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For 30 years, I didn’t have any life list ideas. Initially, that was okay.
I managed a few exciting excursions when I was a Navy sailor or college student. Once I started day-to-day adulting, adventures trickled down to zero.
One day not too long ago, I spiraled into a dark place with no sugar and wondered, what have I done that is worthwhile, exciting, or at the very least, adrenaline-inducing?
The pitiful answer: nothing.
I had a splash of money and explored some places but, those adventures had trickled down to nada.
I’m living in the twenty-first century where YOLO isn’t a misspelled word. It’s misspelled with purpose.
We all make bad judgments and mistakes. That’s not what matters. How do you respond after you make a mistake? That’s the key.Darius Foroux
I took Taylor Swift’s advice, shook it off, and decided to do something about it. As a type-A American living in suburbia, I knew what I needed – a list!
What the bucket is a life list?
I could have made a bucket list. I didn’t.
A bucket list is about death. As in, I want to do X before I die. A morbid obsession with death isn’t my thing. As a DIY optimist, I prefer to ponder a lifetime of activities.
Instead of developing a bucket list for when I kick the bucket, I went with the less talked, tweeted, and pinned, life list.
A bucket list may test your courage, whereas a life list will test your perseverance.Jocelyn Soriano
A Date with a List
Having a life list with a date is like having ice cream with a cone. It’s better than diving face-first into a gallon of creamed confectionary and risking frostbite.
A list of items is fine. Putting them on digital paper, instead of allowing them to run amuck in my head, is preferred.
But, there is a reason syllabuses have due dates, planes have schedules, and loans are measured by years, not tears. A date is how a list becomes sticky and leverages human’s never-ending tendency to procrastinate.
Even if I’m the only one who sets a date, the list that started casual and cute becomes an intensive timeline where the invisible eye of Mordor is watching.
A Listed Example
When I started with the life list, I wrote down some items. The only rule was that it had to be interesting for who I am, not who I want to be.
There are times when I want to be something that I’m not. As much as I want to be a crafty scrapbooker or a master chef or a brilliant astronaut, I like the idea, and bragging rights, more than the follow-through.
So, if I’m planning and paying for an excursion, I have to be skydiving sure that it’s interesting.
Turns out, there weren’t many items. Like any millennial, I asked Dr. Google if she had some suggestions, and she did. I went through a barrage of lists, collected the shiniest, and discarded the dullest.
This is the current life list ideas I plan to accomplish by December 2035. It contains 36 escapades:
🐼 Visit China & Tibet
🌈 Finish the Color Run
🎁 Take a Magical Mystery Tour
✌ Solar Eclipse – April 8, 2024
🌍 Visit the United Kingdom
🏰 Sleep in a castle
🌴 Tour the Galapagos
🤿 Embark on a Scuba Trip
👙 Explore Great Barrier Reef
🔥 Survive Burning Man
🗺 Take a National Park Road Trip
🌌 See the northern lights
🥇 Go to the Olympics in 2028
🥶 Travel to Antarctica
🗽 Go to New York
🏙 Explore Washington DC
✈ Visit the Taj Mahal
⛵ Become a brief crew member of The Maiden Factor
🧭 Explore the pyramids
🚢 Ante up for a cruise around the world
🧳 Pack my bags for a random location
🛫 Fly first class
🌳 Spend the night in a luxe treehouse
🏮 Go to a floating lantern festival
💬 Take an immersive French class
🔘 Try zorbing
💆♀️ Have a couples massage
🎶 Learn to pole dance
📖 Write adventure book
💧 Sightsee Niagara Falls
🚀 Survive Space Camp
🧘♀️ Participate in a mediation retreat (scheduled for Dec 2021)
Spend a day in silence (2021)
Write a manifesto (2021)
Complete Tough Mudder (2021)
Once I had gathered the items and the words settled in, I had a mini panic attack. My mind raced to figure out the money and time needed to accomplish such a list.
After I talked myself away from a paper bag I couldn’t find, I realized even if I was unable to accomplish everything, it’s more than nothing.
More is, Well, More
Making a list of prior endeavors has shored up my fortitude for future goals, which is why I keep track of interesting things I have accomplished.
These are 24 adventures from the “Crushed It” list, and if you happen to need a few more life list ideas:
🐬 Swim with dolphins
🏍 Obtain a motorcycle license
🐊 Airboat the Everglades
🏝 Live in another country (As a kid, I lived in Jamaica. It was only for a couple of years and, I got ringworm twice but….crushed it!)
⛵ Sail on a sailboat
🌍 Experience a Africa safari
🥶 Polar plunge
🐎 Horseback ride
🐋 Whale watch in Alaska
🔥 Hot air balloon
🐂 Ride a mechanical bull
🛶 Take a gondola in Venice
🚁 Ride in a helicopter
🗼 Kiss atop the Eiffel Tower
👟 Complete a marathon
⌛ Sandboarding in Dubai
🌊 Whitewater raft
🧗♀️ Canyoneer in Zion
Many of my prior adventures were opportunities that were through the military or school. That changed when I left.
As I settled into the everyday grind of work, weekends, and more work, I needed a reminder to dream big, write it down, and plan it out because life is better when it’s listed.