September 2009

Enact Your Secret Fantasy

When you think about secret fantasies, you probably imagine a lot of strange things. Fetish clubs, swinger’s ads and jungle safaris all might come to mind. It seems like if the word fantasy isn’t about Tolkien these days, it’s about sex.

And that’s fine and dandy; if your secret fantasy is sexual and safe—and doesn’t harm anyone in the process—that’s cool. But when I think of a secret fantasy, I think of noodles.

Remember in Patch Adams when that elderly woman—the same one who played that darling promiscuous pianist in The Wedding Singer—confesses to Patch that her dream—a dream she’s had every since childhood— is to swim in a giant bowl of noodles? Her eyes light up and she squeezes her hand, it excites her so damn much.

Yeah, I dig that.

Have Your Dream Wedding

A large percentage of women—and many men, I’d wager—might list “Have my dream wedding” in their Living To-Do list. And, as my little girl would say, “Why not?” Getting married, if you choose to do so, is a huge decision and, hopefully, a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Like anything else that’s only going to happen once, you hope to make it memorable.

Many people think that because I chose to get married at the courthouse with my husband, I didn’t have a “dream wedding” in mind. Honestly, I didn’t; sure, some Celtic clothing, bagpipes, and no shoes would have been nice—something very intimate and casual but lovely all the same—and we did talk about it; but when it came down to it, it simply wasn’t that important to me. We already had a baby, I was still finishing school, and we were happy—why spend a few hundred (or thousand—or more, if you’re many people!) dollars on that single day?

Learn to Play an Instrument

When I talk to friends and family members about what’s on their “list,” many say they want to learn an instrument. It’s often the same one, too—the piano and guitar seem to make the top of the list quite frequently. I, too, have an instrument or two on my list—the piano and bagpipes, actually.

Back in middle school, when the chance to learn an instrument was offered, I tried to take it. I wanted to pound the drums, envisioning myself the first female member of AC/DC (yes, today I see how masochistic that would be… I also wanted to shave my head and join the White Sox.). Alas, my family’s budget would not allow for such stuffs.

Build a Better Image Week

As this week is Build a Better Image Week, it’s a perfect time to start setting some personal goals in our Living To-Do Lists that fit this concept. Whether you interpret the week as a time to work on how you see yourself, how you look to potential employees, or simply digging deeper into yourself to find out who you really are, you can use it to your advantage in building your list.

Perhaps you’ve had a rough year with your job or school, and you’re questioning your previous goals in life. That’s reassuringly common, and the question, as Julia Cameron always says, is not, “Why me?” but “What’s next?”

So what’s next for you? Set some goals on paper this week and take the next step. Here are some ideas.

Legally Get High

Though you may have “get high” period on your list, today we’re talking about natural and legal ways to do it! You might think you’re a pretty straight-edge person who has never gotten high in your life. You may think that you’ve raised your kids to be completely wholesome, and that there’s no chance in hell that they’ve ever been high, either.

And you just might be wrong!

You’ve probably already gotten high through one of these natural (and legal) ways. If you haven’t, and you want to say “Yeah, I’ve been high!” try one of these things to get it checked off your Living To-Do List.

Thank Someone in Your Life

Something that I recently added to my own Living To-Do List is to offer gratitude to the people who have really made a difference in my life. And boy is that a lot of people! From teachers to relatives, hospital staff to past employers, it’s sure to be a list that will keep growing throughout my life, even as I check each person off.

Most of us do say thank-you, if nothing else as a simple gesture of good manners. We say it to our waitress, our flight attendant, our spouse… or do we? Try counting the number of times you say a simple “thank you” each day and see what you come up with.

Learn X Before I Die

Learning something new can—and should, I say!—be a high priority on many people’s Living To-Do Lists. But it has to be realistic. I was talking with a friend the other day about her list of 100 in 1,000, and she was lamenting about how she had a goal to do a daily practice—learn something new each day through a specific means—in mind that she had yet to start, and she was upset because the goal was to do it every single day.

Now, my friend is a resilient, smart girl who is involved in activism, school, a job and freelance writing. I know for a fact that she’s very busy, as well as ambitious; such a goal would not only be hard to accomplish but also dampen her spirits.

Hypnotism: Why It Rocks

Have you ever been hypnotized before? I have. I was a total skeptic but, made an appointment with a hypnotist because I was at my wit's end. So many things were going wrong so fast, I was desperate for some kind of "magic" that would reign in my self-destructive behavior and thoughts. I had considered therapy, drugs, psychics, exorcism.... What was really driving me nuts was my persistent and overwhelmingly negative thinking. I found a hypnotist and prayed that she could help to expunge the madness and hopefully uncover the source of this downward spiral which seemed to come out of nowhere.

Who Are You?

Sure, you’re aware that you exist. You eat, right? You pee. You probably work and sleep, and somewhere in the middle you glance in a mirror. You’re pretty sure you’re a solid (partly liquid, you guess) bipedal sentient creature with a conscience, sex drive, and general stuff to do.

But just how self-aware are you? Do you know who you would take with you if you were stranded on a desert island? Do you know what 25 random things about yourself you would share if you were asked to do so on Facebook? If an elephant, a chiropractor, and a fungus walked into a bar, would you know what the punch line should be?

September is International Self-Awareness Month, so what better time to get reacquainted with yourself then now? If one of the things on your Living To-Do List is to really get to know who you are, this is a good time to check that off. But how?