Today’s newsletter is written by Chairman Mom team member Catherine Connors.
About 10 years, I made a bucket list. I didn’t call it a bucket list, exactly — I called it a “Life / Bucket / Seize-The-Day / I-Wanna-Do-Cool-Sh*t List.” I put it on a page on my blog title Vita Brevis, List Longa, because I am pretentious and also because, yes, life IS short and that’s why you need to make a list if you want to make sure that you fit as much as possible into that life.
I hadn’t thought of that list in a year or two, until someone posed the question on Chairman Mom the other day: “What are some awe-inspiring things that you want to do?” Ah! “I can answer this!” I thought. “Because I have a list.” And so I went back to that list, and did a little inventory on where I am on the Doing Cool Sh*t front.
It turns out that I’m doing okay — I have, in the last 10 years, started a company (two, actually, and one non-profit) and published a book and learned to surf and gone to circus school — even though I’ve barely cracked a quarter of that list, which has 100 goals on it. I was delighted to discover, too, that I was able to scratch off a couple of things that I’ve accomplished since the last time I looked at the list — taking my kids on the same road trip along the Pacific coast that my parents took me on when I was a child and sharing my secret Canadian swimming hole with them, both of which I did this summer. I’ll admit, too, that I crossed out or deleted a few things that I no longer want to do (I only crossed them out if I thought I might reconsider; I deleted if I’m now super sure that, no, I do not want to go spelunking, not even you pay me). I also added a few things that have become new goals since I started the list.
The list is, in other words, a living document in all senses of those words. It’s a document for living — for active, life-affirming, blue sky goal-setting — and it’s a document that lives — one that contracts and expands and changes and adapts to how I am living my life. It reflects my past purpose and my present. It’s a reminder that aspiring to goals can be a source of not just motivation, but joy, and that fulfilling goals is not just a source of joy, but also of motivation — the more you prove to yourself that you can do amazing things, the more you want to do amazing things.
It also reflects this truth: not all goals will be met, and not all dreams will be fulfilled. And that’s okay. That’s life. What matters is having the goals and the dreams, and the willingness to proclaim them to ourselves.
And if you want to proclaim yours, and share them on Chairman Mom (or anywhere); we’d love that. Because that’s the other truth: having a tribe of allies and friends makes it all the more possible to realize our dreams and goals — and to find the ones that we didn’t even know we had.
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- Anyones spouse refused to support them financially after having children?
- Empty Nest — How did you recover?