100 Things Worth Doing

18th March 2008

Scenes I hope pop up as my life flashes before my eyes. Numbers 1-25:

1. Hank banging a bowl with a spoon on the kitchen floor
2. Cutting the cake with Bryan
3. Hot dog in Reykjavik at midnight, full sun
4. Cracking open a book with my name on the cover
5. Dancing on the bar at the office party
6. Jumping off the high dive terrified
7. Cheering Kazakhstan at the Olympics
8. Writing the very last check on our credit card debt
9. Seeing van Gogh’s Starry Night
10. Starting the conga line
11. Helicopter over Buenos Aires
12. Skinny dipping at night in the ocean, in the lake, in the hotel pool
13. Dancing atop the boat in a thunderstorm in Costa Rica
14. Speaking at a conference for the first time
15. Swimming in the open water with sharks in Belize
16. Laughing as I pushed the baby out
17. Napping on the balcony in the Philippines, warm air on my skin
18. Joining the chorus of hundreds counting down to the year 2000
19. Smoking a Cuban cigar on the balcony
20. Making cotton candy
21. Waking in a houseboat to see the reflection of water on the ceiling
22. Addressing Valentines
23. Haggling with my girlfriend in the Balinese markets
24. Bryan in a giant corndog costume in the Castro
25. Seeing the balloons drop

Tell me about your flashback moments in the comments.

69 thoughts on “100 Things Worth Doing

  1. Carolyn

    Hiking a remote, unrestored section of the Great Wall of China, at sunrise, with just my husband, our guide, and the little dog that followed us out of the village.

  2. Jacinda

    Blowing out the candles on my very fancy 5th birthday cake, Floating with my future husband in the Las Vegas river pool on the day that we met, seeing myself profiled in BRANDWEEK, Baby Clare looking up at me, smiling and touching my cheek.

  3. bridget

    watching him walk so confidently to kindergarten.
    taking all of them to their first concert.
    Red Rocks with the one I love.
    anytime in the summer, in the boat, on the lake.
    baths with the first one in the tiniest bath tub.

  4. Moose

    1. Listening to Garrison Keillor on NPR as a friend teaches me how to fry zucchini during a Manhattan blizzard.
    2. March of the Ghouls on Halloween in St. John’s cathedral. Men in spider suits rappel down columns while masked creatures on stilts lumber stiffly through the smoke.
    4. Blowing bubbles out the sixth floor window and watching people on Broadway jump to catch them.
    5. Hearing thunder as we race through a Tuscan piazza to the car. We make it just in time and watch the storm as we eat roast chicken and fried polenta.
    6. Sitting under the eastern-most light house in the world.
    7. Coming in dead last at Balderdash but having a marvelous time doing it.
    8. Making a perfect stir-fry after too many glasses of champagne.

  5. Jen

    1. My mother, laughing in the sun on the beach when we were little.
    2. Walking into the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
    3. Screaming in terror and joy with my best friend when I opened my acceptance letter to law school.
    4. Sunset in rural Montana.
    5. The plave taking off on my first ever plane trip – to Japan.
    6. Running a horse on a ridgetop in the Sawtooths.
    7. The first man I ever loved proposing, lakeside, with tears in his eyes.
    8. I’ll think of more later, I’m sure :)

  6. el

    -Listening to Neil Young “Harvest Moon” while I slept with my first baby for the first time.
    -Grabbing Bono while he was crowd surfing at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, 1982. He has freckles on his arms and was wearing the same t-shirt as me.
    -Hugging my boyfriend on my mother’s front porch when he returned from a two month trip. I was 16. Now I’m 42 and we’re still together.
    -Sitting in a art gallery/showroom in Las Vegas with my best girlfriend drinking a Henry Weinhards and chatting up the salesman. Laughing and slowly picking at the label with my fingernail.
    -Staring at my second baby on an operating table being told “he probably isn’t going to make it”. (He did.)

  7. Tina

    1. Greeting my very first class of first graders EVER.

    2. Laughing as I walked down the aisle to my husband to “Someday” by Sugar Ray

    3. Seeing my daughter hit her first home run and watching her be dumbstruck as she ran the bases. THEN hit another one at her next at bat.

    4. Blowing out my candles when I turned 30 and thinking–this isnt so bad. My life is good.

    5. Going to the Hollywood Premier of a John Cusack movie-and having him sit in front of us as I drooled.

    6. Smelling Beezy’s cheek when I brought her home from the hospital and thinking…how could I have thought I didnt want another.

    7. Having my children see me attend college and learn the hard work, heart ache, diligence, and impotance of an education–and a change in career.

    8. Sunset cruise into the Gulf of Mexico out of Naples Bay–and looking in my husbands eyes.

    9. Flying alone–December 31, 1999 into San Franciso at 6pm when everyone is freaking out.

    10. Planting the lilac bush in my yard from my fastpitch team that I had coached for five years–and them telling me that I would always see them grow every time my lilac bloomed. It’s true> I think of those girls often.

