This is the time of the year when people start making bucket lists. You know what they are; I won’t ramble on here about mine.
But what I would like to discuss is a sort of corollary to the bucket list. See: We have the bucket list, which looks long term. We have the to-do list, which covers the immediate.
What we don’t have is that list for the in-betweens in our lives.
I had a conversation with a friend last week, and I brought up this mantra that I’ve been carrying around for a few years now: “In this life, you find things you love and people you love, and you make time for both.”
And she said the most wonderful thing: Well, I suppose I should start making a list of things.
I couldn’t agree more. Because, I suppose, that’s really what I did at about this time last year. It wasn’t a bucket list that I started thinking about; I wasn’t looking to compile things that I hadn’t yet done in my life. Really, I was looking at things that I just wasn’t making enough time for in my day-to-day life, and seeing which of them I’d like to find time for in the coming months.
I didn’t write that list down, sadly, but if I had, my 2011 List of Things I Love would’ve looked like:
See more live music
Join a sports team
Find more opportunities for spontaneity
Read more often
Launch a side project
Do more yoga
Write and code
I’m proud to say that I checked almost all of those off the list this year. I’ve seen 35 concerts this year, from local bands releasing their first album to U2. I joined a kickball team in DC. I made a few spur-of-the-moment decisions. (What? There’s a Groupon for skydiving? Yeah, I’m in!) I’ve read 12 books, and I’ll be through 13 by year’s end. I didn’t quite launch BooksAround, my social literacy experiment, but I can get that done in the next two weeks. I took weekly hot yoga classes. I’m blogging more than ever, and I worked my way through a CSS tutorial. All in all, I made a lot of time for a lot of things that had gotten lost since college.
And yes, being active with that list meant that I also got to cross stuff off the bucket list. (Skydiving? Check. Visiting Israel? Check. Going to a show at Red Rocks? Check.)
Now I’m thinking about next year’s List of Things. I’d like to keep all of the above in play, but I’d also like to add three things:
The first is self-explanatory. I love to travel, and I’d love to make more time for it next year. I don’t have any specific places in mind; I’d just like to get up and go.
The second is something I’ve come around on this year. In 2011, I’ve twice gotten a chance to give speeches to 150+ person rooms, and I’ve learned that it’s a hell of a rush. I used to fear public speaking. Not anymore. I’m never going to be a stand-up comic, so getting 150 people to keel over in laughter during a PowerPoint is about as close as I’m going to get to that sensation. I really love getting up in front of a big room, and I want to find more opportunities to speak in public next year.
And as for the third thing, that’s a business term I’d never even heard until this year. But it means: Create a product and bring it to market. Make stuff and put it out in the world for people to use.
I’ve spent a hell of a long time with Stry — from concept to now, I’m well over 18 months into this company — and what I’ve got to show for it is some blogging from Biloxi, my current fellowship and a few public appearances. What I need to do in 2012 is get this thing out in the world. I need to ship, and ship more often. I love the feeling of satisfaction that comes from getting little items done on a project. I want to experience what it’s like to bring something big to market.
So that’s my 2012 List of Things. What’s yours?