go. see. do.

on the move

i was at a brunch {ornament exchange party} today, when one of my friends started reading, off of her iPhone, the things that are on her bucket list.

i sat there listening, and soon the words flowing from her mouth began to blur together before they reached my ears. you see, my mind had wandered off in a direction of its own after hearing the first half of her list.

i realized... i don't have {nor have i ever had} a bucket list. i've had some goals. some hopes. some dreams. some expectations. but up until tonight, i had not made a list.

i think the biggest reason for that is because i live too much within the limitations put on me by things like my age or my financial state or my level of knowledge or skills set. i also grew up in a modest home where we did not have enough money to do much traveling or participate in extracurricular learning/training {like music lessons or skiing lessons}. so i sort of learned to be content without those things.

i did a lot of traveling in college, and right after college, my best friend at the time was doing a lot of traveling, so she would plan trips, and i would show up and "enjoy the ride". but i think other than that, i grew content with simple trips to the beach on lake michigan or rides downtown all dressed up to hear the chicago symphony orchestra or the occasional concert pianist.

one of my favorite quotes is "dwell in possibility". {it's actually from an emily dickinson poem, i believe.}

i realized i have not been dwelling there... in possibility. i've been dwelling in practicality or probability. there are so many things that are possible if i put my mind to it. there are so many things i would like to do. so i'm almost forty... so what? they are saying forty is the new twenty anyway, right? i can still do so many things! and i want to! maybe i can't do them all. and maybe i won't have the money to do some of them. but i can at least put them on the list.

i was talking to a friend about goals and these sort of lists once. he said that a harvard study was once conducted where a group of people were asked what their goals for the next ten years were. only part of that group was asked to also write those goals down. the other part of the group was not. the study showed that over the course of the next 10 years, the group that wrote down their goals was 90% more likely to go after and achieve those goals than the group that did not write them down.

so i'm writing them down. {or typing, if you want to get technical.} i don't have my list fully compiled yet. i'm sure it's something that will be growing and evolving. although i have a few things for the list already, i'm not going to write it all in one sitting. i'm going to think carefully about it. i'm going to ponder the things i am passionate about and have always wanted to do. i'm not just going to add something to it because it is trendy or because someone else did it and i want to say i did it too. it's going to be a list of things i really want to do.

it's not complete, but i'll share just a few here now. i'll be sure to let you know as i add more. i might even add it to my sidebar. okay. here is what i have so far.
  1. travel to israel, new zealand and to where the mayan and incan ruins are {you can be sure a lot more travel destinations will be added}
  2. sing in a coffee house with the accompaniment of a guitarist
  3. take a photography class... maybe even two or three
  4. have my photography shown in a gallery {if i ever get good enough... oh, wait. i'm supposed to be dwelling in possibility here. when i get good enough.}
  5. go on a missions trip to any place that needs me
  6. sky dive {that one terrifies me}
  7. have or adopt a baby
  8. own and run my own business
  9. learn to play piano {i had started taking lessons in my late 20s, but chose to quit so i would have more time to plan my wedding.}
  10. visit all the frank lloyd wright structures that i can
  11. watch all three movies of the lord of the rings trilogy {extended versions} in one day
  12. vacation in se juan teneo, mexico {that is, if it still looks like it did in the movie shawshank redemption}
  13. make an entire thanksgiving meal and bring it to a home that is without food and fellowship and eat with them
  14. meet daniel barenboim
  15. become debt free and stay that way indefinitely {i'm really close to the first half of this one, and i can not wait to achieve it. it should actually be first on my list, because it is the most important to me.}
  16. finish a book {that's sort of a joke, for those of you who really know me.}
well, just so you don't think i've never done anything at all... there are some things i have always wanted to do that i did. i wanted to take a watercolor class, and i did {and loved it!}. i went white-water rafting on the colorado river. i saw the grand canyon {which everyone should do in their lifetime}. and i finished four years of college and graduated with a bachelor's degree. i traveled around europe for a month with a choir and sang in some of the most beautiful cathedrals. perhaps not a greatly impressive list, but accomplishments and things i am proud of or feel blessed to have experienced none the less.

all i know is i don't want to sit at a stoplight all my life. as in the photo, i want to be like that truck. those rollerbladers. that dog.

i want to...
go. see. do.

so... i'm curious. do you have a bucket list? what's on yours?


smith kaich jones said...

