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Make a Mightier Life List
I've always had a weird aversion to "Things to Do Before I Die" lists, I think because of my type B+ personality: part of me thinks an ambitious list of to-do's sounds exhilarating and affirming and would send me rushing to a hot air balloon/Africa/a Spanish class, but part of me is a little stressed out by this idea, and thinks, "Oy, I can barely get through my list of household chores, who needs more to do? Aren't I just going to be disappointed in myself when I don't check everything off? I think I'll go to bed early instead." But happening upon the excellent Mighty Life List of Mighty Girl blogger Maggie Mason the other day made me want to put "Make mightier life list" on my list of things to do.
Mighty Girl has compiled a truly mighty list of 100 things she wants to do before she goes (so much nicer than just calling it a bucket list, or including the word "die" in the title). What is really great about this list is the way it combines the practical—take a drawing class, buy a stock, take care of health issues—with the outrageous—go parasailing, attend a sky lantern festival in Thailand. It seems important (as I study the way she's crafted this list) to include things that can be done immediately—such as a try a new fruit—with a dose of super-charged ambitious—try 1000 new fruits. And here is what makes this list truly mighty, is that over all, the theme seems to be not acquiring Big Life Experiences like collector's items, but rather in infusing a life with a sense of possibility. Mason is not looking to do a bunch of things to impress people, although her adventures scuba-diving and zip-lining are pretty amazing. Rather, she seems to be looking to make life more gracious, to encourage herself to live generously. Get in the habit of large loving gestures, her list reminds us. Make 1,000 lovely things.
Another great thing about her list? It's not like it's the only thing she's doing. She gets distracted by other projects. She writes about lots of other stuff. And now and then she dusts off the list and does something wonderful. This was a revelation: of course! Life is long! The list can sometimes languish! How freeing!
So here is what this Mighty List has taught me about the Life List concept. It's okay if you put things on the list that you're maybe not going to get to. In fact, that's part of the whole idea. The List is not about stressing yourself out because you didn't ride in a hot air balloon before you hit 30. Rather, the List is about encouraging yourself to live a little more mightily. To try a new fruit. Try 1,000 new fruits. Even if you only get to 100, hey, that'll be 100 fruits more than you would have tried otherwise.
More Lists to Make:
Your Magic List
The Bliss List
A Done List
A Bucket List
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