The List

The List started with an assignment in Mr. Maddox's 7th grade homeroom to "write your own obituary"--morbid, I know. But 13-year-old me had a grand time with it. By the time I finally caved and got my driver's license 4 years later, I'd capped the list at 100. The List is not my roadmap for life. There are some items I no longer have the slightest interest in pursuing, several seem frankly impossible, and a few are positively cringe-worthy. But I haven't changed a single one. In the decades since, The List has taught me a lot about dreams; what they're worth, how they change, what it takes to achieve them, how powerful they can be.  


1    |      Hike Long’s Peak (Aug. 2000)

2    |     Pray with a Tibetan monk

3    |      Visit all the temples

4    |      Own a pure-bred Persian cat (March 2013)

5    |      Swim with a Beluga whale

6    |      Fly over the Bermuda triangle

7    |      Perform on a Broadway stage (Oct. 2004)

8    |      Get elected to student council (1995-1999)

9    |      Organize and maintain an orphanage in Ghana

10   |     Dance on pointe

11   |     Skate at Rockafellar Center with the Christmas tree

12   |     Sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

13   |    Learn to play the harp

14   |    Sleep in a snow cave (January 2006)

15   |    See Old Faithful erupt (July 2005)

16   |    Go to the temple in Ghana

17   |    Have black babies

18   |    Ride a tandem bike along a boardwalk

19   |    Kiss behind a waterfall

20   |    Visit the wailing wall

21   |    See an Eastern Fall (Autumn 2002)

22   |    Walk in the cherry blossoms at the capitol

23   |    Grow a bonsai tree

24   |    Sketch in Venice

25   |    See the Declaration of Independence

26   |    Be struck by lightening (a bit too close for comfort Aug. 2004)

27   |    Learn Spanish (Summer 2007)

28   |    Be sung to in a gondola in Italy

29   |    Climb to the top of an Incan temple (Winter 2010)

30   |    Hike the Grand Canyon at sunrise (Fall 2006)

31   |    Float in the Great Salt Lake (June 2005)

32   |    Plant fairy rings of daffodils and tulips in my lawn

33   |    Pick a fresh pineapple

34   |    See an iceberg calve

35   |    Box—for real

36   |    Experience zero gravity

37   |    Wear a red hat to church (October 2007)

38   |    Run a marathon

39   |    Learn to tango

40   |    Hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

41   |    Spend at least 3 consecutive days in the Smithsonian

42   |    Walk the San Antonio River Walk

43   |    Work in the temple (February 2005)

44   |    Kiss on the Oval at midnight with a full moon

45   |    Pet a penguin (December 2008)

46   |    Request extra pages for my passport

47   |    Sleep in a hammock in the rainforest (July 2011)

48   |    Sleep in a glass-bottom hut

49   |    Be able to testify in 10 languages

50   |    See a volcano erupt

51   |    Be arrested

52   |    Watch all the Star Wars movies in order

53   |    Grow and harvest wheat from scratch (Spring/Summer 1997)

54   |    Teach my kids sign language

55   |    Play a real game of marbles on the street in a big city

56   |    Grow herbs on my kitchen windowsill

57   |    Publish a book (January 2009)

58   |    Work as a waitress

59   |    Be there for someone when they die

60   |    Read all the Caldecott, Newbury and Pulitzer prize winning works since 1900

61   |    Eat sushi (Summer 2003 – CTWM)

62   |    Do disaster relief 

63   |    Visit the Vietnam memorial…visit Vietnam

64   |    Heckle the guards at Buckingham Palace

65   |    Eat a fresh pastry on the streets of Paris

66   |    Be someone’s hero

67   |    Grow a fruit tree in my kitchen

68   |    Memorize all the hymns

69   |    Walk along the Giants’ causeway

70   |    Celebrate Canada Day with the fireworks competition in Vancouver

71   |    Teach High School in an inner city

72   |    Invent and market a product (Spring 2016)

73   |    See an original Matisse sketch

74   |    Walk ten miles along the Great Wall of China

75   |    Start a non-profit organization (April 2009)

76   |    Inspire a poem (August 2006)

77   |    Learn to play the cello

78   |    Develop enrichment curriculum for gifted, at-risk middle school students

79   |    Visit all seven continents

80   |    Dance on the beach in a red dress and elbow gloves

81   |    Hatch chicks on the kitchen counter

82   |    Give away at least one Book of Mormon every year for the rest of my life

83   |    Learn to read Hebrew

84   |    Go pearl diving

85   |    Raise a million dollars

86   |    See an authentic African masquerade

87   |    Sail on an old three mast ship – learn the rigging

88   |    Rope a cow

89   |    Present a lifetime achievement award

90   |    Make out at a drive-in movie

91   |    Live a whole day with no regrets

92   |    Christen a boat

93   |    Write my personal history

94   |    Make the news

95   |    Participate in a meaningful protest of social injustice

96   |    Send someone to college who couldn’t go otherwise

97   |    Bake a perfect macaron

98   |    Go hang-gliding

99   |    Assist a surgery

100 |    Experience poverty—and do something about it