Mighty Life List: How You Doin’?

Hey, did you choose three things to cross off your life list this month? How’s that coming along? Did Jen get her learner’s permit? Did Lis frame the photos for her first show? Has Nicole had her baby? (I suspect so. It’s be a while since that last post.)

As for me, I’ve done three things, but one of them wasn’t part of my campaign with Verizon, which means I get to do one more thing with a benefactor on my side. Sweet. As I mentioned, Verizon has been great about supporting long-term, better-life projects, so the last goal I’m working on for the campaign is:

Get to know San Francisco like the back of my hand.

This could take a while. In fact, how will I know when I’m done? I’ve attended the Black and White Ball, but I’ve never done something untoward in the Transamerica pyramid. I’ve visited Alcatraz, but I’ve never mooned tourists on the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a tough one to check off decisively.

So I did what any good list maker does in this situation. I made a sublist. I decided I’ll “Know San Francisco like the back of my hand” when I:

1. Crown a favorite burrito.
2. Take five tours.
3. Finish 7×7’s Big Eats Top 100.
4. Make my own list of the hundred best things to eat.
5. Choose the fifty best cocktails.
6. Choose my fifty favorite shops.
7. Photograph all the public libraries.
8. See the view from Coit Tower.
9. Write up mini guides to the main neighborhoods.
10. Choose my top ten things to do when you visit.

That’s right. I’ve begun to make lists about making lists. (Take that, Escher!) It’s a lot to tackle, but I’m getting started in these last couple weeks of March.

And what about you? How are your projects coming along? Tell us in comments so we can cheer for you, because you are great.

A huge thanks to Verizon Wireless for sponsoring my Mighty Life List. They’re helping me cross off a few goals, and they also gave me a Palm Pre Plus. I’m using it to take photos and video of my escapades, and to make actual phone calls that don’t disconnect unexpectedly at awkward moments. Thanks, guys.

59 thoughts on “Mighty Life List: How You Doin’?

  1. Lists! My favorite! A girl after my own heart. And you’ve inspired me to create my own life list. So far, I’m having a ball. And I’m still just writing the list! I promise to report back on my progress.


  2. Three chapters done in the head first guide to programming.

    Saw 30+ people from my grade school on Tuesday that I haven’t see in 32 years.

    Need to work on the third one…. which one to pick?


  3. so many of mine are larger-scale type things – knit 10,000 items for charity, read 1,000 books – so i’ve been focusing on focusing down my list a bit. i’ve gotten rid of a few items, and am now working on filling out my last few spots with things i can cross off in a weekend or less.

    once that’s done, i’m going to choose three that i think i can get done by the end of April and take this challenge on!


  4. So far, I’ve:
    Cooked a meal from The French Laundry Cookbook and added to my Make 100 Wonderful Things category. Two down!
    Lastly I’ll Saber Open a Champagne Bottle!


  5. Ok, so:

    1. 2 hours per week of office hours for writing is… on! I now wake up at 7am every morning and go to the gym MWF and write TR before work. Woo!

    2. Learn to cook with a new type of flour: I bought Rice Flour, but have not yet tempted anything. Anyone have suggestions for delicious recipes?!

    3. Care package not yet started, though I have saved an Amazon box for le package.

    So far, so good. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. I was shooting for getting one thing crossed off. And tomorrow: I’ll be working on a house with Habitat! And I’m going to start volunteering regularly at their Homestore. I did contact someone about guitar lessons, but I haven’t committed to that yet. I’m going to add “Visit San Francisco and take the Mighty Tour” to my list.


  7. yes, PLEASE with the city knowledge! it’s one of my goals before we eventually move home, and i’d love to hear your suggestions on restaurants, shops, and the like.


  8. yay! I’m so excited for you Maggie! I can’t wait to hear about all the awesome things you are going to do in San Fran! I’ve only been once but would love to go back and do more exploring. Maybe next time I visit I can go through your Top Ten list.

    I loved your parasailing post! I started reading Amber’s blog and she and I may be crossing off some of the NYC activities on my life list together this summer.

    So as you pointed out in your post, I DID get my learner’s permit – so 1 down!