  8. dani

    My last visions:
    1. saying goodbye to my dad while he has passed away in bed at home
    2. Getting sprung by Geography teacher when Cameron was passing a love letter to me in year 12 (senior year)
    3. Seeing the two lines appear
    4. Telling my partner about the 2 lines
    5. The first time he told me he loved me
    6. Going through the departures gate at Sydney airport and looking back to see my girlfriends flashing their boobies at me
    7. Arriving in London by myself for a new life
    8. Seeing my sister with her new baby and husband when they thought noone else was looking
    9. Meeting my husband in the seedy irish pub in London as I was escaping from dull boy
    10. Ducking for cover in Amsterdam NYE 1999 as fireworks are let off by people in the street
    11. Deciding that visiting the Habour Bridge in our PJs and hats was a sane thing to do
    12. Walking around a town in rural france talking about how we would live and work there
    13. Dance party for Caths 30th on Ferry on Sydney Harbour on a beautiful day in November
    14. Realising that I was with people who believed in human potential as much as me
    15. Beating someone with obviously more potential and talent than myself in tennis cos I used my brain
    16. Receiving my postgrad diploma
    17. Watching Australia win at the Olympics whilst in London
    18. The swannies winning the grand final by 5 points
    19. Feeling his hand behind my back when ‘friend’ was flirting with him
    20. Hired spa in backyard with bubble bath
    21. Being one of the ‘Mango Tea’ girls in Amsterdam
    22. Week by myself on Greek Island
    23. Helping a boy buy a car in NYC
    24. Opening the curtains to see indeed it was a White Christmas
    25. Knowing he came all way across town by himself to a party when the only one he knew was me – and I opened the door in an afro, gold boob tube and flares

  9. Stella

    1. Learning to dance the salsa on a street corner in Venice from two Dominican girls.
    2. Hearing the Muslim prayer song just before dawn, metres from the summit of Mt Kinabalu.
    3. Dancing in front of the speakers, feeling the bass throb in my sternum.
    4. That first drop, whitewater rafting down the Tully River.
    5. Drinking tea with the long eared women of the Kilian tribes north of Chiang Mai.
    6. The moment I realized I could speak Italian fluently.
    7. Walking across the tarmac at Hobart Airport, seeing my family look right past me, not even recognising me.
    8. Winning the Battle of the Bands at school in Year 8.
    9. My daughter Not Crying. (I imagine this will happen one day).

  10. MomVee

    Hearing Barbara Cook sing “It Was” with Wally Harper in the community college theater; my baby son laughing whenever we said “I want my bucket back”; a spontaneous Saturday trip to The Cloisters with my parents and little brother; running into the ocean on New Year’s Day; any and every beach picnic, but especially the ones with grilled softies.

  11. Mary

    this is a good thing to do . my problem is I can’t really remember what I want to remember. I am soon to be 53 and things are getting dimmer! Save the list after you complete it as you will need it later on!
    Ican’t even tell who is who in the baby pictures I have of my 4 sons!

  12. Trish

    Making eye contact with my boyfriend for the first time, watching my parents drive off after moving me in to college, unpacking boxes with my boyfriend when we moved in together, the fireworks streaming down the castle walls in Edinborough, the first cup of coffee in Amsterdam as the bicyclists whizzed past, the sun setting over the Palace of Versailles as my friends and I danced and sung 80s rock ballads, the moment I knew I had finally found “the one.”

  13. Alex

    The many, many, hugs from everyone in my life. I hope a montage of hugs is what flashes before my eyes.

  14. Jess

    Falling asleep on a beach chair while overlooking the ocean in Capri, seeing my dog sleep upside down in the bed with all four paws in the air and the look on my nephew’s face when I throw him in the air.

  15. Mick

    *The South Dakota Badlands at sunset.
    *Getting my first Super Bowl ring.
    *Pearl Jam @ the Gorge, July 2006.
    *My hand in his.

  16. Em

    Being pushed in the wheelbarrow through the tulips when I was four. Dancing on the sidewalk with my best friend the day we graduated high school. Closing my eyes on the rollercoaster and only hearing his laugh.

  17. zan

    Cradling a glass of red wine in one hand, leading J down the sandy pine tree-lined path to meet the Baltic Sea.
    Watching the sun come up in Trafalgar Square, almost empty but for the man cleaning off pigeon poop with a hose.
    Reunions in LHR, JFK, EWR, MAN, LGA, CVG, RIX.
    Watching my dad laugh until he cried.
    The morning bread run in Plan de la Tour.
    A snowball fight with strangers in a courtyard in Riga.
    Riding with my best friends through cornfields in the moonlight, listening to Patsy Cline with the windows rolled down.

    (These lists are so great, Maggie. I’m still compiling for a full list of my own. Thanks for revving the motors of inspiration.)

