tatt story!! Here's something funny... My mom and dad recently got tattoos for their 29th anniversary! My mom got a butterfly and my dad got a pheasant (hunting related of course). Can you imagine the two of them in a tattoo parlor? Can you imagine my REACTION when they told me they got tattoos?? (I did not know until AFTER they got them). They're crazy.

  9. Great idea! But really you should aim higher and stay at an over-the-water bungalow in the Maldives;) That's definitely one on my to-do list. If I created a list, it would no doubt feature a lot of travel. I've always wanted to hit all the continents before I die.

  10. I love lists, and I think it's really important to have goals and things to look forward to in life!

    I've done two things on your list - the marathon and skating at Central Park. Oh wait, I skated at Rockerfeller Center. Never mind, I've only done one thing on your list so far. :)

    I, too, write things on my task list that I already did, just so I can check one more thing off. It's slightly ridiculous!

  11. Oh yeah, and I skydived, but that was on your OLD list. I don't blame you for not wanting it on your new list. It was a blast, but looking back, hello scary! My life definitely would still be complete had I never done that. ;)

  12. I'm a compulsive list maker, too. I even stopped at Wal-mart (Target was a bit out of the way on the way home) to get some new colored pens and a notebook. :-) I have a ton to do on my VERY short summer break, so I'll be making lots of lists!

    I love your list! I'm definitely with you on #2, 12, 13, 16, and 20. I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights. Ever since I saw Serendipity, I've wanted to go ice skating in Central Park. I would love to go when the huge Christmas tree is up!

  13. I love your "to-do" list. I make mental notes of things I want to do before I die but I never quite get to the point of writing them down.

    I hope you accomplish each and every one of them!

  14. ever thought that some of the most amazing and special things blindside you on a monday morning, or on a adveradge night out on the town? i mean, don't get me wrong, much of your list i really want to do my self, but...i wouldn't endlessy chase them. no point traveling around the world in a train if you're too busy to even look out the window, you know? one of the most amazing nights i've ever had was a pretty standerd setting, a local english pub meeting friends for a night out, rock music. then out of no where i'm told i've been set up on a blind date. that was the first night i met my fiance. we stayed up all night. my point is, don't get too busy that you forget to give time to those secret little goodies that come UNPLANNED lol.

    Good luck



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