    #2 on my list was make to significant progress toward opening my own online shop – that is an ongoing thing. I’ve purchased more supplies, come up with a merchandise list, I’ve chosen big cartel over etsy, worked on the formula for my mark up, consulted with my business savvy sister, tested out on potential products, and started the brainstorming process on names. My hope is to get everything set up so I can launch in my down time once the bar exam is over.

    #3 is get engaged! This one is not totally up to me (obviously) BUT over spring break my boyfriend and I went ring shopping and I think he purchased the ring last week!! eek!

    Exciting things are happening!


  9. 1. Make my first quilt – I’m almost done!

    2. See the spring wildflowers in the California desert – we’re going next weekend!

    3. Research and discover 10 “ultimate” recipes – I think I’ve found the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe EVER.


  10. Maggie, I love this! I’m moving to Cincinnati in August and I’m nervous about the transition. I’m co-opting and revising your list of ten things to do in order to declare I “know the city.” Should make the transition more exciting. Except I’m expanding it to 30 things. Because, you know, I just signed a contract for a tenure-track job at Xavier University! (Which was #1 on my list of three things to do in March. Next week: cook 3 new meals from Food & Wine, and make a budget for 2010.)


  11. My first agenda item is to finish my list and every time I read these posts I add more to my list! Such an amazing project! Geez Maggie you are so lucky to find sponsors for all this!


  12. #1 on the things to do should be the Exploratorium. Far and away the best place to go in SF. Make an appointment for the tactile dome if you aren’t crazy claustrophobic!


  13. Just started my list, so I’ll get back to you on that. Revising, crossing off things like “clean out garage/chalkboard/junk drawer”. Realized I was on the wrong track. Anyway, San Francisco was my dad’s favorite place. We went there as often as we could, and I still don’t get there often enough. He died in ’97. At the Marina Green (where people fly kites looking at the Golden Gate), my brothers and sisters and I bought him a bench. If you’re looking at the bridge, there’s a utility building to the right and his bench is two left of that. On it is a plaque – Tom Egan, 1927-1997 “Love me and the world is mine”. I decided one of my life list goals would be to make a large framed collage of people I know who visit his bench and take a picture of themselves sitting on it.
    Thanks for the inspiration. Sorry – this is the longest comment I’ve ever written – and if you find yourself at the Marina Green…


  14. Right now I am working on getting a vegetable garden planted, first the yard needs to be cleared out though. We bought a foreclosed home that was vacant for quite a while. It is a weed nightmare, and the sprinklers in the backyard are busted…

    I did knit matching hats for my girls last weekend!

    Most of my time is spent taking care of my babies and changing lots of diapers.

    Also, for a great cocktail go to the bar in the Intercontinental Hotel on Howard @ 5th. My hubs tends the bar there and he is a rockstar! He could make you a custom Mighty Cocktail


  15. Yes!

    My goals were:
    1. Make macarons from scratch
    2. Give my partner a gift each day for the 25 days leading up to his 25th birthday (inspired by your giving your husband 40 gifts for his 40th)
    3. Go to New York City

    I did #1 (http://wp.me/pKVWN-cB), #2 is in progress and going very well, and #3 happens next week!

    Thanks for the motivation Maggie! I can’t wait to see what you come up with on your San Francisco list, I’m always looking for new things to do there.


  16. Maggie, can you believe that this list you started when you weren’t feeling good about letting you life slip by unnoticed and unlived, has been inspiring and life changing – LITERALLY – for so many? People are flying, swimming, riding, learning, teaching, making, cooking, driving – you have CHANGED LIVES – just by trying to change yours – I am awed by your accidental greatness. And I would like to add myself to the list so I am waking my children up in the middle of the night Monday, and taking them to see the elephants parade through midtown manhattan on their way to Madison Square Garden for the circus. Care to join us? Much love for shaking me out of the coma I was living in, Maggie Mason…


  17. So far this month I:
    -worked on the dissertation some more (ugh)(#2)
    -Learned to tie flies (#27)
    -Got rid of half my clothes all at once! (#17)
    -made some lovely coconut fudge (#5)
    -kept up on the diary (#23)
    -got a check up (#4)

    And I’m going to:
    -learn to poach an egg (#1)
    -finish the first novel I’ve read in a while (#3)

    My 30×30 Life list is at the bottom of my site, which is the daily diary I’m keeping for #23.