  18. Jen

    1. Reading the graffiti at Strawberry Fields
    2. Hearing the words “Marry me”
    3. Playing hookey from work to spend the day like a kid at Six Flags
    4. The first shower after a 19 hr. labor with mango scented bath gel – thank you Mommy-in-law!
    5. Crying the first time I held each baby
    6. Sitting on my back porch and seeing individual snow flakes fall on the steps in perfect detail
    7. Watching the sunrise in Ocean City with my best friend and some Dunkin’ Donuts

  19. steph

    – Introducing myself to my daughter upon the occasion of her birth.

    – Kissing at the stroke of midnight in the moon shadow Big Ben on New Year’s Eve.

    – Watching the greenish rays of the Caribbean sunset as a child.

    This is an interesting exercise. I must compile a complete list.

  20. jonniker

    — Quitting my miserable, horrible job on sheer principle with no prospects and no idea what I’d do next

    — Packing up and moving across the country to the land of the unknown, then back up again to a different unknown land (I think this is worth it. I’ll let you know)

    What I really wanted to comment about, however, was that I, too, once danced on the bar at an office party, except in my case, it was totally NOT worth doing, as I was not sober and 23 and oh God, it makes me cringe just thinking about it. I’d be interested in hearing the circumstances where it WAS worth it, for I’m assuming they are quite different than mine. Heh.

  21. andrea

    -Quietly kayaking across the lagoon with Jay, my new husband on our honeymoon in Martha’s Vineyard.
    -Learning I graduated with honors from law school.
    -Realizing that I had been offered the position for my dream job.
    -Whispering back and forth with Jay during our wedding ceremony.
    -Going on my first hike with Jay to the top of Camel’s Hump in Vermont.
    -Signing the paperwork for our first home in a beautiful law firm conference room.
    -Seeing Delicate Arch up close on a blazing summer day.
    -Touching the Berlin Wall and walking through Checkpoint Charlie.
    -Listening to my close friend and debate coach do a special reading at Jay and my wedding.
    -Laying on my friend’s dirt road in Vermont watching a meteor shower with good friends late into the night.

    There are so many moments I could list. It gives me such a nice, warm, happy feeling. Thank you!

  22. Adina

    • Probably 7 years old, singing ‘Humpty Dumpty’ while swinging in my Grandmother’s back yard, I thought my feet could touch the sky.
    • My father holding the back of my banana seat running behind me saying “keep peddling” as he let go of my first two wheel bike.
    • Singing my heart out in the basement to the Annie vinyl album.
    • My best friend saying goodbye to me as I packed the last of my wordly possessions into the trunk of my 1983 Toyota Tercel to go to college.
    • Sitting on the hillside of the Shenandoah mountains overlooking a breathtaking vineyard and drinking wine.
    • Looking into my daughter’s eyes for the first time and finally understanding what unconditional love really is.
    • My daughter telling me I am beautiful.
    • The feeling of my son playing with my hair while he rests his head on my shoulder when he gets tired.
    • Hearing my son’s belly laugh.

  23. Melissa

    -finally marrying “the boy I should have married”
    -watching him put the unity necklaces on my kids on our wedding day
    -the first glimpse of each of my childrens’ faces
    -the little smirk he gives me when he makes a joke
    -M.’s shining face when she read her first book to me
    -J’s first home run
    -B’s first Valentine

  24. Rochelle

    – Getting married in our backyard.
    – Walking from the train station in Marburg to meet up with my husband there, after having braved my first trip to Europe by myself.
    – My 2-year-old nephew clunking his sippy cup against our mugs, shouting “Cheers!” then throwing his head back and taking a big sip.

  25. DimKnit

    Thank you so much for these! I laughed, too, when I had my second. It just came over me! :)


    -Looking back at my younger sister as I was having my oldest…she said, “This is the most awesome thing I have ever seen.”
    -Laying in the park with B, listening to the Blues Travelers over and over and over as we talked all night.
    -At the pool in Mexico with our favorite couple, drinking beer and talking.
    -Both of my children’s faces as they went in the potty the first time. The surprise, the delight, the pride…
    -The back of their necks as they pressed their heads together, looking at old pictures of B and I.
    -B’s eyes, after he’s just told me something inappropriate. Twinkly and naughty. :)
    -J telling me I’m beautiful. Randomly and spontaneously on the way home.
    -G rubbing his eyes and holding his blanket, bumping into furniture after he woke up. Flyaway hair and soft, warm cheeks. Yum.

  26. Hilda

    “Napping on the balcony in the Philippines, warm air on my skin”

    Uh, not April and May I think. We’re in the high 20s (centigrade) already, and summer’s just beginning.

    I’d love to see Van Gogh’s paintings too.

  27. daay

    * walking the grounds of the Taj Mahal at sunrise
    * everytime I laugh so hard with my kids, I cry
    * realizing that I was being loved for the first time unconditionally. i was blown away
    * making tortillas with my papa
    * meeting my Dad for the first time when I was 21

  28. Meg

    where were you in belize?? i’ve been to caye caulker and loved the snorkeling. first time getting in with nurse sharks all around the boat was a bit of a trip. ;)

  29. Jenn

    Walking back up the aisle to “Son of a Preacher Man” and laughing with my new husband.

