Ten years have passed since I wrote down a wish list of things I wanted in my life, written just before changing jobs and moving and getting married. It’s a pretty short list of seven things. I’m happy that I’ve made five of the seven an integral part of my life so far, without referring back to the list more than once or twice. Somehow, I didn’t forget. Here’s what I wrote back then:
Looking ahead from January 13, 2010
“Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, the loss of a job… And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another – that is surely the basic instinct… Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.” – Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson
2010: I can see some big changes ahead of me, and I’ve seen them coming for a while. I have had time to worry, and time to think, and now I think it’s time to think about what is important to me. What I actually want to do. These would be things I want to hold onto and not forget, despite major life changes like moving, and getting married, and changing jobs, all of which have been impending for the past six months.
Primarily, I don’t want to coast along and just let life happen to me without some semblance of a plan. Actually, not a plan, but a wish list. A wish list of things I want to see and do. Things not to lose sight of in the day to day details that are so easy to get lost in. Years ago, I made a list of 5 goals, and it’s become outdated. I achieved the ones I can remember, and I would have to go looking too hard to find the list. So. I have the beginnings of a new list. In no particular order:
A great marriage*
Transition to a new career**
*- which I hear is only as spectacular as the work you put into it…
** since I’m not relocating to Asheville, North Carolina, for the job I have
***unbelievable that running as a particular means of staying in shape is on this list
And now, in 2020
I like to travel but will have to save the travel part of my list for when I’m a little old lady. Africa and Rome are the two places I most want to see.
But other than that, this list is bang on target.
Writing: check. Started off with this blog in 2014 after not writing for many years followed by publication in several print and online magazines without too much effort. Hired to write web content for other sites. Have since stopped writing for magazines and web sites to work on writing fiction. Writing fiction is SO much harder then I assumed it would be. I really should have focused more on literature in school. I focused in on actually writing fiction (instead of just thinking about it) in mid-2018.
Children: check but no plural. One and done.
Great marriage: check. My parents divorced when I was very young so not at all sure of how to make something like marriage work because I have no similar family experience to refer to but so far so good.
Transition to a new career: check. Love where I am.
Running: check. Done it, do it when I can, but some issues with running alone or finding someone who can run as slow as I do to keep me company.
Plus, I quit smoking in 2011. Which is a VERY BIG DEAL.
Time for a new list.
Wonder if I should try for more specifically measure-able or actionable things next time? Whatever works. I have about a week before my self-imposed birthday deadline.