#8 – There are many like it, but this one is mine

I would love to tell you that the idea for The List was my own idea, but alas, it is not to be.

The concept of putting together a list focused on accomplishing things before your next birthday was first brought to my attention by my dear friend, Christine.  She told me about her project when she realized she was marching…slowly crawling…back-peddling fiercely…towards 30.

“Why, Christine, wherever did you come up with such an inspired idea?”
“Oh…it was an idea that Rob had.”

Rob is another friend of ours.  Turns out that as he was bearing down on 30 he started listing things to do before hitting that almost mythical number.  That same weird little number which seems to be a catalyst for going out and slamming through a List and then writing about it.  Maybe it’s our generation’s version of a mid-life crisis.  Could be worse, I suppose.  We could all start being contented with the musical styling of Kenny G and realize that “yep, that’s it…I’m 2.5 kids away from being done with my life’s goals.”

Anyway…

Since Rob’s 30×30 he has gone on to create a 31×31 and has prepped a 32×32.  On each List is the task: “Inspire someone else to start a list.”  Each time he’s upped the ante and is challenging himself to inspire more and more people.  Long of the short is that he inspired Christine, who proceeded to inspire me, etc..etc..you’re a smarty and can see where it goes from here, right?

Thus, I present you with my #8: “Inspire someone else to start a #x# list.”

When I first launched the site and the project, I had a lot of people saying that they were all about doing something like this.  That they were going to set out into the world and challenge who they are, what they think they can do and all that kind of mumbo-jumbo.  I tend to reply to these people with cautious encouragement.  Making a List isn’t as easy as you’d think; sticking with it is even harder…as can be witnessed by my lack of recent updates.

I got a lot of “what kind of stuff would be good on a List?” type questions.  Let’s address that for a moment, shall we?

I have a friend who if asked what his life’s ambitions are would give you pretty wonderful answers.  “Be the best husband I can be.”  “Remain a loyal and caring friend.”  “At some point, become a nurturing father.”  “Get into a bar fight.”  “Grow professionally and creatively.”

…”Get into a bar fight.”  Yep.

For those playing along at home, this is not what we’re going to call a good idea for your List.  Some reasons include:

  1. He’d get his ass kicked.
  2. His wife wouldn’t let him hang out with us anymore if we helped with this.
  3. He tends to mimic the breaking of, and then shanking with, a bottle whenever he talks about this and I don’t have the bail money for that kind of shit.

I’ll refrain from mentioning which friend this is, but you’ll be seeing him make an appearance here as he paticipates in a few of my tasks with me.

What should you put in there?  I honestly don’t know.  To this day I still question some of the things I have on my list.  “Get a tattoo”?  Really?  Well…alright.  Your list is going to be personal and could even be private.  There are no rules about having to share this with the world at large.  I choose to share all this with you because it forces me to actually keep up with it and all the writing serves as an outlet for my own creative needs.  What you’re reading right now might not be the best writing you’ve ever encountered, but a client isn’t paying me to sound like him while I’m writing it and that’s enough of a reason for me. (Editor’s note: If you happen to be a potential client, I’d love to write in your voice for you.  Please pay no attention to the fool currently at the keyboard.  Use the contact form for project rates and a quote.  Cheers.)

It can be something that you don’t want to do, something you’d love to do, something you’ve done in the past and want to do again or something that will fundamentally change who you are.  I make no guarentees about any of this actually happening though.  I’m too new to this nonsense to know if it’s altered who I am as a person yet.  Here’s what I can tell you so far:  it has me looking forward to things again.  Might not seem like much to you, but if you find yourself in a bit of a rut the chance for something new is a warm ray of sunshine on your face…just before a bird craps on you.

There are some great people that I know who have actually allowed me to check off #8 as being done.  The always wonderful Jess has seen fit to blog about her List, while the lovely Nikki has chosen to use Facebook as her medium of sharing.  There is even a rumor that my officemate, Max, has jotted down a List of his own…though, getting through over 40 things is going to take some time.  Sucker.

Now, I’ve been trying to write a conclusion to this post for the better part of a week.  I don’t really know how to wrap it up without sounding like some sort of pop-babble daytime TV talk show.  “Go out and do it!”  “Make a change in your life!”  “Explore something new!”  “Girl power!”…wait.  Really, it all sounds like a bunch of prewashed, sickeningly over-sincere crap.  I have no idea if I’m going to be able to get to everything on my list.  No idea at all.  I’d like to and I’m going to try to, but I just don’t know.  Life intervenes now and then and I don’t mind telling you that as of late finding my motivation has been harder than I’d like.

Should any of that discourage you?  Of course not.  Nobody I know who has put together this kind of List has actually managed to get them all done.  I would hate “not being able to do it” to be the thing that stops you from at least thinking about taking on the challenge.  To hell with that.

There.  That was your bit of cheer-leading for the day.  Rah-rah.

2 Responses to “#8 – There are many like it, but this one is mine”

  1. Jess February 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    You. Hearts. All of them.

  2. Max March 5, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Damn. I really need to work on that list.

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