Last year I wrote a bucket list of 40 items to be completed by my 40th birthday. You might remember it from the post Where Have We Been & Where Are We Going?
A colleague at work had given me a copy of “101 Things To Do Before You Die” by Richard Horne. Not entirely sure what gave him the idea that I might enjoy reading something like that? It must have something to do with me being openly obsessed with lists! I ran my eyes through it quickly, and instantly was able to mark around 20% of the items done. Here, things started getting interesting of course. Because once I get started on a list, I really can’t rest until it’s all done.
Later, I gave it a bit of a thought and decided that I am not going for the entire list. Some of this stuff was morally and fundamentally twisted and I volunteer to skip it…
Instead, I expanded the list to include things that I always had in mind, but figured it will take more than nonchalantly fiddling with each idea to achieve. Some will take time, some require me to summon the courage, some pre-require developing specific skills, and some might never happen because I will eventually grow up, mature, and drop it.
I called it My 40 X 40 List (of course), posted it on the blog, and never looked at it again, until last week. Guess what I realized? It seems that some kind of a wish fairy has been busy blowing magical dust all over my world, to make my forgotten wishes come true!
There was only one crossed item on the list when I wrote it, which is to meet someone with my own name. I only included that one, because it sounded so easy to achieve, I had to start somewhere you know!
The thing is, I am Arab; and of course a bunch of my first cousins and I are all named after the same deceased grandmother.
As I rolled further down the list, I saw that the following items got crossed while I wasn’t even looking:
Improve my photography skills.
Live loan free.
At this rate, I might just be able to meet my deadline! *sparkly eyes*
My my……talk about being careful what you wish for, because it might just come true. It is either that dedicated wish fairy, that has become a driving force in this scenario, or else I am obliged to believe that some serious subconscious powers have been leading me towards fulfilling my silent wishes, unknowingly. After all, I only wrote them because at some level I had fantasized about doing this stuff…..right?
Wait a minutes! Does that mean I need to jump from a plane? or even worse, stand still the next time I am in the same room with a lizard, in order to overcome my biggest fears in life???
Who wrote that list? I must find that woman and make HER jump from a plane!
A more burning question presents itself here. Why would I want to stick with it? To answer, I must ask another question first, why do people write such lists in the first place?! Is it the sense of achievement they strive to accomplish at a certain point of their life, when not much else seems to be going for them, and they need to prove the point of their existence? no judgmental intentions implied here, this is pretty much my own existence that I am holistically evaluating…
Maybe this is a self-imposed test, which I have designed to restate the discipline necessary to remain the result oriented person that I have always bragged about being. Only the results aren’t coming out as pleasing as I would like them to be lately.
Call it whatever, a pursuit of fulfillment, happiness, victory, glory. Throw in a disturbing connection to the declining levels of my self-confidence, my thirties….I can only know for sure once I’ve actually gone through the exercise…
Are you worried too?
One last question: do you think I can change the list?
After careful deliberation, I decided that I can. Only once though. I am taking the following items out:
Realize my childhood dream. I was too busy growing up as a child; I didn’t have time to dream!
Stay in the best suite in a 5 star hotel. Not at all important
Watch all seasons of The Amazing Race. Not measurable! This show might go on for far longer than I have to time to spare, even though it is my favourite game show…, like ever.
Read All the Arabic and English classics that I missed in high school. It was the schools’ fault that I missed them not mine. I am no longer interested in cleaning up the messes of others just to make god knows who, but myself happy.
Write a bestseller. I am moving it to my 50 X 50 list 🙂
I choose to substitute them for the following items:
Get my Master’s Degree. Yet to decide on the Subject
Adopt a humanitarian cause. After all, you get what you give….
Take a gap year to travel. If this one happens, I will call it a wrap.
Plan a house party, in my house. Aha, I’ve never had one.
Live abroad. My ultimate travel dream.
Alrighty then. My 40 X 40 list in now my prerogative and my ordeal. I am putting out there into cyber space (again), and into the universe that has been evidently responsive so far, and hopefully it will come back to me in due (limited) time.
You might have noticed that I have created a page for the list, where you can track my progress and be my public witness. Feel free to share your thoughts on it.
Let me go ask Angel what he thinks too.
Wish me luck