One of the ways I’m gearing up for the start of 2013 is to look at, and reflect on, my Life List. That’s my list of life dreams and goals which I’m constantly adding to. Right now I only have 53 items, and according to the lady who introduced me to this idea, you’re supposed to have a hundred things on the list! It’s not easy to say your dreams out loud, and of course some of my goals are too personal to share. But here’s a smattering for you:

  1. Speak at a big national conference like CMA.
  2. Take a vacation with a pool, beaches, seafood, & a room with a few.
  3. Become a music and culture writer/critic. (first paid writer gig, October 3 2012)
  4. Record an album of my original songs. (Elk EP, September 20-24 2012)
  5. Record an album that’s all MY original songs.
  6. Tour with Elk.
  7. Tour by myself with a looping pedal/backing band.
  8. Go on a meditation/yoga retreat.
  9. Be paid to go on tour, including international travel, with my string quartet.
  10. Go to Buenos Aires with Tyler.
  11. Save enough money to retire.
  12. Own (or just afford?) a beautiful home in the city.
  13. Visit Liza and Preetha in London. (coming June/July 2013!)
  14. Ride a train through the Pacific Northwest.
  15. Have a radio show.
  16. Teach and mentor at the college/pre-professional level.
  17. Go to Thailand and other nearby places.
  18. Do musical ambassador work in the middle east.
  19. Sit on the faculty of a summer festival or camp.
  20. Have a regular meditation practice. (started October 2012)
  21. Go on a trip with girlfriends.
  22. Go to an intense summer festival/institute like Aspen, Banff, etc.
  23. Have a baby.
  24. Take a trip to Alaska with my Dad.
  25. Quit my teaching day job. (down to only 2 days in November 2012)
  26. Have a dog.
  27. Take a snowy, hot-cocoa, steakhouse, skiing-and-hiking vacation.
  28. Learn to knit.
  29. Have five signature dishes that I can make really well.
  30. Solo with orchestra.
  31. Write a play and have it performed.
  32. Be in a play.
  33. Go biking in the Pacific Northwest and wine country.
  34. Speak really good Swahili again and live among Tanzanians again.
  35. Go on safari in East Africa.
  36. Live in a Spanish speaking country.
  37. Go to Bang on a Can Festival.
  38. Have a great wardrobe.
  39. Have a cat.
  40. Write a book and have it published.
  41. Go on a book tour to promote my book.
  42. Start my own music festival.
  43. Get in great shape.
  44. Go backpacking on the Appalachian Trail.
  45. Buy a piece of great art to have in my house.
  46. To have my writing published in topics like grief, feminism, etc.
  47. To maintain lifelong friendships with several people and make the travel, financial, and time sacrifices in order to do that.
  48. Learn to play the guitar.

The really fun part is when you look back over your list, six months later, and perhaps discover that you’ve achieved one of your goals! I’ve got a few “dream achieved” notes like this on my list — moments like recording my band’s EP, or getting hired by NewMusicBox.

Do you have a Life List? Dreaming is fun, so if you haven’t started one yet, this could be a perfect time to start.