A few weeks ago, in the late quiet of a winter night, I found myself thumbing through a journal that I had kept a couple of years ago. The journal, one of those moleskin notebooks, was filled with anguish, longing and uncertainty. While I was happily occupied with loving my daughter, coaching and consulting, being a foster parent, and singing with The Shirleys, I was simultaneously living in a state of acute fear and sadness, i had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was still undergoing treatment and was trying to make my way out of a wretchedly doomed love affair. Amidst the pages of despair I found this:
100 THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE.
Have you ever written a list like that? Your own little bucket list? I remember it took me a good long while. I was really reaching for ideas by the time i hit the 80’s but i pressed on to a 100. At the time that i wrote the list, I am not sure how confident I was that i would actually live to do even half the things on it. And some of the things on it seem utterly ridiculous now. I mean for some reason I wanted to get on Charlie Rose. I also wanted to build something beautiful out of wood. I found that comforting and true though i am not sure it would make the list today. Reviewing the list was fascinating. I couldn’t help but wonder how the final tally might have differed had I not been under such emotional pressure. But the real delight was in finding that I had completed- or was close to completing- a good number of the things on it….And it was a profound lesson in the importance of taking stock and celebrating personal success. It was also a little painful to see how much I hadn’t done. But I know I haven’t been sitting around idle. Hell, if there were a camel to ride right here in Vancouver I’d be on it! The Shirleys call it “gettin’ shit done, crossin’ it off the list”. Of the 100 things listed I’ve managed to cross off the following…
- Become a better gardener and grow more food
- Record a CD
- Go to Hornby Island again
- Teach leadership workshops
- Make a great website- Thanks Leanna
- Practice excellence in coaching
- Develop an Appreciative Inquiry workshop for youth
- Be an auntie (and an auntie and an auntie)!!
- Never get cancer again – so far so good
- Have fun every day
- Works in progress include seeing the Mayan ruins, swimming with dolphins, and travelling to Central America with my daughter (depart Feb 20th)
This little story is my gift to you. Write your own 100 list. Each time you do one thing scratch it off and celebrate, toss off things from time to time if they are no longer calling your name and add new ones so it remains full to the brim with hope, dreams and inspiration. I plan to update my list from this new place of good health and gratitude. And look at it more often.
Happy Holidays, and thank you for being a part of my inspiration.