Tuesday, February 3, 2015

10:22 PM
Per the usual, tonight I emptied my daughter's backpack of books, lunch leftovers, and the odd pieces of completed work that she brings home from school. As I flipped through the pages of her work - what is she learning?, how is she doing? can I recycle all this without feeling guilty? I came across this little gem...

10 Things I Want to Do Before I am 100 Years Old
1. Fly
2. Have ice and snow power
3. ???? (I can't decipher that one, can you?)
4. Get a polar bear pet
5. Be like Ms. Kemp (nice shout out to her 1st grade teacher)
6. Re-create Frozen
7. Go on a rainbow
8. Run a cupcake business
9. Run 20 miles
10. Get 2 dogs

A few things about this sweet list sort of stopped me in my tracks: One was the simple and relatable beauty of the images -  I mean, who hasn't chased a rainbow?; another was the pragmatism - the career, the 2 dogs; the third was the power - both imagined (ice and snow) and real (running 20 miles). This is my daughter - in 36 words, in 10 lines, on one page. This is the life she is envisioning for herself and shaping as she navigates a world that, statistically, she will inhabit for another 94-plus years.

And yet she is by no means alone. We here, all of us - the livers and makers of lives - will also be on this planet, statistically, for almost as many more years. What then, I ask, will we be putting on our lists? Will we allow ourselves to reach high for stars (or rainbows), while honoring our place here on the earth and our contributions to humanity? Will we include other loved ones current or wished for? Will we recognize and celebrate our own strengths? Will we write a secret wish that is only decipherable to ourselves because that is the only audience that matters?

Do we have the courage to make such a list...and if so, what, what would it say?

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