No bucket list - I used to do this, but whenever I'd come across an old list of unachieved goals, I'd just feel bad, instead of inspired, always held in place by those things you mentioned - financial restrictions, having to work (imagine! LOL!), etc., etc.

However, I've grown older - just turned 56 a few days ago - and think I'll take this spot right here to write down one goal which is really a bunch of little ones smooshed together. So:

!. My own gallery. Yes. My very own. Small, not always open, a tree in the center, around which I will build a table. Named after my blog, named after my niece - Emma Tree. I will live in the back or overhead. It may be in the country and the shows will only occur once a month or maybe once every 2 months. It will also be a place for art events, art therapy.

And that's it - it encompasses so many dreams. It's the first time I've written it down, though I've thought of it for several years. I feel as if a seed has sprouted.

Thank you.
:) debi

Angela H. said...

love that photo, george. send me your photos! if you do, i'll put my bucket list on my blog...

ELK said...

i hardly know where to begin Georgia..so much to think about in this post...you have done many very cool things, what a very special list of want to's going forward!

Steve Gravano said...

Well I don't know about much of the stuff on your list, but I can comment with some experience about the gallery part. For a number of years I was an associate curator at The Stage Gallery in Merrick NY. Your work is very creative. You have a great eye an you know style. Your photography could hang anywhere they hang contemporary photography. Hey get a show in NYC and I'm there!

Hi Kooky said...

Oh, Georgia. You've struck a nerve with me here. I've been thinking about a to-do list myself. I love that you posted about this, about why maybe you haven't done it before. We share some of the same reasons - modest upbringing, accepting limitations and working within them, instead of dreaming beyond them. I'd like to change this for myself.

Thanks for the encouragement. Before I got married and became a mom, I was a dreamer, and checked off some things on my list. I hate to admit I don't dream much now - I never thought that could happen to me, but it has. It's weird.

So, I take your encouraging words as a sign to keep on truckin'. Thanks, friend.

CDScott said...

Great post Georgia...you can do all those things! Debt-free...so important. My hubs and I shot for this one years ago and it's like removing shackles! Do it!

I love the beach in Shawshank...take me when you go!

And you know I love your photography...galleries are just waiting for your work.

ginny said...

hey Georgia, i loved this post. it really makes me think about a few things that i would like to achieve too... i love your list... my main aim is to simplify my life and to do something of benefit to others. Peru is somewhere i have always wanted to visit but i have still not been there. I am really hoping to develop my own work next year too and to focus on improving my skills and maybe take a couple of courses (photography being one).
i do not have a 'bucket' list and have never heard of that term though i do have a diary where i write dreams and mini goals.. and the turn of each new year finds me writing hopes and aims too.
wishing you every success with achieving your dreams, and i think your photography is amazing so i am sure that an exhibition of your work is not far away!
warmest wishes

georgia b. said...

ginny, first of all, thanks for your kind words {and to everyone}.

i just wanted to explain what a bucket list is. there is a movie with morgan freeman and jack nicolson called the bucket list, and it's about two older guys {i think they meet in the hospital as patients} who take off to travel the world and do all the things they wanted to do before they die. so i'm not sure where the term came from in the movie, but a bucket list is just a list of things someone wants to do in their lifetime. it's a pretty good movie. you should see it.

S. Etole said...

It possibly came from the term, "To kick the bucket," which meant to pass away. Now as to the origin of that I'm not sure.

Jaime said...

So funny...I just rented that movie last weekend. It was on my list of movies to watch for a while now, and I finally saw it...and now I am here..even more inspired to create my own list! Thank you!
Too bad we didn't live closer to one another..I could give you some piano lessons!