    The nurse handing me my first newborn baby boy.

    The nurse handing me my second newborn baby boy.

    U2 playing “Running to Stand Still” at the Colliseum in Oakland during the Achtung Baby tour.

    My son telling me he’s decided to marry me when he grows up.

    Walking into a room full of adults when I was 8 years old for an interview, making them laugh and being offered a contract.

  30. sabrina

    -making the dr’s laugh during my c-section
    -swimming with my sisters and cousins every weekend at the beach
    -playing hide and seek and finding a turtle
    -being chased by bats (not kidding)
    -walking down the aisle toward him
    -my grandmother’s wake

  31. EricaLucci

    1. Giving my sister a full night’s rest and waking up with my 6-week-old nephew in the middle of the night.
    2. Being toasted by my father at my senior art show and knowing that he was really proud of me.
    3. Taking pictures from my seat before walking across the stage to receive the diploma for my MBA. Taking those pictures made it feel real instead of a dream.
    4. Laughing and laughing with my fiance in bed.
    5. Holding my greyhound as he was put to sleep and knowing the pain was over for him.
    6. After buying my house, walking into it for the first time & feeling such a sense of accomplishment.

  32. Emily

    – Seeing my first glimpse of Lake Tahoe as I prepared to live there for a summer.

    – Playing outside as a child with no worries, listening to the crickets and frogs.

    – When at age six my parents surprised me with the dog I would have for the next 13 years.

    – Hanging out with my college friends in the dorms.

    – Having one last chance to talk to my father before he passed.

    – The feeling of love when my dearest family members arrived after my father’s death.

  33. Sara

    * Walking across the stage @ college graduation
    * Seeing The Who play “Baba O’Riley” live
    * Climbing the Eiffel Tower to see the peloton enter Paris
    * Bawling my eyes out as a tape of my grandpa singing in Russian was played at his memorial
    * Falling asleep at the beach and being up in time to watch the sunrise, July 4th, 2004.
    * My mom telling the story of dad’s skiing fall, laughing until she cries EVERY TIME
    * Minutes-before-the-ceremony bridal party tequila shots at my sister’s wedding
    * Banging pots and pans outside the house with my family on New Year’s Eve ’99, in our pajamas

  34. cartoongoddess

    1. The noise of Brooklyn, near Knapp and Ave. U, at night in July when I was seven.

    2. First time teaching.

    3. My daughters first cry and the feel of her head against my cheek.

    4. Making gefilte fish with Grandma.

    5. The heady smell of gardenias in the parking lot of Staples in Burbank on a warm night.

  35. josh

    1. waving goodbye to my best friend in vancouver, bc as I embarked on a 2,000 mile bike ride south to mexico.
    2. watching sharks swim past me while I was in the blue hole in belize
    3. the moment just before i jumped from the ferry into the sf bay and began my swim toward ghiradelli square as part of the escape from alcatraz triathlon
    4. watching the eiffel tower sparkle from atop the steps of trocadero
    5. sitting at marina greens, eating a lucca’s sandwich, gazing out at the bay
    6. playing frisbee with my brother in golden gate park, the world sparkling
    7. eating mushrooms and floating down the colorado river on a canoe with three friends
    8. lying on my back at the end of a pier in belize, a clear sky over head, lightning in the distance.
    9. the malecon in havana at night, smoking cigars and watching people go by
    10. sitting at the southern tip of india and looking out at the convergence of the indian ocean, the bay of bengal and the andaman sea

  36. Andrea Heimer

    Some from my list:

    Attending the opening of my first art show.

    Eating cake on a riverboat in Alaska.

    Being so close to a hummingbird I can feel it vibrating.

    Snapping photos in front of the hot dogs on our wedding day at the gas station where we got married.

    Winning a ribbon at the county fair after entering a spur-of-the-moment potato decorating contest.

    Picking out my childhood cat from a litter of kittens.

  37. Pascha

    In no particular order:

