So here I am, the night before life list day at Camp Mighty, finishing my list, as I did last year.
I am so, so late to the life list party, later than I was last year. It's shameful. Part of the issue is that it appears that I went into some kind of strange, challenged place for most of 2011 and, well hell, most of 2012 too. When I looked back at last year's list, I was all, "Who wanted to do that?" and "Who wanted to go there? NOT ME." It didn't resonate. It just felt weird. So I knew I had to rewrite it. But you know what that means.
I had to rewrite it.
It didn't come easy.
This is what I came up with for this year. I'm finishing it just as I get in from the Camp Mighty space party. Although I may have mentioned a time or two around here that I fail costumes, I gave this one a teeny bit of thought, and a try.
Space cowgirl. Yeehaw.
So here's the list. There are a few blanks at the end, because you never know when you'll change your mind or come up with new stuff.
1. Learn American Sign Language
2. Write and publish a book
3. Understand wine, become a certified sommelier
4. Drink a Guinness in Ireland
5. Become a Red Cross disaster volunteer
6. Visit all 50 states
7. Photograph a gay wedding in Maryland
8. Become a master photographer
9. Take my mom on a fabulous trip, anywhere of her choosing, on me.
10. Live in a European country for a year.
11. Exceed my past highest salary, this time as a writer, editor, and photographer.
12. See Bruce Springsteen live in New Jersey.
13. Have competent basic chef skills, and own a professional set of kitchen knives.
14. Pay off all student loan debt by the time I’m 50.
15. Digitize and archive all family photographs. Put the prints in books.
16. Publish an article in a national magazine – print or online.
17. Visit every country in Europe.
18. Throw a crab feast for my half-birthday.
19. Take trips on all Amtrak routes in the U.S.
20. Learn to play the drums.
21. Outfit my kitchen to indicate that I’m not in college anymore.
22. Live debt free.
23. Do a full photo/travel/food tour of New Mexico with someone I love.
24. Return to Vietnam, spend time volunteering.
25. Photograph an Operation Smile mission.
26. Attend NYC Pride and Mermaid Parade 2013 in a recovered Coney Island.
27. Establish a nonprofit association in honor of my great-grandparents.
28. Drink coffee and wine in Paris on the same day.
29. Have a yard that contains both a lilac and a hydrangea bush.
30. Understand how to competently use Speedlite flash and studio lighting.
31. Go to a Stanley Cup championship game.
32. Go to Oktoberfest in Munich.
33. Support surgeries for at least five children per year through Smile Train/Operation Smile.
34. Own a home.
35. Do the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg/Vienna.
36. Eat sushi in Japan.
37. Visit all tourist spots in D.C. that I should have seen a long time ago, if I didn’t live here. 1.White House. 2. All the Smithsonians and monuments. 3. National Archives, etc.)
38. Celebrate my December/Christmas birthday on a warm island, with friends.
39. Live in New York and know it well.
40. Have a professional website that I love and that represents my skills and portfolio well.
41. Have a clean, organized living space that supports peace and productivity.
42. Have a place at the beach that I can go to anytime.
43. Visit Australia. Have Eden Riley show me around.
44. Have Boston Terriers in my house again, and support rescue efforts.
45. Go on a food and wine tour of Tuscany.
46. Send my parents on a honeymoon.
47. Meet Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
48. Learn to change my oil and perform other basic maintenance on my car.
49. Be published on McSweeney’s.
50. Meet Bret Michaels. Get picture taken with him making the metal horns, as he does in almost every photo ever published of him.
51. Do 100 cool things for my family and friends.
52. Cross the border to Canada. Visit Dolores in Montreal.
53. See a Duran Duran show in London.
54. Learn to ride a motorcycle at the Harley Davidson Rider’s Edge class.
55. Trace my family history accurately and completely.
56. Be competently conversational in Spanish and French, maybe through immersion programs.
57. Print all meaningful/beautiful photographs, and hang them in my home.
58. Match my old 401K within three years.
59. Write and publish an “Ask Auntie Laurie” advice column on the internet.
60. Have fun and meaningful traditions with my new niece or nephew.
61. Go on the tour of Eataly NYC and take a class. Go to Eataly in Rome.
62. Photograph a birth.
63. Own and use a full set of pro-level Canon lenses.
64. Publish an essay in Washingtonian or the Washington Post.
65. Photograph 50 people who make the world a better place. Profile them and publish on the blog.
66. Go to Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, SXSW Music, Coachella, Virgin Festival in London.
67. Endow a scholarship.
68. Spend time in San Francisco and get to know the city.
69. Streamline my life. Throw away all belongings that no longer serve me. Start fresh.
70. Visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder spots in Missouri and South Dakota.
71. Send one surprise present per month for no reason.
72. Learn how to DJ (I already know how to rap.)
73. Get my 200-hour yoga certification.
74. Host a fun beach weekend with some of my favorite people.
75. Drive cross-country with no time constraints. Stop wherever I want to take pictures. Don’t skip Marfa, Texas, this time.
76. Host a holiday.
77. See all the oceans. Float in the Dead Sea.
78. Design a website.
79. Work for at least one whole season from a deck by the water.
80. Have a king-sized bed with really great sheets, an actual duvet, and pillows that don’t drive me crazy.
81. Write something that I don’t think I’m capable of writing at all.
82. Win a poker game. Wear sunglasses while doing so.
83. Live in a real neighborhood where I actually interact with my neighbors.
84. Manage social media for a touring band.
85. Go on a heavy metal cruise.
86. Have a decent bra fitting.
87. Go to Hawaii with Sarah to celebrate our birthdays.
88. Get overall financial house in order so it is not a constant source of anxiety.
89. Have a regular practice of having people over to my house for meals and conversation.
90. Write my travel stories down.
91. Create an annual tradition with my cousins.
92. Drive cross-country (Check, September, 2012.)
93. Organize and edit all of my best pictures into an online portfolio. Make prints and hang the ones I really love.
94. Know how to cook all basic meals/foods without a recipe. 1. Soup 2. Roast 3. Cake ?
95. Have an Etsy store or other online shop that actually sells things.
96. Travel somewhere fun with just my sister.
I have to pick five goals now that I want to focus on in the coming year. I'm going to sleep on that.