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The Life List: Progress!

by - Thursday, April 19, 2012

On Monday, I got to see Oprah when her LifeClass Tour made its Toronto stop. It was an incredible experience, one I haven't fully digested yet, and I was so thrilled to experience it.

Even though we (I went with Vanessa and her sisters and her mom) were seated way way back, I wouldn't have missed this opportunity for the world. There is nothing that compares to seeing one of your idols in person. I especially liked seeing Oprah behind the scenes and in between the takes. She was amiable, funny, professional and compassionate. And when she said things like "I appreciate your waiting in the long lines", I believed it. 

I can't really relay the lessons I learned that day - its one of those 'you had to be there' situations - but one message I took away is to believe in your vision, your dreams and goals, whatever those may be.

Back in January, I wrote out my Life List. I put meeting Oprah right there, at #23. While I didn't exactly meet her, I'm going to call this goal done. Did putting my vision out into the universe help it to happen? I think so. And you know what - since I posted my Life List, I've knocked off or started more items on the list in the last three months than I have in the last three years


1.     Ride the Agawa Canyon tour train
2.     Vacation in the Hamptons
3.     Ride the Chunnel from London to Paris
4.     Vacation on Mackinac Island
5.     Visit the Gugghenheim Museum in Bilbao
6.     See the Mona Lisa
7.     See the Sistine Chapel
8.     Visit Rome
9.     Visit Japan
10.  Revisit PEI with Chloe & Sean to enjoy a church lobster dinner
11. Visit Paris every five years
12. Visit the Philippines with my family
13.  Visit Hawaii with my family
14. Have a spa weekend with my girlfriends
15. Take a road trip (again) with my girlfriends
16. Attend Brimfield antique show
17. Attend Alt Summit
18.  Take a Mediterranean cruise
19.  Visit Australia


20.  Ride a bicycle the entire way from the cottage into town
21.  Cook every recipe in the Jamie Oliver Jamie’s Food Revolution cookbook
22.  Meet Sean for a surprise daytime date
23. Meet Oprah
24.  Picnic in the park
25.  Sing in public
26.  Paint a painting
27.  Ride in a convertible while wearing a kerchief on my head
28.  Wear a fascinator
29.  Learn to drive manual
30.  Bake my own bread
31.  Send more snail mail (birthday cards, thank you notes)
32.  Read more books
33.  Go sailing with Sean
34.  Become proficient in Photoshop
35.  Go snorkelling
36.  Go fishing with my dad again
37.  Create a “printed” legacy for Chloe: printed photos, a book of blog posts since her birth
38.  Learn to play the violin
39.  Live with less 'stuff'


40.  Pare down my wardrobe to only items that fit and make me feel pretty when I wear them
41. Wear the pretty clothes more often
42.  Find my perfect shade of lipstick
43.  Become fluent in French
44.  Have a natural labour and childbirth
45.  Give only handmade gifts for one Christmas
46.  Sew a dress for Chloe
47.  Sew a dress for myself
48.  Take a professional photography class
49.  Start and maintain a regular exercise program
50.  Drink more water and less pop
51.  Run a half marathon
52.  Figure out my “go to” outfit


53.  Plant a tree and watch it grow to maturity
54.  Renovate the basement
55.  Give Chloe a “big girl” room
56.  Redecorate the back deck
57.  Paint the exterior of our house
58.  Redo the front walkway and stairs
59.  Become proficient with the power tools
60.  Completely remodel another house
61.  Own a summer cottage
62.  Build a tree house
63.  Have a vegetable garden
64.  Have homes on three different continents
65.  Grow my own herbs


66.  Go to the tree farm and chop down our Christmas tree
67.  Start a Christmas tradition
68.  Visit a Disney park with my family
69.  Have a professional family photo taken
70.  Save enough to pay for Chloe’s education
71.  Be debt free
72.  Host my entire family for Thanksgiving dinner
73.  Go camping with Chloe
74.  Sleep in a tent in our backyard
75.  Teach Chloe how to ride a bike
76.  Teach Chloe how to swim
77.  See Chloe graduate from high school
78.  See Chloe graduate from university
79.  Do what I can to have a second child (take care of myself mentally and physically)
80.  Have a third child
81.  Live to see my grandchild
82.  Celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary


83.  Be a keynote speaker
84.  Write a regular column for a magazine or newspaper
85. Appear as a design expert on television
86.  Write a book
87.  Write a book about design
88.  Get sponsored/paid to travel and talk/blog about design
89.  Produce a TV show
90.  Appear on TV, radio, in a newspaper, in a magazine, online
91.  Have my home appear in a magazine
92.  Have one of my photographs published
93.  Launch a renovating/decorating business with Sean
94.  Open an online shop
95.  Be featured on
96.  Make enough money to enable Sean to quit his job
97.  Make a living from my passions: blogging, crafting, creating, designing, and consulting.
98.  Build a career that allows me to work from home, earn a good living, and spend time with my family.

