LIFELIST (1996)

In 1996 when I wrote this as a classroom writing exercise along with my students these goals were distant and unattainable.  My world consisted of stretching each paycheck to fulfill bills, getting my weary bones to my high school teaching committment daily, mothering three teenagers, and dealing with a consistent stream of car repairs.   I am sure writing this list lifted me up away from my life and breathed some life into my dusty existence.  I include it as the first installment in my story because so much of my story is wrapped around this list.  And furthermore the philosophy behind making such a list is integral to who I am. 
I believe in lifelists.  Over the last 25 years I have overseen the writing of perhaps a thousand of these.  They have been the seeds I sowed in my students' futures.  Perhaps someday I will see the fruits of my investments.



  1. SET FOOT ON ALL 7 CONTINENTS
  2. VISIT THE FOLLOWING CAPITAL CITIES:
  • BEIJING *
  • TOKYO  *
  • SEOUL
  • SYDNEY
  • JOHANNESBURG
  • BELFAST
  • LONDON  *
  • PARIS  *
  • FRANKFURT  *
  • ZURICH  *
  • VIENNA  *
  • BRASILIA
  • MEXICO CITY
  • SANTIAGO
  • WASHINGTON D.C.  *
  • OTTAWA
  • CAIRO  *
  • BOMBAY
  • BUENOS AIRES
  • BUDAPEST  *
  • PRAGUE  *
  • MOSCOW
  • AMSTERDAM  *
      3.  OWN AND RUN MY OWN BUSINESS
      4.  CLIMB THE FOLLOWING MOUNTAINS:
  • TIMPANOGOS  *
  • MT. BALDY  *
  • MT. BORAH
  • MT. SINAI
  • MT. FUJI
      5.  DRIVE THE ALKAN HIGHWAY
      6.  CLIMB A PYRAMID IN EGYPT  *
      7.  WALK THROUGH THE SACRED GROVE  *
      8.  WALK THROUGH THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE
      9.  HIKE:  JOHN MUIR TRAIL; APPALACHIAN TRAIL  *; IN THE ALPS  *
    10.  GO DEEP SEA FISHING
    11.  HIKE AND CAMP IN THE SAWTOOTHS
    12.  RIDE UP IN THE ALPS  *
    13.  TEACH ENGLISH IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY FOR ONE YEAR  *
    14.  BE A MEMBER OF THE PEACE CORPS
    15.  RUN A MARATHON
    16.  SCUBA DIVE IN THE CARIBBEAN
    17.  TAKE A CRUISE TO ALASKA
    18.  RIDE A DONKEY IN OR OUT OF THE GRAND CANYON
    19.  PARACHUTE OUT OF AN AIRPLANE
    20.  RIDE IN A SUBMARINE
    21.  LEARN TO PLAY THE PIANO
    22.  LEARN TO CONVERSE IN GERMAN  *, SPANISH, AND FRENCH  *
    23.  TAKE A LONG BIKE TRIP (AT LEAST 300 MILES)
    24.  TAKE A LOOONNNNGGGGG WALK
    25.  BECOME PROFICIENT AT TENNIS
    26.  LEARN TO PLAY THE GUITAR
    27.  TAKE A TRAIN TO PATAGONIA; MOSCOW; ISTANBUL; TIBET  *(plane)
    28.  BE IN A MOVIE
    29.  HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH PUBLISHED
    30.  BE IN A MAJOR PLAY
    31.  PAINT A PAINTING TO HANG IN MY HOME
    32.  FILL EVERY PAGE OF MY PASSPORT
    33.  RIDE IN A HOT AIR BALLOON  * 
    34.  LEARN TO COOK CUISINE FROM FRANCE  *; ITALY  *; CHINA  *; JAPAN  *; BRAZIL  *; MEXICO  *; INDONESIA; THAILAND
    35.  VISIT STONEHENGE  *
    36.  VISIT THE TAJ MAJAL
    37.  VISIT INDIA
    38.  BE AN AMBASSADOR OFFICIALLY REPRESENTING THE U.S. IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY  *
    39.  VISIT ALL OF AMERICA'S NATIONAL PARKS
