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WOW! What a Ride! (Or What I Hope to Be Able to Say at the End of This Thing Called Life)

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:12am

So I'm climbing on the back of the camel yesterday (please, don't ask how I got myself in this situation!) and I'm grinning ear to ear. First, because I'm on the back of a camel, and second, because Ride a Camel is #18 on my Life List (bundled with riding an elephant, a mule and a dolphin).

This is from my new Life List, the one I made a couple years ago after I found my old one, the one I had written as a graduate school assignment that included 100 items. A bit excessive, don't you think? I spent a year knocking off 12 of those items (one a month) and wrote a memoir about it from which several excerpts have been published (parts of the Hot Air Balloon chapter and the Ballroom Dancing chapter ). And then I wrote a new list, a list with only 18 items (although most have multiple components, such as Become fluent in Spanish, French and Italian ).

And so Number 6 calls to me now, as summer vacation from school looms just down the road of this week. Visit 100 organic farms. I think I'm up to four so far, unless you include community gardens. But still a bit of a ways to go.

Number 14, Reduce my energy-use footprint, is in full swing. My neighbor and I call each other up now excitedly when the gas, electric and water bills arrive to compare results and celebrate each other's improvements. Sort of pathetic, but fun. However, Number 16, Tour wineries on six continents may put a big dent in those energy savings, so I'll wait on that!

Number 17, Go on an annual solitary retreat for at least 24 hours reminds me that I want to schedule that overnight at the monastery. And guess what? I just found out that the monastery has a new eco-burial offering in the woods on its property. I definitely want to check that out. A little rest, meditation, working on my new manuscript, and doing research for FoodShed Planet at the same time! Multitasking at the monastery. Gotta' love it.

There's more, of course. All things that mean something to me, things I dream about doing and look forward to making realities one day. What about you? What's on your Life List?

What? No list? Take ten minutes and start jotting. You may open up a door to amazing possibilities. Consider the quote I put on the cover of my Life List notebook:

Life is not a journey to the grave
with intentions of arriving safely
in a pretty well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up,
totally worn out
and loudly proclaiming . . .
WOW! What a ride!

Want some inspiration? Check out And a word of advice? When you have the chance in life to ride a camel, take it.
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