    1. Celebrating my first birthday when I was 13, because I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness.
    2. Meeting my best friend from high school in the band room after I had thought she was weird.
    3. Looking at my boyfriend and knowing he would be my husband.
    4. I always say “make a wish” when the clock reads all the same numbers. At 2:22 PM, my boyfriend telling me to make a wish, me wishing he would propose, and opening my eyes to see the ring in his hands.
    5. Seeing my father for the first time in almost 7 years.
    6. Kayaking in the ocean on our honeymoon, waves crashing into my face, and my husband laughing because I put on goggles to keep the salt water out of my eyes.
    7. Breathing a sigh of relief when I finally had the courage to break up with an old boyfriend after two years together.
    8. My best friend calling me the day of my rehearsal dinner and offering to come over and help me make our centerpieces. Realizing how panicked I am at getting everything done, she tells me to breathe and eat something.
    9. Hearing my best friend was pregnant and feeling an overwhelming happiness for her that I didn’t think was possible.
    10. Seeing two lines.
    11. Having a nurse reaffirm those two lines after a test.
    12. Driving to my husband’s work on a ruse to take him out to lunch and seeing the look on his face when he realized I was pregnant.
    13. Opening the letter of acceptance into the nursing program.
    14. Sitting on the living room floor, staring at the letter, laughing and crying, while my husband opened a bottle of champagne.
    15. Holding my niece for the first time.
    16. Completely and utterly losing it while practicing our vows at the rehearsal dinner. (I’m an emotional person.)
    17. Meeting my daughter, Adeline.
    18. The look on our family and friend’s faces when they met Adeline and finally learning it was a girl.
    19. Sleeping at my grandmother’s house, and her letting me eat candy corn even though I hadn’t finished my dinner.
    20. My grandmother hugging me, telling me how much she loves me, when I needed to hear it the most.
    21. Spending time with my great aunt before she died.
    22. Walking down a rural road in Saxton’s River, VT to check the mail at the post office everyday at 9 AM while listening to Violent Femmes.
    23. A doctor I had never met stopping in the hallway to comfort me when I was crying, afraid my paternal grandmother was going to die. He sat with me for almost 2 hours, even as his pager was going off. She died a few days later, and I dealt with it my remembering him.
    24. Being alone with my grandmother, saying goodbye in one of her few last moments of lucidity.
    25. Making the decision to stay in Arizona, alone, at 18 years old when my dad moved to New Mexico. I stayed for all the wrong reasons, but I am so happy that I did.
    26. Laying in a hammock drinking a beer, Andy in the next hammock over, listening to the ocean at night.
    27. Walking through the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, and breathing in the most incredible, indescribeable smells from all the flowers.
    28. Being a waitress at a private reunion of the ’87 Twins World Series winners. Talking with Bert Blyleven, Kirby Puckett, Jeff Reardon, and Kent Hrbek.
    29. Driving to the hospital at 1:30 AM, looking at my husband’s face, knowing we were spending our last moments together before we became parents.
    30. Finding out later that he was standing 5 feet away from me all night at the bar, watching me with my friends…making eye contact with him later, summoning up the courage to talk to him…going on our first date the next day…making the wish at 2:22 PM.

  38. Liz

    I just brought my day to a screeching halt to think about this…….

    Sitting on my deck before taking a pregnancy test and knowing that it would be the last time in my life I wasn’t a mother.

    Watching my mom take her last breath.

    Getting a high-five from my boss in his car in a parking garage in Milwaukee because we aced a presentation.

    Walking in a pasture in the rain.

    Seeing a field of wheat blowing in the wind – like water.

    Walking down the porch steps and getting into my car to drive myself to college. Knowing I would never be back to stay.

    Being handed my daughter and meaning it when I said to her – “you are just what I wanted.”

    The smell of my son’s neck.

    My children sleeping and my children laughing.

    Crying when I heard an interview with Maurice Sendak and he said he didn’t believe in god – he believed in Shakespeare — realizing I felt the same way.

    Talking with my twin sister and laughing so hard no one else can understand what we’re saying.

    The smell of a corn field on a summer night.

    Watching the US Olympic Hockey team win the gold medal.

    Watching each of my 6 older brothers and sisters leave home.

  39. rachellake

    Playing in the camellia forest of a neighborhood community garden with my little sister as our mom painted nearby.

    Granny teaching me how to make pancakes the summer she stayed with us when I was 8.

    The first time I baked a pie.

    Shell Island at Wrightsville Beach.

    Surviving seven hurricanes – the morning after walks around the neighborhood to survey the damage, pooling frozen food & generators with the neighbors to make dinner, sleeping in hallways or bathtubs, weeks of cold showers and no school.

    That first night away at college as my family drove the 15 hours home and I cried in the bathroom as my roommate slept – a week later I was fine and having the time of my life.

    Laughing with my sister, and our three oldest friends. Remembering the countless sleepovers, special moments, and inside jokes we’ve shared.

    My first day in Athens – stepping off the plane alone. Watching the city rush by as I sat wide-eyed and terrified in the backseat of a taxi. My first authentic Greek meal. Waking up with my roommates around 1am convinced that the rumble of neighborhood garbage trucks was actually an earthquake.

    Buying handmade sandals from a third generation sandal maker in Athens.

    That sense of awe that overtakes me every time I see the Acropolis.

    Holding hands with the boy on the top deck of a ferry boat in the middle of the Mediterranean at sunset.

    Seeing Placido Domingo, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and the Glen Miller Orchestra perform in the theater at the base of the Acropolis.

    Driving through the Italian and French countryside with my mom and a good family friend: Rome – Florence – Cinque Terre – Turin – Mont Blanc – Paris.

    Chills as I walked the halls and gardens of Versailles.

