Tuesday, November 08, 2011

On Life Lists and Aging

I started making a Life List.  I didn't mean to.  It started out a short term goal thing, trying to move myself to action.  Then I stumbled across http://mylifelist.org and the thought of a list of the things I've always wanted to accomplish sounded cool.

"I'll write one and I'll get started on it right away!"  So I opened a blank document and put down number 1,  the thing on my mind in the first place, get in shape.  Then I blasted into the next four and stopped.  I thought a bit and eventually wrote down seven more.  Then I drew a complete blank.  Complete.  And to tell you the truth some of the things on my list are not all that extraordinary, but they are important to me.  Overall however, I stared at that list and thought, Jeez this is pathetic. I can only come up with 12 things?

I thought about when I was a kid and the things I would have said.  I realized that the list becomes much more constrained as I get older because 1) I realize some things just aren't possible, 2) I've achieved some of the things I would have written before and 3) I think I have forgotten how to dream big.  Forgetting how to truly dream is an occupational hazard of adulthood.

When I was 21 I remember being full of wonder and excitement because life was all about possibilities.  I told my grandmother, "I feel myself becoming a woman," and she smiled the most wonderful smile.  She told me she loved being with younger people because the world is open to them.  So why when we get older to possibilities dwindle?  They don't you know.

Check out this article about the life list of a seven year old.  Talk about dreaming big.  Maybe one of the items on my list should be to reconnect with my child dreamer.

What would you put on your life list?


jaded said...

Artistic representation that doesn't involve a tent at a craft fair or food festival.

Master certain balance poses in my yoga practice.


I think I quit dreaming big, because the larger accomplishments of my youth never seemed to compare to the spark of joy I felt when I learned something new.

Lynnea said...

Jaded, I love your life list items. I'm finding myself musing about the aging process a lot more lately and how it heavily impacts my world view. As a young kid I swore I'd never let myself think like an 'old' person, but here I am and dangit I can't seem to help it.

meno said...

Mine has two words on it: Be Happy.