  18. Must admit I felt a little bit of anxiety at the thought of making lists within lists. Have to remind myself that it is not about ticking off items it is about doing the things I want to do. And it is fun! And who can argue with finding your favourite shops and eats! I think I’ve kept my list a bit too short and travel centered so I will add to my list.

    Last weekend I ran my first 5 km race. It was great even though it was called the Monster (well Baby Monster in my case). I want to do a few more and then start practising for 10 km!

    You’ve also reminded me of something I have been wanting to do. I want a list ready for fun things to do with kids in Pretoria and surrounding areas. Next time I’m asked I’ll have something awesome!


  19. I’ve always loved lists…now kickin’-it jazzercise-style 5x/week (still waiting for some miraculous results however). And, ready to finally make the go/no-go decison for http://www.ecosizeme.com.
    Slow and steady wins the race, right? Thanks for encouraging all of us.


  20. I am in progress, since a lot of my things are large, and I have been sick with bronchitis for the last two and a half weeks. Woohoo!

    I am 55 things into “Get rid of 100 things.”


    I haven’t had a cigarette in three weeks (will not consider this officially complete until it’s been at least a year, though).

    I am studying for my Statistics midterm (and got a 95 on the last one) for “Pass Statistics.”

    I have located another person to take portraits of for “Take 100 Portraits.”

    And we got HEALTH INSURANCE!!! This contributes to (but does not complete) “Get Health Stuff Back in Order.” Next up, dentist appointments!


  21. I don’t think I’m doing to well on the three things I said I’d accomplish this month. In fact I’m not even sure I remember what I said I’d do (I suck). But I did finally sit down and actually make that life list. That’s something right?


  22. I’m marking off one this month – make marshmallows – in which I’ll actually be making homemade peeps! (If all turns out okay, that is.) Yet to be posted. And No. 2 will be marked off in April – see the cherry trees bloom in Washington! I’m geekily excited about doing something so … American, I guess you’d call it?


  23. I got my list completed and up on my blog at the first of the year. (So exciting!) This month I am tackling the bathroom remodel, which ought to count as three things, but unfortunately, does not. : )

    Thank you Maggie, for the inspiration!


  24. Your SF list is a great way to get to know a city–I just moved to Austin, TX a few weeks ago, and I think I’m going to create a variation of your list to get to know my new city better.


  25. Just this past week, I finally bought a Digital SLR Camera and I haven’t put it down since. Fifth thing crossed of my list. Still need to do two more for the month.

    Thanks Maggie, for inspiring me on a daily basis.


  26. I’m pretty excited to say that I’ve gotten two of three things completed this month! I made bread (twice!) from scratch (so easy, why doesn’t everyone do this?) and I’ve planted a fruit and vegetable garden.
    I’ll get to do the garden thing all over again in a couple of weeks. It SNOWED (by act of God) last night. It doesn’t SNOW here….not in March. Bagh! It was just enough to make all the plants a little brown around the edges, despite being covered with every sheet we had in the house.
    If everything goes according to plan, I’ll get number three taken care of by the end of the month: take presents to all the kiddos at an orphanage! Keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out!

    Thanks Maggie for the inspiration to make the little things just as important as the big ones (live abroad, anyone?)


  27. Let’s see-now that I’m finally in possession of a computer once again, I am about to begin the second draft of my novel. Also starting to once again feel the inspirational fire that set me down the road to writing this novel in the first place (which was about a year and a half ago). So, almost on the first and most important one.

    Second, I’ve sort of started my American presidential autobio project. I’m listening to McCullough’s Truman when I walk, but mostly I’m finishing my autobiographies of early film studio ‘moguls’ project (Done Sam Goldwyn, Aldoph Zukor, William Fox, and Louis B. Mayer [who was the highest paid executive in the world in the thirties and forties]. Still to go, Carl Laemmle and Harry Cohn).

    The third one was prepare for a road race, which was pretty much a gimme as it’s only 5k and I run 5 miles a couple times a week. (I can’t figure out how to phrase that without sounding like a jerk, so I’ll just acknowledge that I recognize the level of jerkness in that statment.)
    My brother-in-law and I have talked about trying for a half marathon sometime, which would be doable for maybe next year. Mostly right now I’m just reading Chirunning and working on form and making progress (the info in Chirunning is awesome and has changed running for me completely, even as the book veers a little to often into self help you can do it in five easy steps jingoism a little too often for me), so, if I did make lists and not just general vague plans in my head, I would say I could cross that one off.

