Friday, May 14, 2010

Thoughts on the list

I was watching the latest vignette on Momversation the other day and heard the best description of a Life List that I have yet to hear.  No surprise, it was from Maggie, the original proponent of the list.  Basically, she said this: Make a list of what makes you happy and spend your life ticking things off the list.  How can you go wrong?

That's it.  How easy is that?!  I think the reason that people don't make their list is because it feels so huge.  It feels like this really big deal thing that you have to do the right way and you don't want to screw it up because it's YOUR LIST.  What if you can't think of enough stuff... what if all of your stuff is too little... or too big?  Or what if you don't see any way to accomplish what you've written?  But here's the thing - this isn't something else to add to your laborious to-do list.  It's just a reminder of what makes you happy, that's it.

I realize that I have yet to actually cross anything off of my list, but to be fair, I have things in the works that you don't know about. And honestly, it doesn't matter.  Just having the list, having it on my fridge where I pass it dozens of times every day, is like a big exhale. You know those times when your life gets nuts and you freak out and grab a pen and yell to your spouse in the kitchen THERE IS TOO MUCH GOING ON!  I HAVE GOT TO MAKE A LIST! And then you make the list and it's not nearly as overwhelming as you thought and you feel like you can finally breathe again?  It's like that.

Because whether you realize it or not, you have all of these little things in the back of your head that you've always wanted to do and every few years (or months, or days, etc.) you re-realize that you've been meaning to look into taking a photography course and you think "oh yeah, I should do that..." And remembering that over and over is taking up useful space in your soul.

In addition to taking the WORK out of making your list and seeing it simply as a group of things that would make you happy, think of it this way as well: what dinner party conversation would you like to participate in?

I was at a friend's house two weeks ago and they were talking about how you ride a Segway and what it's like to take a Segway tour of Barcelona, and I thought Yes.  Good idea.  I'd like to speak with authority about what it's like to take a Segway tour of a city, that sounds fun.  So now it's #47 on the list.  Easy as that.

So stop stressing about the thought of this and just throw some happy thoughts down on a piece of paper.  You'll love it, I promise.


Kathleen said...

I'm here via Maggie. Great article, great advice! Good luck with your list.

Samantha said...

Great way to look at a Bucket list. My problem is that I think it needs to be a certain length and add things that I don't really want on it.

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