Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Life Listing

It seems there's been much talk of life lists and bucket lists and that sort of thing on the blogospere, lately. I don't know why. Maybe because 2012 is quickly approaching and we all feel like we've got to get to it. Maybe because some corporate sponsor sponsored someone's life list. I really don't know. I take pride in not paying all that much attention, people.

Anyway, I got in a discussion the other day about how published life lists often turn into some self-validating ego stroking, I'm-sooo-original exercise and how annoying that is. Then I totally fell into that trap. I honestly don't think I am sooo original. I sort of assume that everyone is just like me and then gape, open-mouthed when I find out otherwise.

For instance, you shouldn't tell me that you don't find Jensen Ackles attractive, because despite the fact that the go-to example for most people is Brad Pitt or George Clooney, I secretly assume that everyone can at least recognize that Jenson is clearly the prettiest human on the planet (excluding my children, of course).

Which is why I find the entire exercise of the life list to be sort of pointless. Yeah, yeah, we all want to go to Alaska, finish a novel and learn to knit. So what? Why do we need to list that stuff?

On the other hand, I am often surprised that what I expect to be on peoples' list isn't there and a bunch of stuff about hot places like the Bahamas are. It's disturbing to my world view (in which, again, everyone wants what I want).

The other side to it, is that in the incomparable words of Anya, "I'm tired of the tour of pretty things I can't have." Sometimes, it's nice to dream, sometimes it's a depressing reminder of how far from your dreams you are. Lately, for me, it's been the second.

But, because today I feel like dreaming, I thought I'd throw a few life list items out there. This is not a complete list because I don't want to think too much about it. Just some stuff.

Life List

1. Go to freakin' Alaska - I feel like I've been dreaming about this and putting this off forever, but someday, I will get there. I may be 97, but I'm going.

2. Finish a novel - I don't even really care if it gets published (of course, that's only because it still isn't written), I just want to finish one.

3. Learn to knit - I'm very sadly collecting patterns.

4. Go to a con - Preferably Comic-Con, but I'm flexible. I just want to be surrounded by geeks who are unsurprised at my inner geekiness.

5. Write a scholarly paper about vampire lore - Or about the Stephen King's writing. Whichever.

6. Drive a boat - I know it doesn't sound all that exciting, but it also does sound really exciting.

7. Take the kids to Disney World and London - not on the same trip, obviously.

8. Enjoy gardening - Because it's not that I don't have time or the basic skills, just that I don't like doing it, so I don't ever do it. You should see my flower bed, and it's seven foot tall weeds.

9. Live debt free - I like to think I'm on my way to this, but I'll never get there with medical bills the way they are.

10. Crochet a bedspread - I have the necessary skills for this, but I am overwhelmed by how time consuming and detailed it would be, so I've never attempted it. I do have a pattern for a table cloth that I thought would be excellent practice, though...

So, that's ten, which makes me feel all even and stuff, so I'll stop for now. What's on your life list? Any of the same stuff as me? Anything bizarrely different?

*Imagine that the picture is me in Alaska. Also, it's making me feel better about the heat.


Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I've also always wanted to go to Alaska and have been dreaming for almost nine years of getting my son back to Disney World before he's too frickin' old to appreciate it any more. The last time we went, he was three. Now he's less than 6 months away from being 13.

HA! My verification word is "nicer". Is it giving me a hint of how I should act?

Suze said...

Definitely Alaska. But when, oh when? Our kids are too little to take along, too little to appreciate it and also too little to be left with anyone for a couple weeks if we went ourselves (and more than a day away from my kids would probably kill me anyway).

Most of my life list involves travel, actually, travel that I have no idea how I'll ever get to do, and that makes me sad.

Hmm, maybe I should do this on my own blog.

Jessi said...

Good to know my obsession with Alaska is shared, ladies.

Jenn - You're never to old for Disney. :)

Suze - Yes! Two weeks is really the shortest I'd want to go and that much time off work aside, taking the kids would cramp my glacier-climbing style and leaving the kids would force me to call home every ten minutes.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

And therein you have yet another advantage of being a teacher - with a built-in summer vacation, you don't have to worry about missing work to do the traveling you want to do... Just sayin'. :-)

Suze said...

i can't imagine NOT living by the academic schedule. My whole family does, since they're all teachers or professors and/or husband works a white collar job with the 2-3 weeks vacay and it's just so restrictive. if i find a real, paying job it will be in academia somehow, so hopefully i'll be able to stick to my kids' schedule. (i'm not looking now, though.)

Steve said...

Re your Number 7, there's a Disneyland just outside Paris, so you could do London then get the train there.

I haven't got such a list for myself, but your post (coupled with a recent one by Radioactive Girl) makes me wonder whether I should write one.

I do know I have to see Rio de Janeiro (preferably during the carnival) before I die. I fell in love with the idea of the place and its music as a kid and have never lost that feeling. Odd but true.

Matt S. said...

Maybe people draw up lists so they can't forget their dreams. Then again, it's not much of a dream if it constantly slips your mind...

Alaska: you've got to go. Please be serious about this. Thanks to the generosity of relatives, I've made three trips there. It's a place of incomparable natural beauty, different from but as stunning as the "hot" places you mentioned. You will not regret it.

Jessi said...

Matt - I can't wait to go to Alaska. I want to take the train all the way up the coast. Have you done that? I also want to go glacier climbing.