    Waiting for the burrito coronation with baited breath.


  28. Maggie, I dreamed last night that you had added “learn acupuncture” to your life list, and that I came to you with achy legs. (Probably my real-life night-time achy legs intruding on my dreams.) You pushed a button on your computer, and an enormous map of the veins and arteries and nerves in my legs was instantly on your wall. The dark green spots, you said, were where the needles needed to go, and fortunately (you assured me) these areas were already numb so I wouldn’t feel anything. You then jammed four foot-long needles into my leg in a banana-shaped arc, and lo and behold, I DIDN’T feel anything, and the pain DID go away. (But then you wouldn’t take them out, and I was afraid to, and they were on the inner thigh, so I couldn’t walk.)

    All this to say: If you add “being an acupuncturist” to your life list, I would like to be your first patient. (Well. Perhaps second or third. Once you get the “removing the needles” part down pat.)


  29. I’m still working on coming up with 100 things for my list. I’m doing it slowly over time so that all 100 are things which are important to me.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been working toward #7 publish a book about my family history (in the sense that I’m still researching family history), and #5 live in a big city (NYC) is only about four months away.


  30. you have inspired me to start my own list – funny I thought coming up with 100 things would be sooo easy but NOT so, in the high 30’s and determined to complete me list this month, so that’s what’s on my list!!


  31. That’s it! I’m making a list. Y’all are having too much fun. Thank you so much for the inspiration, Maggie. I will be sure to report any progress.


  32. Alas, nothing completed yet (I better get cracking as March is almost over!)..but man, this month (and my almost 2 year old) has kicked my butt.

    Not to mention, Spring has come to NYC, so it’s been hard to stay indoors–and my three things must be done indoors!

    Baking bread this week.
    Sewing lesson scheduled.
    Plants for terrarium bought.


  33. e, how funny. I was just talking to my sister about how she should become an acupuncturist yesterday. If you need acupuncture for your achy legs and you live in SF, I recommend Honeybee.


  34. Maggie! I love that libraries are built into your list of ways to getting to know San Francisco. !!!

    Thanks for the reminder, too. I took my mom out on the date in the city, which was one of the three things I had committed to. We went to a dance concert and had dinner outside on one of the first truly nice spring days in Chicago. We even got treated to a Green Party protest that passed by as we ate.


  35. I have made two baby blankets–one easy one and a more complicated one with a satin binding–but I can’t post about it until after the baby shower on Sunday, at the risk of ruining the surprise. And I’m going to get working on re-bedding my worm box tonight.
    The filing cabinet has just been so intimidating that I’m considering setting it on fire instead of cleaning it out. But I did start interviewing for a job that would let me travel in the name of global health, so maybe working on that goal balances out the filing cabinet.


  36. Well, I’m almost there. It could happen by the end of the month…

    1) Finish the bathroom. The contractor has abandoned the project, telling me “you know how to do the rest.” Ha. Thanks Dad. But he’s right. To do still is a massive amount of painting, a glass enclosure, hardware, mirror, shelves and decorating. Ok, probably not by the end of the month. But I do have a shower and a door, and that’s all I really ever wanted.

    2) The trees did, in fact, get chipped. Now I have a big pile of chips and a smaller pile of branches too large for a 6″ chipper. Those might actually go to my parents next week…but the chips…mulch can only be spread so fast.

    3) I did send out the care package. I baked a new cake, and it came out lovely. My friend’s grandma loved all of it…or so I heard through the grapevine. But I forgot to take pictures…does that count as having made a beautiful thing? How about the beautiful job of priming I did this weekend? Or my lovely pile of chips? Nah…


  37. Maggie,

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    If you’re looking for amazing places in San Francisco, Amoeba Records, Orgasmo Pizza, Bar Johnny (try the fries and chocolate chip cookies!!!), there is so much in San Francisco!
    My boyfriend recommends Pesce, and a falafel place on Market and 10th.

    Also the Pheonix hotel near the Tenderloin was a fun hotel!

    I spent nine months or so with my boyfriend, Mom and two Aunts in Sonoma. Went to San Francisco a couple of times.


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