The To-Do List

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Dive the Great Barrier Reef? CHECK.

Bucket list. Been there, done that. In fact, I had mine plastered to my wall a few years ago when an old friend of mine told me he thought it was a little morbid. He suggested it be called A S#!T To-Do List and so it was born. Besides, bucket lists give us way too much time to procrastinate. Here’s what I want to do before I’m 40:

1. Fill up a passport before it expires

Travel pro’s are probably laughing at me as they heave a box full passports on to their desk but I’m somewhat of a newbie and this is meant to get the ball rolling.

2. Teach my kids how to do my taxes

Don’t laugh. I’m not kidding. Ok, really I just want to do justice to my generation and that of my future kids and give them the solid foundation in personal finance that everyone should have. (And as an added bonus, they can do my taxes for me while I whip up a morning batch of Bloody Mary’s. For me. Not the kids.)

3. Communicate in another language

I’m not sure it’s realistic for me to say that I want to learn an entire language fluently. I do, however, want to be able to communicate in various languages as I navigate the globe. I always feel slightly ashamed of myself when foreigners speak to me in English. Like I’m somehow an embodiment of the typical American Stereotype of ignorant superiority. “DARN YOU! We’re in Cambodia! Talk to me in ENGLISH!”

4. Find Great Love

Stop rolling your eyes. It’s cooler than it sounds. I was at Disney…yea, ok. I realize that doesn’t help. I was at Epcot enjoying a beer in China (better?) during the Flower & Garden Festival. At the time I was the Professional Finance Intern assigned to the festival so naturally I was there doing “research.” In front of the China pavilion was a pond lined with topiaries that represented each Chinese Zodiac. I’m a Tiger and mine said I was capable of “Great Love” but also points out my inherent flaws. When I feel myself settling for someone or something, I think about this sign and remember not only that I can do better but that I can be better. It reminded me that I am meant for something greater than “ordinary” but that if I want what I am meant for, I’m going to have to earn it. It has stuck with me ever since. ::resume eye rolling::

5. Publish a book

I so desperately love writing but in all of my wildest fantasies I just can’t imagine holding a printed and bound book with my name on the covers and 200+ pages of coherent thought in between. This one will be a challenge.

6. Burn my agenda

I’ve had an agenda every year since I was about 12 and it became an appendage that I couldn’t live without. In all of it’s highlighted, sticky-noted, color-coded glory it still says one thing: SLOW THE FRICK DOWN. I don’t want life to be this complicated ever again. The goal here is to keep it simple stupid. (Fun fact: that saying originated at Lockheed which is also where this whole crazy journey of mine started.)

I used to think this was a sign of a full life. In reality, it’s a sign of a distracted life.

7. Travel with a really big group of friends

My parents and their friends used to rent an entire villa in Jamaica and do really boring old-people things like organize a “whacky olympics” and go scuba diving and have umbrella drinks for breakfast. You know that “butterflies in your stomach” feeling you get when you get ready for a trip? It multiplies in proportion to the number of people I’m with. (I think I have a slight obsession with chaos.)

8. Live on or near the ocean

I’m infinitely happier when I’m near the ocean so this one is a non-negotiable. There’s just something about the water that makes everything seem aligned and balanced in the world.

9. Ditch the Meat Head Corral

I was a dancer for the first 20 years of my life so the bar for stimulating exercise has been set pretty high. The gym bores me to tears. So I’ve made it my mission to continuously try as many new sports or physical activities as I can each year. Pilates, Tennis, golf, paddleboarding, hiking, biking, rollerblading, rock climbing…you name it. If it doesn’t involve grunting men in a weight room (read: Meat Head Corral) I’m game!

Does this count?

10. Boss People Around

I’ve been practicing this one for two and a half decades now so it’s about time I get paid for it. Actually, I really just want to boss myself around. Simpler is better. I’m not trying to run a Fortune-500 here. The goal is to be self-employed one day with an income that is semi to fully automated so I can gallivant around world as I please.

11. Go on a world beer tour

Pretty sure I was at an Urban Outfitters when I picked up the 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die book and for some reason (as if I needed anymore motivation to travel) thought it would be really cool to use it as a compass in future travels. What it really comes down to is the fact that I just want to learn more about beer and wine so I can peruse a menu with some degree of intelligence instead of just using it like a dartboard. “Ummmm. I’ll take THAT one! I think?”

12. Figure out how to make life one incessant series of those “life is good” moments

No, I don’t mean that I want to be perpetually drunk. You know those random moments when you’re sitting on the beach or leaving a great party and you just go “Wow. Life is good.” It kind of makes you feel all giddy inside and you just feel like laughing (until you realize you’re still in public.) Well, I want to have a lot more of those. Like everyday a lot.

13. Go back to the Spanish Steps in Rome and redeem myself

Turns out, the ideal shoes for walking down worn out, 287 year-old marble stairs are not slick-bottom sandals. I busted my butt on the Spanish Steps in Rome in front of hundreds of people. Naturally, this means I need to go back if for no other reason than to redeem myself in some small way. (You know, like be proposed to there or something.)

The scene of the crime.

To be continued…


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