TRYING SOMETHING DIFFERENT FOR 2015
This year, instead of just plucking away at my Life List (which is down at the bottom of the page) I'm taking a page from Danielle's book and doing the Uberlist. It's one hundred and fifteen things -- some big, most small and easily done. In Danielle's words,
1. Yoga: loosen up that right hip
2. Meditate daily
3. Wine with dinner, whatever, but always go to bed with a clear head
4. Sleep 8 hours
5. Drink 64 oz. of water GODDAMNIT
6. Green drink whenever possible
7. Get a physical w/ blood test
8. Start broker’s account and learn to buy stocks
9. Apply for branch job
10. Pay off tax loan
11. Save up $10k
12. Finish 3rd draft of novel by the end of January and send to Kate
13. Do rewrites/changes in a timely manner and get it SOLD
14. Monthly blog post
15. Monthly essay for QuietRev done ON TIME
16. Start new novel
17. Do a reading somewhere with some people
18. Write a topical Shouts & Murmurs
19. Daily drawing journal
20. Have JS over for dinner whenever possible
21. Spend more time with HM
22. Lunch with PN and JT once a month
23. Go camping with Jack
24. See PB either here or in NY
25. See AB either here or in NY
26. Do something nice for EG
27. Do something nice for SB
28. Do something nice for DH
29. Do something nice for JP
30. Sent MM a baby present
31. Have lunch with CD
32. Reconnect with E
33. Weed out Twitter
34. Weed out FB
35. Grow hair out just until it gets curly
36. Find a good product that will make curly hair simple to deal with
37. Figure out the mustache situation
38. Get low-back bra to wear with the black dress
39. Buy some nice underwear
40. Finish the goddamn reindeer sweater
41. Start a new smaller knit project
42. Finish donation drawings
43. Clean out bead box
44. Learn and try out a new beading method
45. Go to Disneyland with Jackson
46. Get him set up with some kind of IRA
47. Take him somewhere good during summer vacation
48. Attic writing space: get old desk out and new table in
49. Attic writing space: get a bookshelf
50. New candle for yoga
51. Clean house thoroughly down to the grout
52. Clean out Jackson’s closet
53. Make a better space for Jackson to hang out with his friends
54. Good reading lamp for living room
55. Clean out storage space
56. Clean out garage
57. Get new chair for living room w/ottoman
58. Frames for both of Holly’s paintings
59. Get bed off the floor
KONMARI METHOD FREAKOUT
70. Miscellaneous/sentimental garbage
71. Make a vision board for 2015
72. Make a vision board for 5-year plan
73. Get flute fixed
74. Go see some good stand-up
75. Get old tattoo inked over with new tattoo
76. Reach out to one writer whose work I love and tell them
81. See Yogananda movie
82. Finish “The Signature of All Things”
83. Read all Christopher Logue books
84. Reread Lolita
85. Read unabridged War & Peace
86. Read How Not to Write a Novel
87. Read Poseur
88. Listen to Silkworm
BIG PICTURE/FIVE YEAR PLAN
89. Send idly by while Kate sells novel
91. Have novel sell a million copies
92. Write new novel
94. Make just a little bit more money than I need without working any harder than I want to
95. Buy a house
97. Rent a house on Maui for two months for vacation/work
98. Visit brothers in Florida
99. Visit BQ in Denver
100. Give a reading at The Tattered Cover
101. Get Jackson through high school happy and healthy and into the college of his choice
102. Read an essay on Public Radio
103. Get Uberlist posted blog
104. Transfer Uberlist to notebook
105. Put abacus into a shadowbox and hang it
106. Buy a Japanese print and hang it
107. Buy new wall calendars
108. Clean off the wall by kitchen desk
109. Turn kitchen desk into family office space
110. Long walk IN NATURE once a week
111. Get back to using Goodreads
112. Get those long kilts hemmed to knee-length
113. Reinstall Photoshop on laptop
114. Water the vegetables instead of letting things die like usual
115. Get records out of storage and shelved nicely
My friend Maggie has inspired thousands of people to write lists of things they want to accomplish and then, by posting them online, publicly committing to making them happen in this lifetime. I resisted making one for a long time because when I sat down and looked at them my goals were either really, really general ("raise my son to be smart, happy, drug-free, etc.") or somewhat ill-defined and personal ("be a good person," "stay healthy"), or just lacking the glamour ("grow out hair") that a life list ought to have. Especially compared to Maggie's list, which was full of imaginative, adventurous things like surf a lava flow and make friends with a shark. Also, I'd read Autobiography of a Yogi, where I learned that in the Hindu tradition, all your wants and desires create new karma, which means that every time you die without crossing everything off your list, you have to come back for extra lifetimes until you can live in a palace / punch Donald Trump in the throat / marry a dolphin. Once you finally shed your last bits of karma (i.e., complete your cosmic life list), you can finally exit this vale of tears and be united with the blissful center of life itself. Or something like that. Look, I'm not your guru.
But despite my vague existential concerns, I'd seen first-hand how powerful declaring your intentions can be, and one of the things it can be is fun.
So in order to avoid adding too many extra spins on the wheel of life and death, I've put together a conservative list of achievable-in-this-lifetime goals. Some of these may look kind of boring to you, but they're still important to me. And if you see anything on this list that looks familiar, I may have borrowed it from your list. Thank you! You have good ideas.
1. Go to Japan and see the cherry blossoms in Kyoto and eat sushi in Tokyo.
2. Read a book a week for a year. Twelve of those books should be poetry. (I can already tell this needs to be modified into "find the time to read a little every day.")
3. Re-learn how to play pinochle.
4. Configure a space so that it it's flexible enough to let me practice yoga at home. DONE
5. Practice yoga every day, even if it's just a few suryanamaskars and a little meditation. ONGOING
6. Learn to drop back and come up to standing from a back bend.
7. Buy a new sketchbook. Use it, and don't be afraid of paint or brush pens. DONE
8. Live in a house with a yard where I can plant a kitchen garden and compost and let my dog run around. DONE
9. Set up a basketball hoop in the driveway, yard, or wherever.
10 Pay off the credit cards. DONE
11. Publish my first novel and have it do so well that I can quit my job at the library and then sign up as a volunteer at the library. (Basically, I want to keep my job for no pay while I write another novel, and then sell it and write another one, and another one after that.)
12. Figure out how my mom made this sweater and make another one for myself.
13. Find a way to do something really fun with my drawing. Cards, prints, a cartoon strip -- something. T-shirts?
14. Decorate the bedroom.
15. Do something drastically better with our front yard. It's a rental so maybe it's not our responsibility, but it looks like hell and it's not a priority for our landlord so I just want a cheap way to make it look not like hell.
16. Pay off my car loan.
17. Write five letters of thanks to people whose work or lives have inspired me.
18. Be a better friend.
19. Get the podcast with Alice up and running once a week. Also, think of a really good name for it.
20. Quit making other people responsible for my emotional needs and well-being. DONE
21. Get my flute fixed so I can play it again.
22. Go to Australia and gently hug a koala, a wombat, and a quokka.
23. Go on a nice yoga retreat. DONE
24. Finish tagging all my old posts.
25. Finish the first draft of my book by September 30, 2013. DONE
26. Finish the second draft of my book by January 31, 2015.
27. Finish all the sketches I owe people for donating to the Red Cross and Charity Water.
27. Start posting a daily photo again.
28. Finish knitting Jack's new sweater.
29. Sit courtside at a Lakers game.