    Every Cornhuskin’ experience at Meredith College.

    Wearing my onyx for the first time.

    Walking across the Chain Bridge in Budapest late at night as the city was all lit up. Gelato at the Gerbaud. Buying paprika and embroidery at the city market. Eating goulash at a traditional restaurant.

    Watching my sister cross the stage as she graduated from high school.

    Jumping off the cliffs on Kamari Beach in Santorini.

    The day I spent by myself on Hydra.

    My first Jump, Little Children concert. Crying as the audience sang along to Mexico. Deciding as the band played Taibreamh that it would be the song I walk down the aisle to at my wedding.

    The weekend I spent with my dad in Nashville touring graduate schools – it was the most time we’d ever spent together.

    Planning a fourth trip to Greece; this time with my best friend, the boy, and his best friend.

  40. Kristen

    Reading TV when I was a child with my Great Aunt who was deaf, while everyone else seemed to ignore her

    Wearing a bikini when I was little and not having a thought about how I looked in it

    Having my boys be sweet, kind and gentle… even though society fights me on that

    Writing “I Love Justin” on my 9th grade Alegbra notebook – and marrying him 14 years later

    The first Christmas that wasn’t about “us” anymore…

    Hearing that some of my special students have gone on to great things

    Sitting on the beach watching my kids play knowing that we are all having the times of our lives – in very different ways

    Holding my kids when they are sick – knowing that just doing that is making them feel better.

    Coming home from a trip

  41. solaana

    Making cheese for palak paneer with my friend Theresa
    Driving through Italy
    Riding the trains in Europe, with or without anyone (as long as I have a seat)
    Listening to someone’s heartbeat when you hug them

    God, so many things. How uplifting to think of them now – this has totally cheered me up. Thank you.

  42. Melanie

    a) The first time my firstborn laughed, this little rich gurgle that sat me right down on my butt and forced me to laugh right along with her.

    b) Walking into my bedroom the afternoon after I first slept with then-boyfriend, now-husband, to discover he’d cleaned the entire (very messy) room and left a long-stemmed rose on my pillow.

    c) Lagging behind the firstborn (then 2) and the husband as we walked up the path out of Crater Lake, laughing hysterically as these two ancient ladies left us in the dust and booked up the almost vertical slope.

    d) One moment on our wedding day, where it felt like, at the end of the ceremony, the eyes of creation were upon us as we sealed our union.

    There’s more, of course, but I won’t hijack the comments section.

  43. Henning

    1. Seeing my parent’s tears of joy the day the Berlin Wall fell
    2. Jaime saying yes after the hardest week of my life
    3. Watching my sister graduate high school
    4. Floating on my back in phosphorescent algae with a lightning storm in the distance under starry skies off the coast of South Carolina
    5. Sunrise over the Swiss Alps

  44. emily

    -riding an elephant through the rainforest in Thailand.

    -Getting drunk in front of the eiffel tower with my best friend, then getting to the top just in time to watch the sun set.

    -first kiss with boyfriend is on new year’s eve, for five whole minutes. We completely forget that we are in a packed and noisy bar.

    -driving through the flint hills of Kansas, my forhead press to the car window, imagining the prehistoric ocean it once was.

    -standing on a florida beach at night with my sister and parents, watching a loggerhead turtle lay her eggs and slowly push back into the water. We named her Alma, after my great-grandmother.

  45. robin

    I love your lists, and I will make my own someday, but right now I just want to tell you how alarming it was to read these two right next to each other:

    15. Swimming in the open water with sharks in Belize
    16. Laughing as I pushed the baby out

    Is it only me who had an image of you pushing the baby out of a boat into open water with sharks?!

  46. h

    -the beautiful smile my mother gave my father as she took her last breath
    -hearing c. nervously sing the song he wrote for me
    -watching tom waits walk on stage