    40.  VISIT BANFF  * AND JASPER PARKS IN ALBERTA
    41.  VISIT ALL THE L.D.S. TEMPLES
    42.  TAKE A CARIBBEAN CRUISE
    43.  TEACH ONE YEAR IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL  *
    44.  TAKE A RIVER TRIP DOWN THE GRAND CANYON
    45.  HANG GLIDE
    46.  LEARN LATIN
    47.  CANOE THE BOUNDARY WATERS IN MINNESOTA  *
    48.  ATTEND A MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAME  *
    49.  ATTEND AN OPRAH WINFREY TAPING
    50.  SEE THE MONOLITHS ON EASTER ISLAND
    51.  VISIT ALL 50 STATES
    52.  LEARN TO WATER SKI
    53.  HIKE THE PILGRIM'S WAY THROUGH SPAIN
    54.  VISIT TIBET  *
    55.  SEE MT. EVEREST  so so close...
    56.  VISIT SCOTLAND; IRELAND; WALES
    57.  SEE A SHAKESPEAREAN PLAY IN LONDON'S GLOBE THEATER
    58.  ATTEND THE KENTUCKY DERBY
    59.  DESIGN A HOME AND  OVERSEE CONSTRUCTION
    60.  RETIRE AT 55
    61.  OWN A BASSETT HOUND
    62.  TAKE A TRIP DOWN THE AMAZON
    63.  RIDE A CAMEL  *
    64.  VISIT ANGEL FALLS
    65.  CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY  *
    66.  VIST THE HOLY LAND
    67.  VISIT NIAGARA FALLS
    68.  WRITE A CHILDREN'S BOOK
    69.  OWN A COPYRIGHT
    70.  GROW ARTICHOKES;  GROW GRAPES
    71.  TAKE AN AFRICAN PICTURE SAFARI
    72.  ATTEND THE OLYMPICS
    73.  VISIT VATICAN CITY  *
    74.  NAVIGATE THE RIVERS OF VENICE  *
    75.  VISIT THE SISTINE CHAPEL  *
    76.  VISIT THE BIRTHPLACES OF BACH; BEETHOVEN; MOZART  *; WAGNER; CHOPIN; TSCHAIKOWSKY
    77.  VISIT THE LOUVRE  *; THE HERMITAGE; UFIZZI  *;  ART MUSEUM OF FLORENCE  *; MUSEE D'ORSAY  *; ORANGERIE  *; METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART  *; GUGGENHEIM  *; TATE GALLERY; NATIONAL GALLERY IN LONDON  *
    78.  VISIT ALL THE SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM BUILDINGS  *
    79.  GET A STOCK BROKER'S LICENSE
    80.  EARN A SECOND BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN WORLD HISTORY
    81.  WRITE A NON FICTION BOOK
    82.  BE ON THE 6 O'CLOCK NEWS
    83.  PLAY JEOPARDY ON TV
    84.  HAVE MY OWN WEBSITE  *
    85.  BE A COLUMNIST
    86.  BE A FEATURED SPEAKER AT A B.Y.U. FORUM
    87.  HELP FOUND A UTOPIAN SOCIETY
    88.  READ WILL AND ARIEL DURRANT'S CIVILIZATION SERIES
    89.  COMPILE AND PUBLISH MY OWN BOOK OF ESSAYS
    90.  READ ALL OF THE GREAT BOOKS OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION
    91.  EARN A GRADUATE DEGREE  *
    92.  ATTEND AN OPERA AT THE MET
    93.  ATTEND A CONCERT IN CARNEGIE HALL  *
    94.  SERVE THREE MISSIONS FOR MY CHURCH  *
    95.  VISIT THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA  *
    96.  RIDE A RIVERBOAT ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
    97.  TAKE A EURAIL TRIP THROUGH EUROPE  *
    98.  VISIT A JAPANESE MONASTERY  *
    99.  VISIT NORWAY  *; SWEDEN  *; DENMARK  *; ICELAND  *
  100.  STAND ON THE ACROPOLIS
  101.  GROW MUSHROOMS
  102.  BECOME PROFICIENT IN A DARKROOM
  103.  MEET AND VISIT WITH ROBERT FULGHUM


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