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Thursday, May 05, 2011

There is nothing I love more than making a list.

When I wrote on A Practical Wedding (yes, I'm bringing that up again. Deal with it) that as we navigated the choppy waters of wedding planning, "tasks were ticked off The List with a satisfied flourish", I wasn't kidding. There's something so satisfying about taking a creamy, smooth sheet of notepaper and covering it in neat, ordered, tidy tasks. Whether I actually get off my arse and complete any of the tasks is almost beside the point - it's the process. (And the nice paper.)

In fact, when I was first summoning up the courage to start a blog, I toyed with the idea of using lists as a sort of crutch to help me through the posts. I thought I needed differentiation, a focus, some quirk that would make my blog stand out, so I came up with the idea of writing each post in the form of a list. I even had a name – "Listful Thinking". I was really excited about it, for the five minutes it took me to discover that this blog already exists. Whoops. Told you nothing is original any more.

It's ok though. I'm pretty sure I would have struggled for ideas once I got past the first three posts, plus Stephanie's blog is way better than any of the lame list ideas I had scribbled in the back of my notebook (top 5 New Year's resolutions anyone? Gag).

Anyway, when I first heard about the practice of making a life list, I was intrigued. Oooooh, more lists! You can never have too many lists! The theory, as I understand it, is to write down the things you would love to experience or accomplish at some point in your life. It doesn't have to be an immediate goal, it doesn't need to be all extravagant or glamorous, it doesn't even need to be realistic or entirely within your control. Nothing is off limits.

I love reading other people's lists – it's a sneak peek into someone's secret yearnings, their heart's desires. The funny part is that I often find that I have done a lot of the things on other people's lists, especially the American ones, which tend to revolve around visiting places in Europe. Ok, I live here, so it's kind of cheating, but for a moment I feel a little smug. Until I realise that it's not about what other people want to do with their lives. It's about what I want to do with mine.

And so, I've written one of my own. As time goes on, I will no doubt add more to the list and (hopefully) cross some things off, or at least try to. (If I attempt something and fail spectacularly, don't worry, you'll be the first to know.)

I'm a terrible procrastinator. This may be why I enjoy making lists so much – listing is so much less scary than doing. I'm hoping that by articulating some of the things I would like to achieve in my lifetime, and putting them out there for everyone to see, they will stop being slippery wisps of maybes and somedays and become solid, real, tangible. Maybe even – *gasp* – achievable.

Wish me luck.



Spend another year living in a foreign city | Get 100 1000 comments on my blog | Learn to play Elgar's Cello Concerto | Write a book | Do a masters in an interesting subject, just for fun | Dance a tango in Buenos Aires | Become a parent | Learn to ski powder like a pro | Star in musical | Celebrate my golden wedding anniversary | Spend Christmas in the southern hemisphere | Find a form of exercise I love | Be a bridesmaid | Take my parents on an all-expenses-paid holiday | Own a pair of Christian Louboutins | Find work that makes me hop out of bed in the morning (or at least most mornings) | Sail a catamaran in the Caribbean | Style a wedding | Make a substantial anonymous donation to a good cause | Own a house with a garden and a tree | Buy an amazing piece of designer clothing at full price | Print out all my digital photos and put them in albums | Become fluent in a third language | (and brush up the French) | March in a rally for something I believe in | Make a dress from scratch | Ask my parents about our family history | Run the New York marathon | Get a proper camera and learn how to use it | Own a brand new car | Own a fabulous old car in an outrageous colour | Volunteer regularly for a cause that matters to me | Go whale watching | Get paid for something I have written | Learn to make the perfect meringue | Save someone's life

Bunny dressage images via Daily Mail via Cute Overload. Because if bunnies can do dressage, anything's possible.

15 boats moored

  1. I am happy to help with the learning how to use a proper camera anytime.

  2. Ooooh I love lists and spookily I started to write mine yesterday on a draft blog post, imaginatively titled '100 things I want to do', I got as far as 21 then had to go back to work!

