Resolutions, goals, bucket lists…whatever term you use, every year we set up our obligatory to-do list annually. Perhaps we do this in hopes of ridding ourselves of bad habits, trying a fresh start in our lives or attempting to reach the next level in our careers.
As is my custom, I take stock of which items I can check off the previous year's Gotta Go list and revise it for the upcoming year. I updated, some with pictures, the ones I crossed off for 2010. I got to many -- including a new sport (skiing), a new state (Georgia) and a new form of transportation (80-foot boat) and a museum (Richmond’s Levi Coffin House).
Since 2011 feels like it is going to be productive, let’s get busy with this year’s Gotta Go list. Remember, don’t worry about the ugly stuff, giving up chocolate, etc; just concentrate on celebrating life by adding in positive experiences and re-enacting favorites. It’s okay to get outlandish; it’s your life, and if you don’t do it now then when? There is no perfect time to do anything so…GO FOR IT!
1. Visit a new state-I am up to 34 of the 50. I plan on adding three or four new ones this year.
2. Throw a party. It can be small, big, outside or in. The point is to gather some friends, encourage them to bring someone new to meet and have fun. I am personally planning on throwing a fondue party and a cheese and wine pairing party. Others may come up impromptu since I do love parties.
3. Apologize to someone-I know this may sound like an non-fun idea, but hear me out. What if, one day you simply said, face-to-face, via a letter, voice mail or text to someone who you know, deep down, that you wronged and simply said, “I am sorry.” That’s it. Nothing else has to come out of it, but the weight lifted from your heart helps you enjoy your own life so much more.
4. Go fly a kite. Literally. Buy, make or borrow one and let it fly.
5. Passport-okay, I have told you this will be on here until I get it done…this year looks promising.
6. Take up, or restart, an art form. Pottery, singing, painting, writing, origami, photography or whatever creative outlet you have always wanted to try or revisit. Take a class at a local studio, library or school, or simply get an instructive DVD or book. Letting the creative juices flow brightens your world. Maybe you prefer to study an art form at a local museum or art gallery; it counts.
7. Build a sand castle or sculpture; or attend a competition and volunteer to help. The point is to dig into the sand and let your inner child back out.
8. Write, a letter, thank you note, something, anything to someone else. The speed of today’s technology is quickly eliminating written messages. Letting someone know you appreciate a gift or telling them the latest news gives them something besides junk mail in their mailbox which creates smiles.
9. Cook a new food dish. Have fun looking through cookbooks, ask family and friends for recipes and just try out one brand new one. Getting out of our comfort zone keeps us out of the dreaded rut.
10. Attend a festival. Blueberry, maple syrup, kite, hot air balloon, popcorn...there is practically a festival dedicated to almost anything you can imagine, even Spam. So get out, go to one and take pictures.
There we have it; our new Gotta Go list. Remember that combining items is allowed and extra marks are given for efficiency and creativity. I am looking forward to hearing how many you check off and I will update my list online as I get mine crossed off.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer and theater critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC and follow her on Twitter @ejmusgrave1 and Facebook.
Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, West Side Community News, New Palestine Reporter, West Indianapolis Community News, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.