  47. Jan

    Maggie, what an inspired thread! I hope it’ll be okay to post some now and some later. In no particular order:
    – the sound of mockingbirds singing on a spring morning
    – my sister and me, ages 6 and 8, holding hands between our beds as we fell asleep
    – my mom paying a kid to go to the bottom of the community pool and retrieve my two front teeth when they both came out unexpectedly (age 6), so the tooth fairy could come that night
    – the first time my first serious boy friend said, “I love you.”
    – any/all the times my dad and I cracked each other up
    – any/all time times my dad told me he loved me and was proud of me
    – making peanut butter cookies with my mom who didn’t laugh (out loud) when I read from the cookbook that we needed a “spa-TOO-lah”
    – my parents giving me my first car, in college, as a thank-you because I had a scholarship and then a job to pay my own room and board
    – the night when I was 15, on the lake with family and friends, the first time in my life I was aware of how good I had it right that moment
    – having conversations with a chimp in sign language
    – my parents surprising me with a “good” guitar after I learned to play on a cheap one
    – staying close with D. and his family even after our divorce
    – graduating from the police academy (I think I could do a whole list from my 20 years as a police officer)
    – choir practices, and I don’t mean church (think Joseph Wambaugh)
    – hearing the purrs of any/all the cats I’ve had over the years
    – marathon phone conversations with my sister when we lived 1200 miles apart
    – being one of four to perform the entire Handel’s “Messiah” in American Sign Language for a church for the deaf (especially remember the “Hallelujah Chorus”)
    – the excitement of moving to Florida with J.
    – the awestruck feeling I had watching a heron glide up the canal and land on my patio, my first morning in my place in Florida
    – my mom spontaneously stopping in the hallway while I was visiting her, to tell me how proud she was of me
    – realizing how beautiful it was while interpreting “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for a community theater production of “Wizard of Oz” and having to make an effort not to get choked up
    – watching the famous Key West sunsets…from my office window, reminding myself not to take them for granted
    – JP, then 6 (now 25) breaking loose and running into my arms when I arrived at the airport
    – the look of delight on my sister’s face when I showed up at her door on a surprise visit from 200 miles away
    – the smell of the ocean
    – the sound of the ocean… the surf as well as the sound of being underwater
    – the feeling of being rocked on the surface of the ocean
    – the delight I felt when I saw my sister my parents’ car without any of them telling me she was coming with them for a visit from 1200 miles away
    – “Mr. Sandman” by the Chordettes (long family story)
    – the feeling of belonging when you work a long time with good groups of people
    – realizing I had an aptitude for computers and making the decision to move my career in that direction
    – making the decision to move back to my home city to be with my family
    – getting home and realizing how absolutely and completely right that decision was

  48. Sandi

    Knowing that the test would be positive, and giggling as I watched both lines appear

    Any of the fishing trips I took with my grandparents

    After our wedding ceremony, walking out to find a large group of strangers and laughing as they all burst into applause

    The ride to the hospital with Kevin and looking at each other as we realized that this was the last time we went anywhere as a family of two

    Driving the back roads of Italy by moonlight and a map

    Seeing two little heads on the ultrasound screen

    Sitting in my apartment realizing that living by myself was a good thing and that I was going to get over him

    The smell of lemons as we walked along the path outside Corniglia

    The moment after my baby girl was born and I held her and then realizing that I needed to push another baby out

    Thank Maggie for the lists. What a wonderful idea.

  49. Jack

    Starting the conga line

    One of my friends once tried to start the conga line. Unfortunately she had one too many drinks and started the line by falling on her face.

    It wouldn’t be nice to keep her teasing her about this so we’ll just leave this story where it is at. ;)

  50. Becky

    This is wonderful! I think I can come up with #78-100 for my previous list (things to experience before I go) by reading the items in this, your list. You are such a help.

  51. Megan

    Getting to Hawaii by myself and lying in my bunk at the hostel listening to the geckos.

    The German couple who requested a picture with us after my wedding in Jackson Square.

    The sound of the blues on Beale Street.

    The smell of rosemary, lavendar, honeysuckle, and cut grass in my backyard.

    Teaching my 1st yoga class.

    Completing my masters degree.

    Sunsets over the Pacific.

    The Mayan ruins.

    This was such a great idea- it reminded me that “wearing a size 2” and “having everybody like me” are never going to be on this list, and it really gave me a boost and some perspective. Thanks.

  52. Stacy

    * The first kiss between me and my husband when he kissed my shoulders in my car.
    * Skinny dipping in a lake that first weekend of college and ducking underwater to avoid the sweeping lights of a cop car.
    * me rounding the corner of the kitchen to run into my father’s crouching open arms @ 5.
    * plugging my ears and screaming for my mom from bed when I was scared as a child
    * Walking into St. Peters for the first time and being moved to tears
    * my first cappuccino
    * running to the end of a dock in Vienna to make the camera timer for a picture with six of my best girlfriends

  53. Velma

    Sitting on my dad’s lap, age 4, “driving” his VW beetle in slow lazy circles around the parking lot next to our apartment building and being allowed to honk the “ah-OOOGAH” horn; the lukewarm wind on my face as I step outside with a cup of tea on a hillside in Galway overlooking the ocean; the way the lush green bushes and trees shocked my system with color as I walked down a dirt road in Kenya; the first time I went out alone after my daughter was born and the feeling of loneliness and longing for her that made me rush back home.

