I am a list maker. Always have been. When I was teaching, I would keep a stenographer’s notebook with lists of tasks which needed to be done. Then I would artfully use a variety of colored pens to color out the tasks as they were finished. A rainbow of accomplishment! Now I use an app on my phone, tablet and laptop which syncs together so many lists that they are categorized in folders and assigned to different days. Overall, my lists are so long that I will most likely never finish many of the tasks before they become unimportant – which is also OK. My lists are living, evolving things.
But there is one list which is near and dear to my heart. We keep it in the Notes section on my phone, and it is entitled simply,
Our List has evolved through many bottles of wine, over dinners, while taking walks, and even while driving along in the car. The rules for the list are quite simple: It is the place for storing our dreams that begin with, “I wanna…”
- It is about activities that we wish to experience, not about accumulating things.
- Either of us can add a desire to the list.
- There is no veto power.
- No dream is too big, or too small.
Our list is now a couple of pages long, and ranges from the silly to the sublime. It includes things like “eat in every not-yucky restaurant in our town” to “zip-line somewhere where there are monkeys or parrots.” Everything from “jet-boat through Hells Canyon” to “The Guggenheim Museum.”
Every so often, we pull out the list, talk through the items, and prioritize what we should try to do next. That’s when we sometimes negotiate, adding and deleting from the list as our wishes change. (I, for example, no longer feel the need to mountain bike down our local ski hill!) There has never been any pressure about trying to complete the list in any given amount of time. And we most certainly are not considering “kicking” anything! It’s just a way for us to record all of our ambitious and sometimes stupid ideas!
The beautiful thing about our list is our commitment to it. It’s not really a bucket list, but rather our shared journey list. In the bigger picture, it is about our desire to fulfill each other’s dreams, to voyage through life together, and to share our experiences. A little sappy, I know…But we are committed to spending the rest of our lives trying to cross things off Our List!