My Legacy To Do List

Several months ago, I pulled out some college rule notebook paper and my favorite pen at the time and started making a list in some of my best handwriting to date. I wound up with three pages, and put it safely in an old college magazine for safe keeping, until I could get a nice frame for it.

Since then, I have a few more things to add to that list:

Insert Number I Left Off With) Be more careful about future placements of your bucket list.

The Bucket List movie image Jack Nicholson

(This time, I actually am not referencing a movie at all. I actually haven’t ever seen The Bucket List, with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. Stanley Tucci in Easy A would be very displeased with me)

stock photo bucket list

Yes, I created, and wrote down in a very physical manner, my bucket list. (Which, apparently is on the list of words that shouldn’t be used in 2013, but since when have I ever been hip and current on anything?)  A list that possessed in great detail my future goals, dreams, and aspirations for my life. It wasn’t just a list for the sake of being a list, I made it because I’m the type of person who likes to cross things off of lists for that sigh of relief and that wonderful feeling of accomplishment. When I was seeing a therapist (long story), she said that I don’t feel like something is fully finished until I can cross it off a list. I figure seeing a physical list, (since I’m visual) and physically crossing items off works for me because it tells my brain (which sometimes has a hard time catching up) that it is finished, and I can move on.

Some of the things on that list were embarrassing, some funny, some sentimental, but all were honest. And something compelled me tonight to put some of the ones that I can remember out in the open for the whole world to see. (Granted, most of my readers are good friends of mine already, or my boyfriend, so it’s not that big of a risk ;). Nonetheless, I’m sliding out of my comfort zone, and am opening up to you guys. After all, this blog is called “Emotionally Naked”-isn’t it about time I got down to my skivvies of honesty?

So here it is. A small sampling of my bucket list, or as I have renamed it for the purposes of this blog and trying to not use the word that shouldn’t be used in 2013, my legacy to do list. Because I really do want to leave a legacy. I don’t want this list to be something I cram into my retirement years. I want it to be an on going reminder of what I want out of this life. Because I only get one life to live here on Earth, might as well take advantage of it 😉

My Legacy To-Do List (in no particular order)

1) Work at Pixar Studios as a Story Artist

pixar studios

2) Teach English in China

great wall of china

3) Become a college professor later in life

gray haired amanda college professor

(Yup. That is how I would be as a professor)

4) Star as an extra in one of my favorite television shows or a movie starring a favorite actor

TV LOOKOUT

(I better hurry up on this one. Or find a new show like this!)

5) Star in the musical “Mamma Mia!”

6) Write and publish a novel. (Better yet, a trilogy series.) This one is slightly tricky-I lack discipline as a writer. I need to work on that.

novel

7) Finish and submit one of my many screenplay ideas.

screenplay

8) Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York City one year

times square new year's eve

9) Ride in a gondola in Venice, Italy

gondola ride in venice

10) Try to find the Hunchback of Notre Dame and picnic by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

eiffel tower

11) Sit in a DeLorean some day (since I can’t visit the famous clock tower at Universal Studios anymore)

delorean

12) Visit Universal Studios and the famous clock tower, since apparently the clock tower has been saved!

back to the future clock tower

(my face when I first saw that the clock tower was saved…followed by a huge smile)

13) Attend the Oscars some day

meryl streep oscars

14) Present at the Oscars some day

(I might as well meet Meryl Streep also, because let’s be honest-she is always there because she is ALWAYS NOMINATED.)

15) Go on a road trip out West, and take in some classic American beauty

road trip

16) Get married, and walk the recessional to “Don’t Stop Believin” via string quartet (seriously, click on the link)

LFQdontstopbelievinstringquartet

(yes, this is actually the people playing the piece on YouTube, and yes they were at a wedding show in Madison, WI! Seriously…click on the link)

17) Spend part of my honeymoon in a log cabin, complete with fireplace, in the snowy mountains somewhere

log cabin snow

18) Name my future pets Emilio and Estevez

19) Name my future son Ferris

20) Adopt at least one child, ideally two, from other parts of the world

21) Purchase an old, in desperate need of renovation movie theater and transform it to become a functioning film house, live theater, and event space

old movie theater

(The fact that this ties in with 11 and 12 is even better!)

22) Build my future dream house with a large library, dance studio, pool, and most importantly-secret passageways

secret passageway library

23) Spend time living all over the world

24) Retire somewhere near biking and hiking trails

25) Be a tour guide on the Great Movie Ride in Disney World

and finally, for tonight

26) Someday, beat my best friend at checkers.

checkers game

So that is a glimpse into my “bucket list”. What’s on yours?