    I have just changed the title to Life List as its much better and at some point ill complete it and maybe post it.

    I have seen a lot of people doing the 101 in 1001 but that seems too many things in a short space of time, the life list over however many years is so much better.

  3. Oooh I love these lists and that's definitely a goodun.

    Off the top of my head mine would be - Travel a lot - Get married - Move to the seaside - Find a career I really love that pays me enough to live on - Get a dog.

  4. Oh and also I love reading other peoples lists for ideas and I think everyone always has a bit of a feeling smug if they have done something someone else has done although not meanly just oh thats good ive done something if you know what I mean.

    Own a house / print photos & put them in albums / be a parent / get a proper camera are on my list too. I have been a bridesmaid {after next august I will have been one 7 times!} and spent Christmas in the southern hemisphere {weird & hot!} Im hoping getting to 1000 comments wont be too much longer for me too!

  5. Ha ha in my blogging foray I wrote a post about this for tomorrow! Although mine's not as well written as yours and it's only a 'things to do in my 30th year on earth list', but I do give you a heads up for inspiring me by writing your timely life list post on my 29th birthday-it's fate I tell you!

  6. The bunny dressage is MOST excellent. How is that no one else here has commented on the Bunny Dressage!?!

    I like your list! I like it! If you are desperate to get started on it I have a wedding that you can channel all your bunting/style energy towards. It's mine and it is is scarily soon.

    You play the cello!? I am jealous, I wish I knew how to play a string instrument. Also, your life list has given me some thoughts for blog posts of my own, thanks for the inspiration. And the bunny dressage. BUNNY DRESSAGE!

  7. I know I should comment on the list and the post and.... and.... but.... but..... all I see is cute bunnies racing!!! Are they racing?! What on earth are they doing and why are they so darned cute?!?!

  8. Funny you should mention the NYC marathon... I've been running for the first time ever so I can keep Leah company when she does a 5K in a couple of weeks, and this morning I actually found myself thinking... maybe I should do a marathon. (This from someone who's still at the walk / run 5 - 6 km / day mark, mind you, on a good day).

    Perhaps this is the endorphins speaking but: If you think you might do the NYC marathon in the near-ish future and you'd like someone to join you whom you can outpace, I'm in.

  9. First of all, loving the bunnies!

    Second of all, I have had one of these lists (only mine is things to do before I die - same as a life list I guess but yours is much more optimistically titled! Although I will die eventually so that's not really pessimism!)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing! I might have a wee edit of mine and add some more ticks (I'm also a List ticking freak!)as it's been a while since I last took a look at it to be honest! Think I wrote it about 3-4 years ago when living in Edinburgh.

    Might have to think about sharing mine now too - will see how much I laugh at my own thoughts from 4 years ago first!


  10. Rosie aka Mum5 May 2011 at 18:49

    Well I can help with some of this. Tricia, my wonderful pal, can teach you how to make the perfect meringues. Dad and I are free for any all expenses holiday you would like to give us. Obviously, he wouldn't want to come with us to spend Christmas in the southern hemisphere as there would be no skiing, but I am free.
    As someone with secondary cancer, I should have a list like "climb Everest" "Bungee Jump" "Kiss Neil Finn" but all I have is "Live longer" "Live Longer" "Live Longer".
    PS I am glad someone said they were bunnies, I wasn't totally sure what the one jumping over a fence was!

  11. I love your list Kirsty! And also the bunnies. I too am a list maker - so much so that Tom bought me a lovely Moleskine notebook to keep in my handbag and fill with all my lists.

  12. I actually just want to be me, but for longer. I am happy that I have achieved a lot so far in my life (and things from your list). But I am here if you want help with anything :)
    Julie x

  13. Sorry I'm a bit late here! But just wanted to say that this is truly excellent. I love the idea of having a list to keep you in check and make sure you're not letting time slip by unnoticed.

    Cheers to your life list and to leaping bunnies!

  14. Thanks so much everyone for all your sweet offers of help - I might just take you up on them...

    And can I just say once more, with feeling: