Writing your life wish list...

Porch love...in Massachusetts.

Every now and again someone very kindly tags me to tell me a little bit about myself. With three days until the big move and a wandering mind as I pack, I thought I would share this post from a while back. To those of you who have read it before...I thank you from the bottom of my heart for still staying tuned to Collage of Life.

As for the photo above...it is where I will be on Sunday (Massachusetts, USA)... I can't wait to sit on that porch, take in that heady salty fresh air, slide into a kayak and reflect...I am nearly there. 


Have you ever tried speed writing a life wish list?  Just start with 'I wish...'.and then quickly write the first things that come to mind? 

This is an exercise from the book, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I purchased the book in 1997, the year I turned 40 and proceeded to write a wish list of 50 things I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime. Once done, I put the list away and simply forgot about it. I seem to recall that this was the idea behind the exercise. 

Many years later, in a different country and in very different circumstances, I came upon the forgotten list. What I discovered was insightful and intriguing. Without realising it, I was slowly getting thru my life list. Every once and a while I have an urge to look at the list again. It usually around the time when something significant in our life has happened or is about to happen. I always wonder if I foresaw it in my list.

I should preface this with describing my lifestyle in 1997. It is very different to my life today. We were living in Connecticut. My life revolved around my family, my children's schools, our country club and my gardening club. My children were 8, 6 and 4 years of age and I had recently stopped working to spend more time with them. We lived in a house we loved (here) and I thought we would spend the rest of our days in it. With that in mind, I created my life list. Here are the first ten items on my list, just as they appeared on the original list...

1. Learn to cook great meals with little headache
2. Make exercise and healthy eating a lifestyle.
3. Learn to speak Spanish.
4. Find a talent that I am very good at, not average!
5. Plant a spectacular garden around our property.
6. Travel back to Australia
7. Travel to London, visit countryside, explore and study English gardens.
8. Go to Africa!
9. See our house completely furnished in a style that we both agree on.
10. Throw a big memorable party.

I often wonder if I am looking into a crystal ball.  Since writing this list, we managed to move back to Australia, we have lived a short distance from London, we did go to Africa, we eventually decorated a house that we both agreed on. Mr. H. hosted a big memorable surprise birthday party on my 40th but....
I still get a headache when I try to cook great meals and I am still trying to make exercise and healthy eating a lifestyle. I am trading Spanish for Vietnamese and as for the gardens, it is a matter of opinion. :)

A few others on my list that I have managed to tick off.

14. Make a significant contribution (volunteer) to the children's school.
17. Expose our children to as much as possible to broaden their horizons.
20. Spend a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC by myself.
21. Take an interior design course.
22. Win a prize for a flower arrangement or landscape design in my garden club.
23. Travel to China.
33. Renovate our house to fit our expectations of what it could be.

There are a number of things on my life list that I no longer have an interest in doing...learning to play golf, take up long distance running and becoming a great tennis player. I think that was the country club talking. :)

Every now and again, I start a new list, with the same format. Write the list quickly, let the top of mind thoughts come first, date it and put it away. Honestly, it has been one of the most productive exercises that I have ever done. I encourage my children to do the same and to make it a life long writing exercise. Today, as I packed away our belongings, I found it again. I still have lots to do, places to go, people to see....and sooner or later I hope to complete #1 and # 2! I still believe that you are never too old to learn. 

How about you, do you have a life wish list? If you want to try this, grab paper and pen, find a quiet spot, focus and write...good luck!

I am sharing in the hopes that a few of you 
might enjoy the exercise as well. :) 

PS...my son asked if Vietnam was on my original list.
Off to find the list!

Happy Writing!

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