Life List

I saw Toni Morrisson speak recently and she said something that really made me stop and think.  She said, “I didn’t write my first book until I was thirty-nine.” 

So I thought to myself, “maybe I still have time.” 

I’m not saying I want to write a book (well, I do).  But with our 30×30 and 1001 in 101-type lists, I feel like we are trying to tell ourselves more and more that we need to accomplish a lot Right Now. 

Some of the things on my “list” are things I want to accomplish Right Now, like work hard at my job to improve the lives of my clients.  (Also join a book club and learn to quilt.)  Some of them are things I want to accomplish Soon, like find a permanent job and run a marathon.

But things like, “write a book” and “get my Advanced Open Water Diver Certification” are simply on the back burner.  And it was nice to be reminded that I shouldn’t expect to be able to write a book and sell it right now.  I’m not even sure what I would write about.  But growing up, I wanted to be a writer almost as badly as I wanted to be a lawyer, and if I want it badly enough, that dream will still be there in ten or twenty years for me to chase, but for now, I think I’m going to settle for chasing one dream at a time. 

But it’s okay.  Because Toni Morrisson didn’t write her first book until she was thirty-nine.



Filed under Life List

2 responses to “Life List

  1. I like this! You are so right. I think those lists are intended for people who put off their goals and dreams for “some day”. I like the idea that goals can be incremental. Instead of having a goal to do the Iron Man within 1001 days, instead one can break it up into lots of step wise goals to get ready for that eventual Iron Man, for example. But I hear what you are saying. I think it’s okay to save some things for later. I don’t want to peak at 35 or 40. I want to keep surprising myself throughout my life. Maybe I’ll take up a new language sometime in the next decade or two, but right now, like you, I’ve got lots of other goals that I’m pursuing.

  2. Jo

    Love! My list has some time sensitive things on it, and I always try to pull a few things from my overall list into my yearly goals, but I mostly just keep them as a reminder of things I want to do. I’m going to need things to do when I’m retired and lonely, no?

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