Friday, January 15, 2010

Dream Board & Life List

By request, here is the side of our fridge, otherwise known as the epicenter of the Scarlet Lily household. I have no idea how people function without a calendar on their fridge, we live and die by ours. We have the requisite Google & Blackberry calendars as well, but they're better for reminders, not planning. Every Christmas my mom gives B the latest NY Giants calendar and every new year I transfer all of the birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates to the new one. This year the Giants glamor shots are getting covered up by the board, but it's for a good cause. Plus, they didn't even make the playoffs this year, so why should they get rewarded for such a crappy season?

Anyway, on to the board. I don't even know where I originally heard about the idea, but it's nothing revolutionary. I'm not sure if it's human nature or just my nature, but I truly don't get things done unless I write them down. That even goes for day to day things. But regardless of the written word, I do know that it's human nature to be inert, to plug happily along in the life you've created for yourself and get distracted by the day-to-day nature of things and let your bigger dreams slip by. It's just the unfortunate nature of life - it's busy, there are things to do, and creating a better or different life requires moving the boulder up the hill. The board helps to keep you focused.

And despite what it may seem to some, it's really not some crazy Type A obsessive goal list. It's more of a gentle and very inspiring reminder of the wonderful things you want to do, save for, accomplish, etc. It helps make the mundane parts of life better because you are constantly reminded that there are other, non-mundane, parts of life as well.

I bought this memo board and put three pictures at the top, one for B, one for me, and one for the family. The picture that B picked is a hole on the Pebble Beach golf course because he said it reminds him of the type of lifestyle he's working towards. The picture in the middle is of toys on a Cape Cod beach because we are taking two family trips to Cape Cod next year (one with B's family, and one with my family to celebrate Charlotte's 1st birthday and my mom's 60th birthday - same day, in case you forgot!).

The beach picture reminds us of an immediate goal that we're working towards. Money is very tight with only one income and instead of saying "we can't afford it" to various things and setting up a negative feeling in the household, I prefer to say "we're choosing to go to Cape Cod instead" and the picture is a great reminder that we're not poor, we're making choices.

The picture that I chose is a zoomed in picture of the maternity gown that my mom and I made last year, with the word "create" written next to it. It's a reminder to keep creativity in my life, both personally and professionally.

As for the lists, I have a short list of General Goals: Weekly progress towards a creative business, Daily tidy up, Meal planning, 1 social outing a month (that one is because I like getting together with people but get lazy about making it happen)

I also have a short list of 2010 Goals: Workout regularly, Make significant progress on creative business, Continue improving cleaning and organizing habits, Continue good savings habits: "More experiences, Less Stuff"

Nothing super lofty and nothing that I'll berate myself for if they don't work out as planned, just general reminders how to keep myself happy and on track. B's lists are still being created, so they're not up on the board yet.

As for the Life List that I mentioned yesterday, it's an idea that Maggie Mason of Mighty Girl has been promoting over the last year. It started as a private project of hers to get herself to dream bigger. And boy did it work! She got Intel to sponsor ten items on her list this past year and has done things as small as taking tap dance lessons to things as large as going to the Greek Islands. Visit her list to see all of her posts about her adventures.

I started my list on a total whim in the Memo Pad of my Blackberry while I was waiting in the car for B to do an errand one day and just added to it whenever I thought of something. The list is supposed to be 100 items long, but I only have a partial list so far. And it really isn't something I put a lot of thought into, I think it works better if you just riff. Right now the list has mostly big ticket items on it, so I need to add some smaller ones as well.

Life List
… in no particular order, and not yet finished…
1. Visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
2. Own a beautiful stucco house with wrought iron decorations
3. Wear a tutu dress to a fabulous event
4. Have another 2 week vacation as good and luxurious as our honeymoon
5. Play with a baby tiger
6. Have my life legacy be helping millions of people
7. Participate in another dance performance
8. Have a strong and healthy body - as strong as an athlete
9. Go back to Santorini
10. Revisit the Van Gogh museum
11. Raise 3 happy and relaxed children and help them find their purpose
12. Watch B start a successful business
13. Own a lake camp where everyone will visit
14. Become conversational in another language
15. Make 3 donations over $10k to separate organizations
16. Celebrate Charlotte's 1st day of Kindergarten
17. Start Tiny Berry Designs
18. Visit Belize or Costa Rica
19. Partner with Giovanina for a creative venture
20. Read the creative books consistently recommended that I've been meaning to: Everyday Miracles, War of Art, Think and Grow Rich, Purple Cow, Personal Finance book (rich couple), etc
21. Take a pottery class
22. Be seen as a style icon
23. Stumble onto mini-fame because of a talent
24. Learn about investing enough to make basic decisions on my own
25. Own a bike again - to be used!
26. Eliminate boredom from my life (reference to quote Barbara Winter posted on FB)
27. Start cooking meals outside of my comfort zone - Asian, French, vegan, etc.
28. Have high tea
29. Eat at one of the "Top 50 restaurants in the world"
30. Take a family road trip where we spend 2 months going cross-country
31. Take a family road trip where we spend 2 months going cross-Europe
32. Get paid to decorate a cake or plan a party
33. Visit Denmark
34. Be (positively) surprised by something that completely changes our life
35. Attend Alt Summit / Sundance
36. Ropes Course
37. Habitat for Humanity
38. Winter Adventure Trip - dog sledding, luge, winter horseback riding

39. Go to a drive-in movie
40. Try caviar
41. Host a wine and cheese party
42. Learn to indoor rock climb
43. Build something
44. Be on the board of a non-profit
45. Learn tennis
46.Participate in a public storytelling campaign 
(This American Life, etc.)
47. Take a Segway tour 
(Current possibilities: Poughkeepsie, NY, Nashville, TN, Portland, OR)
48. Stand up for myself or my child in a situation where I wouldn't have before.
49. 1st run of a great Broadway musical - top tier actors

* Original list was about 34 items long, but I have been updating as I add to it 

If you make your own Life List or Dream Board, please let me know, I'd love to link to it! Or even if you just "think out loud" in the comments section about items that would be on your list, I'd love to read that too!


die Frau said...

I think that's a great idea. Thanks for inspiring me to start a Life List of my own!

I have had high tea and it was totally worth it and cool. If you ever make it to Victoria, B.C., you can arrange to have high tea at the Fairmont Empress hotel. It's the only place in this hemisphere, I believe, (or at least this continent) that has a proper high tea. Otherwise you have to go to England--which is pretty cool, too. You'll love it.

Jaynes Ave said...

Scarlet, this has got to be one of the most inspiring posts you've ever blogged! It is such a great reminder for all of us to keep evolving and creating ourselves.

I love the Life List, too. I am starting one tonight!

Thanks for sharing... :-)

DinoDiva said...

Mine is not as long as yours (yet) but I have been thinking a lot about it lately:

1) Be a contestant on Jeopardy
2) Visit Egypt
3) Do something that makes a huge impact on the future of the museum field
4) Be involved in an excavation of a dinosaur skeleton (like a more complete one that the pieces I have done)
5) Find my dream job
6) Find my dream man
7) Be as wonderful mother as my mom was
8) Get my MBA in Non-profit management
9) Finish projects that I started years ago (like a college scrapbook)
10) Walk down a spiral staircase in a fancy ball gown
11) Take my mom to Graceland
12) Become a certified scuba diver
13) Own a house
14) Go back to London and visit all my favorite places again
15) Take a completely spontaneous vacation

Those are the things on my list right now...I have never attended a high tea but I serve them all the time at work (so I kind of don't wait to attend one). :) Come visit Colorado and I will be happy to serve you high tea.


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