100 Things to Do Before I Go

6th March 2008

Here’s the last of it, 75-100:

75. Watch Hank eat his first ice cream cone
76. Write thank you notes to my teachers
77. Own land
78. Throw a block party
79. Remove money as a concern
80. Write a million dollar check to a charity
81. Help decorate Hank’s bike for a neighborhood parade
82. Take a two-week vacation without computers
83. Attend my sister’s nursing school graduation
84. Zip line through a canopy
85. Lemonade on the front porch swing, warm summer night
86. Finish up or give up all the unfinished projects in the house
87. Play imaginary games with the kiddo
88. Buy a stock on my own
89. Make a quilt of Hank’s Christmas annual jammies
90. Supply an excellent dress-up chest
91. Have a big wedding anniversary party
92. Dinner at the French Laundry
93. Finish the baby book
94. Christen a boat
95. Read or attempt every book on the book list I started in high school
96. Remove toxins from our food and environment
97. Do something I think I can’t do (marathon, sky dive, hang glide, movie script)
98. Plant bulbs in a public space
99. Have a family portrait taken
100. See a glacier

All right, everybody. Please do this. I thought it would be fun, but it’s actually been surprising as well. Good questions to ask yourself:

-What would surprise me if I found out I hadn’t done it by the time I died?
-What are the little things I expect to just unroll in front of me?
-What are the big, amazing things that absolutely wouldn’t happen without some heads-down, teeth-clenched work?
-What things have I been concentrating on that don’t really matter?

35 thoughts on “100 Things to Do Before I Go

  1. Matthew

    I assume, at your big wedding anniversary party, there will be crazy straws.

    And #87 is so much fun that I try and participate whenever the opportunity strikes.

  2. Inki

    This has definitely inspired me to make my own list! Many of your items are things I would like to do too, thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Dawn

    Yes, very inspiring. I find myself mentally making the list while driving, in the shower, etc. Now I just need to find the time to sit down and document it. Thank you so much; this is great.

  4. Liz

    Oh – what an awesome list! I had forgotten that when I was about 10 I discovered Richard Haliburton’s “Book of Marvels.” He traveled to the wonders of the world (in the early 1900’s). Highly recommended if you can find a copy! Completely opened up my small town Indiana eyes!

  5. Therese

    OK, you’ve inspired me to add a few more, a good few more, to my list written long before my 2-year-old was born.

    By the way, #75 you’d think would come naturally! I had to show my son what to do.

    #100 don’t just see a glacier – climb one. (Crossed that one off my list in 1997)

  6. Lara Prestipino

    Great list Maggie! Love reading them and now I’m inspired. For #89 (the quilt of Jammies) got to http://www.ticcheandbea.com and buy the baby clothes quilt kit or the memory quilt kit! Perfect for this and exactly what it’s for.
    Thanks for your wonderful site. I visit often.

  7. Kristen

    Please share your book list (#95) with us! I’m always looking for new books to add to my own list.

  8. Kim

    My daughter is 4. I have saved all my favorite pieces of her clothing and am going to make a quilt of them (or more accurately pay someone to make a quilt for me!) to wrap around myself the day she leaves for college!

  9. Kim

    My daughter is 4. I have saved all my favorite pieces of her clothing and am going to make a quilt of them (or more accurately pay someone to make a quilt for me!) to wrap around myself the day she leaves for college!

  10. Heather

    I’m twenty five and was diagnosed with a very rare lung cancer almost a year ago. I’m a non-smoker. I have to say that every time.

    It’s hard for me to make a list. It makes me feel like I’m planning for my death. When I try to think of things I’d like to do before I die, I start to panic at the thought of not getting them done.

    Seeing my daughter graduate high school, traveling outside of the US (not including Mexico and Canada), meeting all of my long lost relatives, being there to walk with my daughter through her very first heartbreak. I don’t want to miss anything. It doesn’t seem fair.

  11. Nai

    #84 was amazing! My husband and I was in Costa Rica a few years a go and decided to do it. It was the most incredible experience.

    Your list is reminding me all the ones I still need to add. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Emily

    For some reason, this really inspired me. I had been feeling antsy about all these things I want to do with my life besides work…I’m too young to be stuck in an office! And then, pow! I saw your list.
    I think it would also be interesting to do this every 10 years or so. It’s easy to be shortsighted if you make this list if you are young.
    Thanks for extending the invitation!

