August 18, 2012

A list well lived.

Posted in Life Lessons, Parenthood tagged , , , , , , at 8:18 am by openendedcomment

I have always had a journal.  Not always with regularity, but throughout my life I’ve written things down here and there.  My daughter ran across my twelve-year-old self journal last night.  I read though, smiled at the girl I was what seems like lifetimes ago, cringed at the crushes and found one page that made me pause.  The page where I wrote down who and what I would be someday.  Then I went searching through other journals.  I found the same type of entry spanning over thirteen very tumultuous years of my life, the years that formed me.  It struck me that though my goals and dreams changed throughout that time, some of them, the big ones or perhaps more accurately the “true” and soulful ones, remained much the same.  More importantly this exercise of delving into myself brought me to the startling realization that the vast majority of my dreams have actually come true.  It’s that whole “putting it out there” to the universe/energy/God and having it happen (don’t roll your eyes, this has actually worked)…so strange to see in black, blue and the occasional pink ink written in my girlish looping, early twenties driven angled and finally, my own script.  As I share a few with you, please remember that I have always been a voracious reader and went though an English Literature phase for a few years.

Age 12:

Be an actress

Have a mansion

Have two cats, one named “Rhett” one named “Scarlett”

Travel the World

Age 18:

Marry my own Mr. Darcy

Live in my dream home with a rose garden

Be an attorney

Travel the World

Age 21:

Have children, both boys and girls, Boy named “Heath” Girl named “Catherine”

Be a writer

Live in my dream home

Travel the World

Be rich

Age 25:

Get married again, to the right kind of man

Own my own home

Raise Kate to be a wonderful woman

Have more children

Learn to cook French and Italian

Travel the World

Find the right career

Amazing, really.  I am married to a wonderful man who, like Darcy, is rather brooding and can be mistaken for aloof when really he is exceedingly kind and sensitive under the armor he so carefully wears.  I have four beautiful children, three boys, one girl.  She is my Katherine and she is well on her way to being the most breath-taking woman I may ever know.  I am a great cook (if I do say so myself).  I can make home-made pastas, sauces, braciolli, tiramisu,  eclairs, bouef bourguignon and all sorts of things.  I can do some mean Spanish and Creole dishes, too.  I feed them to my family in a lovely home, my dream home, complete with twenty-three rose bushes lining my garden.  I love my job.  I am not an attorney nor am I an actress or writer, but I am good at what I do and an argument could be made that in drafting and presenting sales trainings I sort of do everything I’d planned, just under a different title.  While it is true that I do not have millions in the bank, I am far from poor, and I am wealthy beyond my wildest dreams in every way that matters and the money is no longer about the money but rather what it could do for the people I love and their futures.  I do have two cats, but they are named Marvin and Stanley, not Rhett and Scarlett.  I still need to travel and I will travel.  It is the one thing I have always dreamed of doing that I’ve never found the time or resources for and that obviously needs to change.  I wonder, what did you dream of? What do you dream of now?  You wonderful people, many I have never met but who stop by here from time to time to read my nonsensical drafts, what did you wish for your life before life actually happened? Do most people achieve it? Does it change for everyone?  Honestly, I do want to know.

My new list, my thirty-five year old draft of the life I wish to live:

Raise my children well

Have grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Grow old with my husband by my side

Have a pool (I must have something tangible here and I really do want one)

Retire on a boat the way we planned

Keep growing in our careers and enjoying the ride

Travel the World, together.

A post script:  Finding these inspired me to do something for my children.  I’m going to have them write their dreams, both big and small…to give them something to aim for and something to reflect upon one day. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!



  1. You’ve given me an urge to turn out the loft searching for all my old scribblings.
    At eight, my ambition was to be rich and famous like Enid Blyton.That was inspired by the Famous Five books -I wanted to write adventure stories.
    At 15 I wrote my dreams and aspirations of the time in tiny writing on a corner of a large sheet folded into eighths. The idea was that one folded section would be filled on 21 June each year for the next fifteen years until the page was full on both sides.

  2. How wonderful! Could you imagine how interesting it would be to find such a paper from a grandmother or great, great uncle? That is why I adore journals and blogs and any form of non-structured writings from the heart…free form…it is far more insightful than any video or carefully crafted social media posting.

  3. Great idea! I’m going to have my girls do that as well!

  4. Glad you like it! I’m sure they’ll come up with some completely fabulous life plans. I mean, anyone under ten that appreciates Sinatra has got to have wonderful goals.

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