Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Life List

I suppose in the modern times it should be the LifeList all smashed together with capital letters distinguishing the actual words.

Whatever. What Ever. WhatEver.

A friend of mine who is very wise, hip, cool and, well, extraordinary in many ways, told me that the LifeList is quite different from the depressing (bucket list) denoted in lower case letters and in parentheses. In other words, bad dog, bad dog!

(bucket list) = things you do, then you DIE!

LifeList = Things you Do to Live!

Alex, I'll take Option B for 100 years of more life.

So, what is a LifeList, how big is it and what do you do? Well, it's surprisingly simple. The LifeList is as long as you want it to be, you do what you want to do and if you do everything on your list you simply make another one! How cool is that? Everybody gets an A, we all go to college, pass GO and collect $200.

I asked my colleague to review an actual LifeList and I was surprised to see some of the items on it.

Bake a soufflé.
Drive to Amarillo.
Photograph a turtle.

I looked at this and I said, "Geeze, Louise, I've done a lot of these things! What's so special about this list?"

Then Master Po spoke and I, Grasshopper, listened.

"First of all it's my list, not yours. These are things I want do, not things you or anyone else wants to do."

Master continued, "It's not a list to be accomplished before I die, or ever, or never. It's simply a set of achievable goals and objectives written down. One might say, Someday I will bake a soufflé. Or Someday I will drive to Amarillo. Or Someday I will photograph a turtle. But writing these things down, however big or small, puts them within my reach. Things that I can actually do. And when or if I exhaust the list, with the breath remaining in me, I can make a new list. And one after that, and one after that. So you see, Grasshopper, the list never ends, it simply changes as all things change."

I still didn't understand.

I complained, "There is nothing extraordinary on your list! No skydiving, no oil painting, no NASCAR racing. What's the point of having simple, easy stuff on your list?"

Master Po closed his eyes for a few minutes and thought. Finally, when he opened his eyes he said, "Perhaps you should start a list, Grasshopper, with 'learning to listen' as your first objective. This is my LifeList, not yours. What is important to me may not be important to you or Important to the World in a capital sense. It is my list. Personal to me. I, Me, Mine. If flossing my teeth every Wednesday was important enough to me to put on the lists, it would be a valid thing to do. I am mine and you are yours."

I thought about this and began to construct my LifeList.

1. Blog more.
2. Walk.
3. Pet my cat.
4. Learn some Japanese.

OK, I've got a start.

To Master Po I would say "kanishiwa" but he is Chinese, not Japanese. Sheh-sheh, Po.

1 comment:

Pam said...

I can't wait to see this list.