Friday, January 14, 2011

30: The List

“My dinner, dress, associates, looks, business, compliments, dues, ...The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,...the sickness of one of my folks...or of myself...or ill-doing... or loss or lack of money...or depressions or exaltations, ...They come to me days and nights and go from me again, but they are not the Me myself.” (Walt Whitman)

When my plane touched down in London yesterday, I felt an actual, physical change. I’ve completed 30 years of life. I live in a new country. I’m in love again. It’s as if I could feel the literal closing of one door and the opening of another. So what’s left behind me?

I’ve always been a planner and a list maker. When I was young I would trace outline maps of the US, colouring in the states I’d visited and making endless trip plans to see the rest. I still enjoy checking things off lists. Inspired by the little book “2,000 Things to Do Before you Die,” I have compiled a list of some of the things I’ve done in 3 decades. Some are proud moments. Some I’d rather forget. Some I’d love to repeat. So many are the average, every day experiences that make up the majority of our lives.

In my first 30 years I have:

Survived cancer

Visited 49 of 50 US states

Studied and lived abroad

Fallen in and out of love

Rescued stray cats

Slept on feather pillows

Sung the national anthem at a professional baseball game

Watched too much tv

Been very religious

Been very un-religious

Questioned God

Questioned authority

Questioned society

Questioned myself

Travelled to Asia

Eaten strange foreign food

Worn stilettos

Gone barefoot

Smelled the roses

Seen the sunrise over Oahu

Hugged a child – or rather lots of them


Professionally wrapped Christmas presents

Hiked in the Rocky Mountains

Learned Reiki

Done yoga

Planned my wedding

Cancelled my wedding

Studied Hebrew, German, Latin and Scots Gaelic and mastered none

Studied Judaism, Buddhism, paganism and Christianity and mastered none

Published my own poetry

Memorized the poetry of others

Broken no bones but toes

Walked the dog

Learned to cook

Attempted at failed at sewing

Met US Congressmen and Members of the British Parliament (nerd alert!)

Started a marathon with an actual megaphone

Been on television

Been on radio

Been in the newspaper

Broken hearts

Been heartbroken

Lost a friend

Found a friend

Parasailed in Mexico

Jet-skied in the South China Sea

Failed at ice-skating lessons

Run away

Found my way

Lead the way

Got carried away


Dreamed of the future

What’s on your list? And what have you not yet done? Have you closed old doors and opened new ones?