  54. Meaghan

    1. Looking into O’s eyes for the first time, and feeling that achingly deep connection that is true love.
    2. Waking up in C’s arms the first morning
    3. The feeling of Junie, snuggled in a ball under the covers
    4. Sitting in our house, completely empty, just after we first bought it
    5. The pride I felt when my mother framed one of my high school watercolors and hung it in her bedroom
    6. C scooping me up and carrying me away from our wedding, then tripping on all the tulle
    7. C reading me pride and prejudice, complete with voices, during the miscarriage
    8. eating silver dollar pancakes with my father during our saturday morning tea parties
    9. Being so homesick when my parents came to visit me in Italy that I slept in their bed, and they didn’t even question it
    10. Drinking Italian hot cocoa
    11. That sweet sleepy early morning nursing in bed, and then cuddling all together and falling asleep again
    12. The first time he slept through the night
    13. My mother-in-law politely telling me that the gladiolas were on fire
    14. Losing my little plum tomato baby
    15. O belly-laughing at Junie for the first time.
    16. My first orgasm (obviously)

  55. Emilou

    I don’t have children, and I’ve only come remotely close to getting married once before realising I was making possibly the biggest mistake possible…At 26, single, and almost finished with a degree I’d take any of the following in no real order as a flashback-

    – The first time I performed CPR on a real person and then lived
    -My best friend of 20 years looking at me as she pushed out her first and both of us completely cracking up
    -The complete serenity of holding my grandfather’s hand when he died
    -Telling a nice man who stopped to rescue me from a flat tire, that I actually had just finished changing it myself, and the look on his face, when I was 16
    -Bottle feeding a new calf on my uncle’s farm when I was 10, getting knocked over by the head butts, and then snuggling up with the calf when it was through
    -Kissing a Manta Ray
    -Watching a storm roll in off the Sea from a beach hammock in the Dominican Republic
    -The feeling of the sun on my face and knowing that I had a second chance when I walked out of rehab

  56. torrie

    – The way my daughter leans in with her mouth open when I say “kiss kiss”.
    – My dog rolling around on his back in the grass.
    -The first time my husband told me he loved me.
    – Sitting on a rocking chair, drinking tea, over looking a lake in the Catskills.
    -The calmness I felt as I watched the chaos around me seconds after my daughter was born.
    -Swimming with dolphins in the Florida Keys and the look in their eyes.
    -The moment my dad told me that his dream had come true.
    -Watching my husband receive his medical school diploma.
    -Standing back and taking everyone in, dancing and laughing at our wedding.
    -The way my husband looked that night, standing in the rain

  57. Sara

    I’m only 26, haven’t been married, haven’t had kids, and haven’t ever really been in love. I look forward to all of the great things in front of me, but if my life ended before then…

    -Lying in a hammock for hours out in the chill grey January day by the lake at Lake Austin Spa during the day I spent there as a 21st birthday present.
    -Walking in the woods in Montana at daybreak taking pictures of the mist in the valley below the mountain.
    -Realizing my life was nothing like I had always wanted it to be and how happy I was about that.
    -Waking up late, naked, warmed by the sun, and thinking I was a mermaid for a minute before my brain woke up.
    -Knowing how very loved I am.
    -Playing cards in a breezeway in Monterrey, Mex. with college friends
    -My dad crying through a wedding when I was 18, because he realized it was only a matter of time
    -Long walks in Eastern Europe

  58. TPS

    “Napping on the balcony in the Philippines, warm air on my skin.”
    You totally should! Bring lots of sunblock though. And I’m gonna repeat my durian offer. :)

  59. kim at allconsuming

    – Seeing my sons playing together
    – Seeing our second youngest son spot his older (the eldest) brother in the school playground, call his name and run to him as if it was a whole lot longer than six hours since he’d last seen him
    – Seeing our second oldest son walking out from school singing and dancing to himself
    – The way our youngest son crinkles up his entire face when he smiles
    – My husband’s embrace
    – Tying up the leather face mask my husband wore as part of a bondage outfit at a friend’s 30th
    – Flying back into Sydney after being away and seeing the glistening harbour, Harbour Bridge and Opera House below
    – Seeing each of my four sons for the first time
    – How my husband randomly sends me text messages telling me he loves me
    – My kids’ reactions as I walk through the door from work
    – Getting a new job
    – San Gimingnano, Luca, Assissi – how I felt like I was home
    – that feeling immediately after you’ve given birth … that you are invincible, soaring, woman.
    – how good that first bite of chocolate tastes and feels in your mouth when you’ve been craving it all day.

  60. Shannon

    Number 12 was fabulous.

    My fear of feeding sharks was numbed by the multiple glasses of wine and my enthusiasm over the phospheresence (so butchered the spelling, sorry) created by a naked swimming body. It was lovely.

  61. misstraceynolan

    I too, love your lists. I am surprised by the number of people who talk about watching loved ones take their last breath. Those moments are too painful for me to ever want to relive them when the things you can relive are finite (if that makes sense). I guess I can’t find the joy in that kind of closure yet. My list would include lots of music and laughter in different forms, I think.

  62. Tori

    Turning the corner on our first date and realizing that I was looking at the man that would make me believe in love at first sight.

    Dancing on stage with my father to Little Feat at his wedding

    Watching my little sister sing for the first time

    Chinese fire drill on the best country ride ever

    12/23/2006, the day I freed myself

    Maggie, I am a long time reader and I love, love, LOVE your stories! I am going to make a full list of my own to publish. Congratulations on all that’s good in your life, Hank is a little dreamboat, good work!

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