THE LIST, revisited

While the midwest was ravaged by subzero temperatures and literally everyone talking weather every minute of this week, I was being tortured by my own, weaker ghosts…

In bed, wearing every fuzzy sock at the bottom of my drawer (for a total layer of three socks at a time, per foot), I considered my blog, my thirty things, and sighed a lot.  Because, with a new year comes new resolution, no?  And what is the game plan here?  I asked myself, seriously.

Splitting the list into its appropriate categories, this is what I found.

COMPLETED.  CHECK.  WIN.  SUCCESS:

2. write a tragic fairy tale
3. learn to read a newspaper properly
7. discover something and share it with the world
10. go camping
13. build a fire
14. build a wedding cake
15. knit something wearable
16. learn another instrument
18. find photos a home
19. disappear one week at least
22. grow a garden
23. write a love letter and send it
29. teach something I know 

WORK IN PROGRESS.  ALMOST THERE.  PENDING.  MAYBE.

  • 4. read War and Peace
  • 5. speak French fluently
  • 6. know flowers and their meanings
  • 9. learn at least one more language
  • 11. play piano “fluently”
  • 17. read the Good Word in its entirety
  • 21. read thirty favorite books of thirty favorite people
  • 27. learn to sew
  • 30. be in fantastic shape by thirty, at thirty

ATTAINABLE POSSIBILITIES, PERHAPS THIS YEAR.  MAYBE.  MAYBE:

  • 1. ride a hot air balloon
  • 12. catch a fish
  • 26. ballroom dance

and finally,

THE VAGUE.  THE ABSTRACT.  THE SERIOUSLY, WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN?  UNICORNS OF IMPOSSIBILITY:

8. have tea with someone famous or with someone who thinks i’m famous
20. draw a masterpiece (by someone else’s standard) and give it away
24. cross an ocean to visit a friend
25. pick up shark-ery of some sort
28. grant a wish, secretly

I suppose I can be a little grateful, that there are more on the ‘completed’ list than I imagined.  But I’m not getting any younger, and the in-progress list is marked by some serious doozies.  Why I thought learning languages and instruments were easy check-offs — baffle me.  And of the thirty books of thirty favorite people, I have maybe read 7?

Then there are the ambitions that I’m just now realizing I don’t understand.  My one celebrity sighting ever was seeing Dennis Rodman sitting in a shaded corner of a Baker’s Square, when I was ten.  How was I planning to find a celebrity to have tea with?  Or, in contrast, how was I planning on becoming a celebrity myself?  And, I can’t even begin to fathom what I truly meant by “shark-ery.”

Ruminating deeply over all this, I suddenly remembered a lump beside me.

IMG_1760

bed sheets, quiet, morning

IMG_1761

a ginger lift of the sheets

oh, gigi

oh, gigi

I had to laugh.  The good life, isn’t it?  Being safe indoors next to an entitled puppy trying to keep warm? Worrying about a list that I get to time travel to at my leisure?  It was a proper spanking of gratitude.  And, a little determination to do right by all this privilege I’ve been given.

I will make good of this list.  Somehow.  Someday the French will be useful.  The instruments played.  Wishes granted secretly.  Art made and given away.  I will catch a fish and serve it to you.  Bake so many cakes, and feed multitudes.  Clothe you.  Love you.  Love you.

I will love you.

Happy New Year, friend.  Here’s to you and your resolutions, and much good fortune!

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2 thoughts on “THE LIST, revisited

    • PFT! yes, this must have been what i meant at 19 — boy+swim crazy that i was. what do i do now though, now that i’m getting married? could i tell d the sounds from the closet are just a pet?

some sugar

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