An Unchecked List

A storm’s coming.

No, that wasn’t a metaphysical statement spoken in a hushed tone. A real storm is coming. According to the online radar, it should hit right around the time I will walk out of this building to my car and drive home. Convenient. I do love a good storm though, especially one with plenty of volume.

I didn’t sign in here to talk about the weather so let’s move on. I signed in to talk about a list. The list. The “do before I get old and/or die” list. Some might call it a bucket list although my aversion to anything Jack Nicholson related keeps me from adopting the term. I’ve kept such a list for ten or more years. It’s been revised a handful of times and each version is kept for posterity. Occasionally there’s an item that doesn’t make the new list as the desire to fulfill it has passed and it no longer holds significance for me. A few nights ago I retrieved all the versions from my desk drawer and read through them.

Hold a master’s degree in English or writing
Live near the ocean
Kayak in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior
Publish a novel
Learn to play piano
Visit England, Ireland, Italy, France, Hawaii
Hike at Porcupine Mountains and Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks
Get married
Ride in a hot air balloon
Write a non-fiction faith-themed book
Write a biography

These are some, not all, of the ones still to be fulfilled.

So few lines have a checkmark beside them…
Sail on the ocean
See U2 in concert
Live by myself
Hike at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Teach RCIA at a parish
Travel to Niagra Falls
Crochet a blanket
Write a novel

I decided not to revise the list this time around. The desires that have been left unpursued, not just unfulfilled, sadden me the most. I know that not every wish and endeavor will come to fruition. Certainly I’m learning to live with a bit of failure from day to day and that helps me keep my hope firmly anchored where it belongs. Not to have tried though, not to have pursued… I can’t live with that from day to day. I won’t.

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