My Someday List

Have you ever started a sentence with the word, “Someday…?” If so, what has come after that word?

“Someday, I want to visit Japan.”

“Someday, I’ll catch up on all my work and be able to relax.”

“Someday, I will write that novel/climb that mountain/run that marathon/get that dream job.”

“Someday, I’ll have enough money to really enjoy my life.”

“Someday, I’ll be able to breathe/relax/slow down/{Insert Your Word of Choice Here}.”

What makes you think that someday will ever come?

If someday doesn’t come …what then?

What would it take to start realizing those dreams right now?

When I was a teenager, I wrote down a list of things I wanted to do in my life.  For a while I kept this list of “Things I Want to Do” updated – I know this with certainty because I recently stumbled upon a printed out version of it with a footnote that reads:  Revised 07/31/99.  Apparently I was pretty serious about this list!

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Reading this list now, almost 20 years after its last revision, is both discouraging and inspiring.  I wrote this list in my early twenties with optimism and confidence.  I am now reviewing it just weeks before I turn 40 and I realize, with a significant amount of sadness, that I haven’t checked off many items.  Worse, many of the items have fallen completely off my radar.  (“Pierce my belly button” and “Sew my dream dress,” are two examples.  The former I no longer have a desire to do after growing humans inside of me, and I have no idea what ever possessed me to dream about sewing).

On the other hand, I’m also motivated to do something about the things on this list that I still care about.

As an almost-middle-aged woman, I’m getting reminders about how short life is almost every day.  My eldest son, The Professor, lost his first tooth and had his first art show this week.  My youngest, Huck Finn, is in his last month of 2-day-a-week preschool … starting in the fall, it’s all school, all the time.  “It goes so fast,” everyone tells me, and I believe them!  They don’t need to keep saying it.  The message has been driven home.  The time I have with my littles is going too fast.  I get it.

But the time I have with me is going too fast, too.  None of us know how much time we have on this planet.  Our lives could be over in a blink of an eye at any moment.  I’ve sadly learned that lesson lately too, losing loved ones and having my own personal health scare.  I don’t have control over how much time I have left … but I do have control over what I do in the time I have left.

There’s a quote that I hear often and almost always makes me roll my eyes:  “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”  It’s cringe-worthy for me because it’s true and the implication of its truth isn’t lost on me.  Some elements of the life I’m living have been intentional, but much of my current life has been born of complacency.  I’ve done things, bought things and gone places because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do.  I made many choices out of sheer exhaustion and overwhelm rather than purpose or intention.  I did too many things out of obligation rather than passion.  That left me with little room to pursue the things on my “Things I Want to Do” list.

There’s a new quote I’ve found that sums up my new perspective quite beautifully:

“I’m fed up with Someday.  Of always looking forward.  Of always wishing and waiting.  Of concerning myself of the life I hope to happen over the one I am already living.  I want to exist in the now.  To be happy and satisfied here, with what I have and nothing else.” – Beau Taplin

I don’t need to do anything on my “Things I Want to Do” list to be content with my life.  I’m pretty darn content with my life as it is.  However, I can choose to enhance my life by doing some of those things.  I can make this day my Someday.

For me, being happy and satisfied here, with what I have and nothing else, requires letting go of things that no longer serve me so I can make room for more of the people, things and dreams that do.  It requires acceptance of things as they are along with a conscious commitment to purposeful living.  There are some things I have to do, and I can’t do everything right now – but I can do some things right now.

I can let go of time-suckers and energy-wasters.  For example, Lancelot and I are getting rid of cable TV this week.  Idle TV viewing has taken up too much of my life, and I would rather learn to play the guitar or take karate than watch someone else buy an island, gosh darn it!  For something that wasn’t even on my list of “Things I Want To Do,” TV has certainly taken up a colossal portion of my life and displaced things I would really rather do.  I don’t want “Avid TV Viewer” to be etched into my tombstone.  More to the point, I don’t have to settle for that kind of complacency.

Living consciously with purpose and intention is empowering.  The dreams of Someday no longer seem so far-fetched and unattainable.  The dreams of Someday are the fuel of today.

It’s time to really do the “Things I Want to Do.”

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Yes, yes and yes. Where do I begin? Love this. Love your list. And I’m especially curious about “build your own home?” 😉

    Like

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