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I Don’t Understand Valentine’s Day

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(Seriously, all flowers and not a one heart shaped candy box. Queen Latifah and Anne Hathaway are both very displeased)

To clarify, I don’t mean the movie Valentine’s Day, starring Anne Hathaway and twenty other recognizable celebrities and actors. To also be fair, I have seen that movie, and actually enjoyed it.

No, I’m talking about the actual holiday of Valentine’s Day. I know the history of the holiday, and I get that greeting card companies, florists, and chocolatiers get excited about this holiday from a business standpoint, but even after all of that, I still don’t get the holiday.

Let me rephrase-what I don’t get is how so many people wind up disappointed by this holiday, or the lack of what that day brings to them.

For couples, many may have expectations of the following…

Flowers delivered by surprise to place of employment:

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(Hopefully, none of her 30+ students are allergic to flowers…)

Or perhaps, a box of candy:

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(Not a ONE hazelnut cream truffle?! DOES HE NOT KNOW ME AT ALL?!)

Or maybe, a large stuffed teddy bear of some sort:

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(Taylor Swift, surprisingly, not single in this movie, pictured with freaking huge bear. And Jennifer Garner)

Yet others hope for something a little more low key and romantic, like dinner:

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(If you can’t afford dinner, merely make reservations at a nice place and drink the water)

And the big one that some girls hope for:

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(The most cliche day for proposals, after Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. FACT.)

Unfortunately, these expectations of flowers, candy, dinner and jewelry or proposals, can lead one to be very disappointed when their significant other forgets what day it is, gives them daisies instead of roses, orders pizza instead of taking them to the new 5 star bistro downtown, and is content with saying “I love you” verbally instead of on a heart shaped box or a pricey decorated card with Zaphino font. They end the day wistful, and re watching their favorite rom com for the zillionth time with a bottle of wine, wondering if next Valentine’s Day will be as intended: cinematic, romantic, and flawless.

Now for all the single ladies (and guys too out there), Valentine’s Day is viewed as either a) a brutal reminder of how single you are or b) an optimistic opportunity to not end the day alone:

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(I mean, it is VERY POSSIBLE Patrick Dempsey could be your valentine. If he wasn’t married.)

Fellas:

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(You COULD get lucky….with Anne Hathaway…if she wasn’t married)

Of course, in some cases, singles do go out on a date on Valentine’s Day and relationships do grow from that point on, but sometimes, the day ends like the 13th did: still single, and watching their favorite rom coms for the zillionth time with a bottle of wine,  wondering if next Valentine’s Day will be as intended: cinematic, romantic, and flawless.

Obvious stereotyping that was used above aside, my question is why do we put so much pressure and focus and time on this holiday? Is it because everyone else is making it a big deal? Is it because we are told to make it a big deal? Last year was the first year my boyfriend and I celebrated Valentine’s Day in the five years we have known each other. And you know what? It was nice. I will admit it, it was nice….but at the end of the day, and months later, to a year later now, I feel no desire to celebrate this holiday with him. Do I love him? Most definitely! Does he love me? Most definitely! But we show our love in different ways and on different days. It doesn’t have to be the 14th of February.

I think too often we put too much pressure on certain days or events (like Valentine’s Days and proposals) instead of just letting them happen on their own time in their own way. Forcing something can set it up for failure instead of success, and everyone winds up disappointed.

I think too often we spend life in a state of disappointment: disappointed we didn’t make it in to that grad school, disappointed we didn’t get that job offer we were banking on, didn’t get proposed to in time, -all of these things build up foundations of disappointment that we rest upon and further add to.

Why do we do it?

More importantly, why don’t we stop it?

This post is not really about Valentine’s Day, but I think Valentine’s Day is a great example of how we (collectively) let little things that don’t really matter affect our views on the big picture. I admit, I’ve fallen victim to this many times, but letting myself be a victim of chronic disappointment isn’t helping me or helping anyone else.

So, in addition to my ever growing list of “new year” resolutions and continual self improvement, I am going to strive my hardest to grasp the reigns on my runaway disappointment tendencies, and instead, grab my favorite rom com, open a bottle of wine…and smile, realizing that sometimes it is the little things like When Harry Met Sally and white wine that need to be savored and relished.

Here’s to not letting disappointment win and to all my family and friends, my lovely boyfriend, a roof over my head, a unique take on life, my extensive 80s film collection, and an interesting journey of faith with a never changing Companion.