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Editing my life list

LifeListI have this list. Call it a bucket list, list of things to do while I’m alive, life goals, “beginning with the end in mind” (a la Franklin Covey), whatever.

It’s really—really, really—long.

And somewhat prioritized. I have a vague sense of which things are more important to me than others, and I use that when making decisions. Like where to spend my money first, and how to allot my time.

Sometimes, I even stick to those decisions. 😉

I’m always telling my kids to focus their energies on the things that make them happy. I blabber on about the importance of doing the things that really matter to you, and not putting them off (taking into account personal responsibilities and fiscal soundness, of course).

So, it’s funny when my son throws it back at me.

Machu Picchu has been on my list since I was ten.

Visiting Machu Picchu has been on my list since I was ten.

Invariably when we discuss foreign languages and how well they’re doing in French class, I lament that I’m still not fluent in my chosen language of study: German. Well, the other day, my son said, “Then you just need to make it a priority and work on it, Mom.”

(Apparently they do listen!)

Which is when I realized that while I really do want to master German, it can’t compete with some of the other things on my list. At least not right now.

And that’s okay.

I’ve decided to devote my time to other things that I care even more about.

Now, someday, when I’m in a position to fulfill my “Live in Germany (or Austria)” list item, learning German will become a higher priority. I’ll have a reason to put some serious effort into it. And then some of the things I’m doing now will fall aside for a while.

And that’s okay too.

I don’t want to languish with an unfilled wish list for the rest of my life, but I can’t do everything right now. It’s not a competition. It shouldn’t stress me out. It’s supposed to be fun.

So, I’m going to savor what I’ve done and am doing, and look forward to those things I’ve yet to accomplish. No stress, no guilt, no feelings of failure.

Or at the very least, I’ll add nurturing that attitude to the top of my list. 😉

Macchu Picchu photo credit: By Martin St-Amant (S23678) (Français : Travail personnel English: Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons