my mighty chookooloonks life list

The astonishingly well-named Mighty Girl.

Some of you may be familiar with Maggie Mason, creative mind behind Mighty Girl, Mighty Goods, and, well,  a few other Mighty sites.  About a year ago, Maggie came up with something she called her "Mighty Life List:  100 Things to Do Before I Go," listing all the things she'd like to accomplish in her life. 

I love this idea.  I mean, I've always had several things in the back of my mind that I've always said I'd like to do within my lifetime, but I've never written it down or codified it in any way like Maggie has.  As it happens, over the last month or so Maggie and I have had the opportunity to spend time with each other on a few occasions in person, and when I brought up the fact that I loved her list, she said immediately, "You should do one."

"Really?" I said sheepishly.  "Because I didn't want to copy..."

"Don't be ridiculous," she countered.  "I want everyone to do it.  Because you know what?  The process of just writing it down, just putting it on paper was ... " she paused, thinking.  Then she looked at me directly:

"It was transformative for me.  It has truly changed my life."

Well, then. 

Since she's given us all permission to transform our lives, the following are 100+ Things I'd Like to Do Before I Go (in no particular order):

1.  Witness the launch of a spacecraft

2.  See the Great Wall of China

3.  See the Grand Canyon

4.  Learn Flamenco

5.  Play a steelpan in Trinidad Panorama

6.  Scuba dive in Bali

7.  Scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef

8.  Visit Iceland

9.  Visit Tokyo

10.  Drive an 18-wheeler

11.  Hand churn ice cream with Alex -- done, July 3, 2011! You can see it here.

12.  Attend a major entertainment awards ceremony (perferably the Oscars, Emmys or Grammys)

13.  Attend the opening ceremonies of the summer Olympics

14.  Obtain literary recognition for something I wrote

15.  Own a little house by the ocean

16.  Photograph 1000 adult faces (started on February 18th here -- 180 down, 820 to go!)

17.  Learn how to make one of those kiddie friendship bracelets -- done, April 24, 2010! You can read about it here.

18.  After #17, teach Alex how to make one of those kiddie friendship bracelets -- done, April 24, 2010!  You can read about it here.

19.  Visit the very top of the Eiffel Tower

20.  Learn how to surf

21.  Learn how to sing 10 national anthems

22.  Learn how to hand make a lei

23.  Climb Mount St. Helen

24.  Learn to say "You are beautiful" in 100 languages. (Started March 2010 here!)

25.  Walk a marathon

26.  Cook a gourmet meal from start to finish

27.  Stomp on grapes to make wine

28.  Visit an ashram

29.  Visit India

30.  Grow my hair long enough that I can French braid it into one long plait

31.  Ride a parade float

32.  Renew my wedding vows to Marcus, with Alex acting as maid of honour

33.  Learn to play the drums

34.  Visit Victoria Falls

35.  Go on safari -- done, July 30, 2011!  You can read about it here.

36.  Visit the Egyptian pyramids

37.  Learn to yodel

38.  Host a dressy, adults-only dinner party

39.  Learn to belly dance

40.  Take a jewelry making class

41.  Get a part in a play

42.  Sing blues in a bar

43.  Visit Machu Picchu

44.  Sew myself a garment that I would wear out in public

45.  Hand make a ceramic vase that I would display in my home

46.  Take a train ride across Europe

47.  Learn to tango

48.  Learn to play the harmonica

49.  Photograph whirling dervishes

50.  Photograph the faces of children from 100 countries

51.  Learn how to properly twirl a baton

52.  Drink a glass of local wine in each of the top 10 winemaking countries of the world.  The countries are (a strikeout indicates that I've already had the glass!): Italy, France, Spain, Australia, Chile, United States, Germany, Argentina, Portugal and South Africa

53.  Milk a cow -- done, July 29, 2011, in Naivasha, Kenya!

54.  Learn how to juggle.

55.  Learn how to make pasta from scratch

56.  Drink 700 blends of tea

57.  Kiss the Blarney stone

58.  Have my hands painted in henna -- done, August 7, 2011!  You can see it here.

59.  Learn how to solve Rubik's Cube -- done, April 23, 2010!  You can read about it here.

60.  Photograph 100 people blowing bubbles at Discovery Green

61.  Visit Nairobi -- done, July 23-30, 2011, thanks to ONE.org You can read all about it here.

62.  Knit myself wristwarmers

63.  Learn how to process black & white film

64.  Grow a flower in a flowerpot from seed to full bloom -- done, May 9, 2010! View the entire process here!

65.  Learn to start a fire without matches or a lighter

66.  Visit Rosslyn chapel

67.  Ride in a hot air balloon -- done, June 25, 2010!  Read about the experience here, and view all the pics here!

68.  Swim with the manatee

69.  Dive/snorkel with a whale shark

70.  Start a scholarship fund for kids who want to be photographers

71.  Visit Mallorca

72.  Have afternoon tea at the Ritz in London

73.  Visit 20 Caribbean islands: Puerto Rico,

74.  Visit the top of Corcovado mountain

75.  Photograph the Maasai - done, August 2, 2011!  You can read about it here.

76.  Build an inukshuk in northern North America

77.  Photograph the aurora borealis

78.  Photograph the Milky Way

79.  Have truffles in Paris

80.  Taste 50 types of rum (started February 26, 2010, read all about them here)

81.  Visit Cuba

82.  Photograph an active volcano

83.  Attend a seder

84.  Attend a Hindu wedding

85.  Have hot chocolate at the top of the Alps

86.  Build a house with Habitat for Humanity Updated 10.11.06 - okay, I didn't really do it. But what I did do, and the reasons why, here.

87.  Take a trapeze lesson

88.  Pass through the Panama canal

89.  Harvest olives in Greece

90.  Visit Tibet

91.  Learn how to digitally process video

92.  Learn how to make tortillas from scratch

93.  Walk the length of Hadrian's Wall

94.  Visit Angel Falls

95.  Ring in the New Year in either New York City, Sydney or Paris

96.  Eat caviar in Red Square

97.  Ride a camel

98.  Go horseback riding on the beach

99.  Dive with manta rays

100.  Visit the Maldives before they disappear forever

Updated 10.4.21:  101.  Visit Easter Island

Updated 10.5.19:  102.  Photograph the Karen people

Updated 10.6.4:  103.  Learn to play the ukulele -- In progress.  You can see my first attempt here.

Updated 10.7.11:  104.  Take a photograph of Amorphophallus titanum ("corpse flower," or literally, "giant misshapen penis flower" -- I couldn't make this up) in full bloom. done, July 23, 2010!  Read about the experience here, here and here

Updated 10.11.04:  105.  Eat squeaky cheese in Wisconsin

Updated 11.03.31:  106.  Attend a nationally-televised sports championship game. done, April 4, 2011!  Read about the experience here.

Updated 11.04.09:  107.  See Bobby McFerrin in concert.

Updated 11.06.23:  108.  Host a creative retreat at the Kariwak Village Holistic Haven & Hotel in Tobago

Updated 11.06.26:  109.  Become an ordained minister. done, June 16, 2011! You can become one too!

Updated 11.08.12:  110.  Go snorkeling in the Galapagos.

 

I think Maggie's right -- we should all have a life list, no matter how long or short.  I mean, even if we don't accomplish everything on our lists, just by attempting some, our lives are bound to get a little more interesting, right?

Obviously, as I attempt to do these, I'll photograph and update my progress here on Chookooloonks.  In the meantime, though, I'd love to see what would appear on your list.

 

(UpdateMy advice on how to create your own life list can be found here.)

 

SongBrick house by the Commodores