  13. Jan

    Oooh, I love #98, planting bulbs in public places. There are places where I live where people seem to have done just that. Only a couple of days ago, my mom referred to one group of them when she told me the ‘volunteer’ daffodils are blooming on the side of a certain stretch of road.

    My mom also has a quilt made by her mother, of scraps from clothes worn by Mom and her brother. It’s really pretty and she had it professionally mounted on the wall over the bed like a tapestry, then just uses a solid color bedspread. It’s a neat way to display a keepsake quilt.

  14. Annie-The Cheesemonger's Wife

    I actually had the chance to thank one of my most inspirational teachers the other night at a bar. Fr. Paul S, and a ‘companion’, came in for dinner. He has to be at least 80…but looking great. My husband convinced me it would be fine to approach him and offer my thanks. He is part of the reason why I am who I am today. He was gracious and actually remembered me…even down to the pretty hair I had in h.s. His ‘companion’ was not too chatty..but I was glad I had the opportunity to thank him. #76 will make you feel good. I know it worked for me.

  15. Jenn

    Alright, here are a few of mine…

    Write a book.

    Be in the delivery room when one of my children has a child of their own.

    Go to a Broadway play.

    Meet a siting US President.

  16. Tina

    I have been reading this to see what everyone else has been putting on their list. And realizing there are so many wonderful aspirations in the world—so much hope, love, and joy–both in doing for yourself and for others.

    I also want to add that I am a teacher and having my students come and talk to me the following year or later is wonderful. I love getting emails and notes from students. You realize that you had an impact on someone. You helped to form the mold of who they are. Even if they drove you crazy in your class.

    Trust me, it will affect them as much as it does you.

  17. tokiwa

    Thanks for the inspiration. I do annual lists every January except this year I’ve slacked off a bit. Will do it tonight over a cup of tea.

  18. Bronnie

    This is such an awesome idea!! I must do this for myself.
    I love so many of your 100! I’m off to Europe next July, so should make a list to I can accomplish some while I’m there.

  19. Dorothy Stahlnecker

    Since I’ve been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in December..I’ve been thinking about many of the things you suggest. At 61 with facing stage 3..my hopes are glim…live life, enjoy each day and know a road block can hit you any moment..
    Great questions…

    My best,
    Dorothy from grammology
    remember to call your gram

  20. chris

    Hi Maggie – just a quick note to say I really enjoyed reading through your list. Writing the list always throws up some surprises, and when you actually find the time to sit down and come up with some imaginative, personal ideas of your own, all those glib tv shows and magazine articles about extreme sports and far-flung adventures seem to quickly fade into the distance.

    I’ve been running an online project for several years now, collecting people’s lists and stories of things they’ve already done. If you’d like to check it out, the blog is 2dobeforeidie.typepad.com/2doblog
    You’ll find thousands of list ideas submitted from around the world, so – if you fancy chalking up another 100 goals – you should find plenty of inspiration!…

    All the best,


  21. claire

    I started really thinking about this after seeing it on your site. And it stuck in my mind. I kept coming back to it for days and thinking, thinking, thinking. And then it hit me! I need a list but more than that I need some action! This life o’mine is going NOWHERE at the moment. So the direct result of you writing this excellent list is me quitting my stupid, stupid admin job and heading to uni to study nursing at the ripe old age of 27. Thanks Maggie … I really needed this!!! Reading your list and seeing all the fabulous things you would get upto got my bum into gear to start living my life too.

  22. Cathy

    I’m a a high school teacher, and #76 made me happy. I’ve only gotten a few thank you notes, but they are cherished. I pull them out when I am having a crappy day.

    Starting my list tomorrow!

  23. Mike

    Cool post Maggie. My friend Chris passed it on. Thanks for sharing – and particularly great to see made it to 100 while still keeping it grounded – no ‘fly to the moon’ etc. – but still imaginative. Nice mix of ambitious and small. Hope you don’t mind, we’ve posted a link to your list from our blog, at 2dobeforeidie.typepad.com

  24. tara

    i loved reading this list heather. you dont know me, ive never posted here before. totally just started my own. and get that portrait taken-both of them-so important. ill be in SF a couple times this year if you want help.

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