Dreaming Big: Planning Forever

I just read this terrific article in the July issue of Real Simple magazine (which my grandmother aka the smartest, most fabulous woman on earth bought me a subscription for – remind me to post more about her later). It’s can be summed up in one question – What are the top three things on your lifelong to-do list?

I am a to-do list queen – I have shopping lists, travel lists (as in places to go AND things to pack), to do in emergency lists, to do this weekend lists, birthdays to shop for lists, books to read lists, movies to rent queue type lists, and on and on and on ad nauseum. I have this need to organize every detail of the rest of my life, perhaps to make up for my otherwise sloppy excuse for an existence. But outside of “schedule an oil change” and “pick up milk” – what about the big things? And for once, I don’t even mean “buy a house” that’s been on my eternal list for so long, it isn’t even fun anymore.

I’m asking me, but I’m also asking YOU:

What are the top three things on your lifelong to-do list?

I don’t want to hear about your mortgage payments, or the ones you hope to make in the future if you can ever get a house – I’m not talking 2 years down the road, unless you expect to be doing something HUGE in two years – I’m talking about when you die, what are the three most fabulous things you hope to have accomplished. Think big. Surprise me.

Okay, here are my responses, quickly before I start thinking about “to make for dinner“:

1. I want to travel the world. I want to get up some days and decide to go on a 2 day road trip for some wonderful inexplicable reason – and do it! I want to book long, lavish romantic trips to Europe with my husband. I want it all. Travel is one of the most important things on my forever list – I am just as enthusiastic about a small day trip to New Hampshire as I am about a month long hop through India. Even going a few hours out of town for the day with my family gets my heart skipping to a happy tune. My grandmother – you know, the fabulous one I mentioned above – is really good about this and probably passed her wanderlust on down to me – she is constantly embarking on these awesome little adventures – sometimes with her husband, sometimes with a friend, sometimes alone – sometimes we know months in advance, sometimes we find out after she gets back, sometimes – maybe not at all. And I love this about her – envy it about her – and I want it – I want wacky, chaotic family trips, romantic get aways for two, and last minute trips just for me. Maybe even a road trip with my wonderful girlfriends. My bags are already mentally packed, you could say…

2. I want to run a small coffee shop, bakery, book borrowing (drop off, pick up, free for all awesomeness), indie singer / songwriter concert venue kind of place – maybe it would also be a bed and breakfast? My husband and I even mentioned owning our own camp ground once. The problem is I have no interest whatsoever in the money part, and neither does my husband really. I don’t want to be bothered with it – I just want to experience running it, being my own boss and meeting interesting, quirkly new people – so this is for when we are really rich or older, wiser, and better versions of our current terribly lazy selves.

3. I want to support a cause – big time. I’m a bleeding heart – my biggest problem with donating to charities, is I could go broke if I let go, giving to them all. When I hear about a fire on the news, I stay awake all night worrying about all those people – and wondering what I would do and who would help if it were me. When I hear about orphans in China, I want to adopt 30 of them, and make everyone I know do the same. Meanwhile, I still panick every month about whether or not we can afford all of our bills… But someday, when we’ve got it together, I want to pick one or two or three charities and really get involved, and make a difference in the world. Maybe a disaster relief organization, or a search for a cure, or helping poor families everywhere. Somewhere, somehow, I will find my thing, that won’t suck me dry, but will make a difference and will help me sleep at night. I know I’m not ready for this yet, but someday I hope to be so I can put my mark on the world.

So, you, reading this silly blog of mine – What are the top three things on your lifelong to-do list? Leave me comments and / or post your answers on your own blog.

6 thoughts on “Dreaming Big: Planning Forever

  1. McMommy says:

    Oohh! Great post!!

    Ok, I would love to
    1. Spend a summer in Tuscany.
    2. Be the breadwinner in the family.
    3. Donate a large amount of money to the NICU and maternity ward at my local hospital.

    happy pow!!

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  2. Susan says:

    It is so good to ponder these things ever once in awhile.
    1. (like you) Travel the World…there are SO many places I would like to go and experience
    2. Write a book or five or six
    3. Build or buy a house/retreat in a fun place that we could offer to pastors, missionaries, families who have had a rough time, etc….FREE…like a bed and breakfast but non-profit

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  3. megan says:

    Great post! I’ll have to think about it, but the charity idea definitely resonates – my husband and I have always talked about running a shelter & supporting the homeless.

    Love your blog!

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  4. Chelle says:

    I love, love, LOVE Real Simple. Best. Magazine. Ever.
    Your answers are wonderful! Here are mine:
    1-Open a boutique for children. Also have stuff for moms in there. Lotions, stationary, magazine
    2-Go on vacation to somewhere warm, tropical and relaxing. Drinks on the beach. Wonderful books to read. Dancing. Swim w/dolphins.
    3-This one was hard for me to decide on…but I would say to write a book for my daughter. I would really like to do that (and soon!)
    Happy POW!

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  5. Jean says:

    This is a thought provoking one for a post.. but off the top of my head I would like to establish a foundation for a better public library in my area. I would love to totally revamp our current library, make it more kid friendly and more updated. It really is a sad sight to see and probably has not been updated since the 80s.

    I’ll have to ponder more on the other two..that one has always been my big billion dollar win the lottery dream…anything else is just gravy.

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