I'm not sure what it is about lists that draws me to making them. I know I love the feeling of checking off items on lists. That feeling of accomplishment is a real high for me (so much so that I may or may not occasionally make lists of things I have done just so I can check them off ... sad, I know) Maybe it's their order and structure that soothes my soul in the chaos that is my life.
I may be a list maker extraordinaire, but list do-er? Yeah, not so much. I don't let my tendency to fail in the follow through stop me from making lists. No, my love of lists remains so strong it would only make sense to make one on this day celebrating the anniversary of my entrance into this crazy world (Happy Birthday to Me!) I recently saw a blog post where someone listed a number of things they wanted to accomplish before their next birthday (my apologies, I can not seem to find the site so I can give credit where credit is due) and thought the idea was right up my alley.
First of all, I will start off with a list of things I want to remember on this auspicious day:
I am exactly where I should be right now.
It's easy for me to look at the number of candles on my cake and sigh. Not because I am growing older, but in thinking about all I haven't done. I need to remind myself that life rarely goes according to my plan, but always follows God's plan and I am in the right place for me.
Stop comparing my story to others.
I don't play the "compare game" nearly as much as I used to (thankfully) but I do it often enough that I want to make a gentle reminder to myself to CUT IT OUT! This is the story God has written for me. My plotline twists and turns are mine alone. This story has a happily ever after no matter what. I just need to keep turning the pages. I need to trust. I need to be patient. And I need to...
Keep up an attitude of gratitude.
I have been doing a pretty good job of this for the past few years, but I slip up every now and then. It never hurts to give myself a nudge to remember to look for all the blessings in my life. I am currently reading through One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (I will not attempt to review the book here ... maybe some day. I'll put it on my to-do list ☺ ) and it has further opened my eyes to appreciate the small stuff. An attitude of gratitude is manna for the weary soul.
You can get there from here.
I remember seeing a comedy sketch years ago that parodied the directions local people in Maine give to tourists. After a long list of complicated directions were given, the local declared, "but you can't get there from here" and the tourist sulked away deflated. Saying my life is complicated would be a gross understatement, but I refuse to sulk. I propose that with a good list as my road map, I can get "there" from "here" --- or at the very least have a fun time getting lost along the way.
And so now without further ado ---
My 48 by 49 (in no particular order of importance)
- Visit the art museum --- our local one is in danger of closing so time is of the essence here
- Go to the zoo --- penguins make me smile
- Go sledding --- my kids will love this one
- Go on a monthly date (12 total) with the Geek --- and no trips to the grocery store do not count
- Handwrite a card or letter at least once a month --- time to go old school for a change
- Attend a writing conference --- like a "real" writer
- Blog at least once a week
- Lose 2 dress sizes --- I prefer not to focus on the numbers on the scale --- too depressing
- Run or walk a 5K --- walking is more do-able but I'd love to run across a finish line just once
- Ride bike 50 miles --- not all at once, but over the course of a year seems possible
- Learn to watercolor paint
- See a play --- professional or not --- I'm not picky.
- Go to a concert --- again not too picky on who is performing
- Take 1 picture a day for a year --- one blogger I follow takes pictures of her feet. I've always thought that was kind of interesting, but since I own two pairs of shoes and only white socks that would get boring really fast!
- Crochet a neck warmer --- perhaps "finish crocheting a neck warmer" would be more accurate:)
- Knit a scarf --- see above
- Walk across the Mackinaw Bridge on Labor Day --- I have an insanely unreasonable fear of bridges so this one would be a real stretch, but who knows?
- Visit the Keweenaw in Michigan's upper peninsula --- THE most beautiful place on earth
- Kayak --- I have a huge aversion to getting wet, but I still think this would be a hoot.
- Learn to use Photoshop --- the Photoshop the Geek bought me three.years.ago.
- Submit an article to a magazine or newspaper --- time to put myself out there dontcha know.
- Write a novel --- already signed up for NaNoWriMo
- Get a pedicure --- I did this once and I swore I do it once a month --- that was six months ago.
- Learn to take photos in manual mode --- it's so sad to own a "Cadillac" camera and use it like a point and shoot
- Make birthday scrapbooks for all three kids --- time to stop collecting scrapbook paraphernalia and just do it.
- Get my mothers "life story" written or videoed --- I always regret not sitting down with my daddy and doing this.
- Organize my craft area --- step one: get a craft area
- Sew a quilt --- see above
- Swim in a pool --- this body has not seen a swimming suit in years so this may remain undone
- Finish kid's bedroom --- no more excuses
- Sew a purse --- not sure why, I just wanna
- Remodel Trailer --- time to finally put that Pinterest board to use
- Host a Christmas cookie exchange --- have always wanted to do this and never made the time.
- Learn to bake bread --- I love the smell of baking bread.
- Learn to make noodles --- more appropriately "relearn to make noodles" as I took a class once
- Make ice cream --- The Geek and I have yet to use an ice cream maker we received as a wedding present --- 24 four years ago!
- Go to Chicago --- no reason, just sounds cool
- Go on a train ride --- maybe to Chicago?
- get a pair of cool boots --- to replace the pair that "died" last year
- See a comedy show --- I have always wanted to take a stand up comedy class but this would do.
- Plant a flower garden --- a hundred year old farmhouse just looks sad without a beautiful perennial garden
- Make the house more of a home--- we've lived here just about sixteen years and we still have packed boxes in the basement!
- Cook dinner at home more frequently --- my checkbook and my waistline are counting on it.
- Give up soda --- see above
- Keep bedroom organized --- it's high past time to make my boudoir the peaceful haven it should be.
- Manage laundry better --- It ain't pretty folks --- it's me against the dirty clothes right now and the dirty clothes are winning
- Go on a plane somewhere ... someplace warm in the middle of winter would be nice.
- Read Bible and devotions regularly --- this should be No. 1