I'm not sure when the lists-making first started. May have been college. Or even high school. But for many years now, I've been documenting my evolving life goals in journals and on notepads.
It's fun to look back and see what mattered to me when I was 19 or 25 or 31. Some things haven't changed (travel and writing) some things have melted into nebulous blobs of uncertainty (children). Some things—like "meet the man of my dreams in the next six months"—just make me shake my head and smile. Some goals just can't be tethered to a time line.
This is what I told Mr. Wonderful when he approached me recently, suggesting that we make a list of all that we want to accomplish after we're married. He thought we should break it down into one-year, 3-year, 5-year and 10-year categories, but that seemed a bit too strict to me. After all, we really have no idea where we'll be in 3 years. We could be living in Barcelona. Or I could be a famous author. We could discover a new varietal of wine grape. The possibilities are endless, really.
So Mr. W drafted a big long list of places he wanted us to visit and things he wanted us to do, and emailed it to me yesterday for my input.
I thought long and hard. I mentally scanned the globe, adding exotic destinations to the travel list. I contemplated my career goals. Thought through the things that mattered in terms of my health and upcoming marriage. And then I remembered the list of To-Do's-Before-40 that my girlfriends and I made on our 30th birthdays.
The only two points that were still etched in my memory from that missing list were 1) Eat an oyster shooter and 2) Go to a topless beach. So I added them to Mr. W's draft.
I also felt compelled to reorganize some of his line items that I knew we might actually accomplish in the next year. Visit the Amalfi coast, Capri, Naples and Rome (this is our honeymoon plan). Do more stretching and more cardio. Get back to cooking one new dish a month. Plant a more plentiful garden. Organize the house properly after I move in.
I sent it back to him and he replied later saying he had made a couple more adjustments and marked the type in red. Of course, there at the top of our One Year Goal List in glowing crimson were 1) Get Pumpkin to eat an oyster shooter and 2) Take Pumpkin to a topless beach.
Surprising? Of course not...