The ones in green are complete and the ones in italics are in motion. Tony Robbins talked about that at the LifeClass... he said "Emotion creates motion"... be excited, just start moving, put your mind and body in motion and things will happen. I've found that's true. Writing down my Life List was a bit of a kickstart, a mental reset, a little spark which has started the ball rolling.

I don't want to get all woo-woo on you, but Oprah reminded me that everything I need to achieve what I want is already within me. Its within you too. And that's a pretty amazing thing.

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  1. Auntie Shan12:27 PM

    You might want to insert "LOTTERY-WIN" in there somewhere! ;-D

    #2 - over-rated
    #4- pack BUG-SPRAY! Lots & lots...
    #6-7 - Jealous!!
    #13 - I've lost count how many times I've gone..though the last time was in 2000.. I *do* gave an old Friend who lives there!! :-D
    #18 - pack the seasick meds
    #19 - throw NZ in there too, it's where the OZZIES go!
    #39 - let me know when the yard sale is on!
    #42 - that's a good number for THAT! And when & if you do, buy LOTS, cause IT'll end up being DISCONTINUED! [story of my life!]-[JoeFresh "BLACKBERRY"]
    #45 - Whatcha need, Hon?
    #68 - *seriously* OVER-rated!! [insert LOTTERY-WIN]

  2. joylola12:27 PM

    I was there too and checked it off my List of things to do so I can relate.  I love your Life List though and it inspires me to create one of my own.  Thank you.

  3. How cool! I heard she was in Atlanta recently and I was wondering if she was doing some kind of tour. Your list is wonderful... inspires me to make one as well! : )

  4. Thanks for sharing the Oprah experience with us! We will always have great memories of that day and what we learned.

    I'm a big list maker but need to sit down and do this because before you know it life will slip by and so many things maybe left undone. I love your list and so great that you have checked so many items off. Plus you can learn so much about someone from their list!

  5. ramblingrenovators12:27 PM

    That would have been amazing - both Oprah and Obama are such great orators.

  6. I want a lifelist, I want a lifelist, I want a lifelist, tooooooo!

  7. ramblingrenovators12:27 PM

    Thanks Lindsey. I always wonder what Chloe will take away from watching me and her dad.

    The revisting and updating the life list is key I think. How awesome your mom is following online. There's so much to learn, no matter what age we're at. Even Oprah was still taking notes during the LifeClass.

  8. ramblingrenovators12:27 PM

    Word has it you're gonna help me knock more off the list ;)

    Wouldn't #64 be awesome? I always joke that if I had the money, I'd spend summer in Toronto, the fall in Paris, and the winter in Bali. Ahhh.

  9. ramblingrenovators12:27 PM

    Thanks Jane. #10 is one of my favourites too. i went to PEI about 10 years ago with my ex. I have fond memories of the red sand beaches, biking in Summerside, and attending my first ceilidh. And the lobster! So so much lobster ;)

  10. Sounds like an incredible experience! I think life lists or goal lists are such great ideas - I find they help me re-focus on what I really want to see, do, accomplish, etc. and I'm amazed by how the mere act of writing something down can really get you moving!

  11. thebookofjimmy12:27 PM

    Very cool that you got to see her.  I did in 08 when she came to DC (the Kennedy Center) for Obama's inauguration.  Amazing experience, and I agree, the between the takes stuff was really neat - funny, off-the-cuff, the woman just oozes personality.  Glad you got to mark that one off.  

  12. My mom followed Oprahs online life class and she got quite a lot out of it. Oprah is phenomenal. Not only do you need to write a life list but you have to update it and push yourself to reach those goals.  I have a list but need to push myself to cross off those items!  Thanks for sharing. Just so you know, you are already a big inspiration to many with your amazing idea to create Blogpodium.  Chloe is lucky to have such a great role model for a Mom.

  13. I love it. You've got some serious momentum - I have no doubt you'll be checking off this list left and right. P.S. my favorite is #64. 

  14. Sundeep @ designwali12:27 PM

    I really need to do this....I need to list goals out and make it happen.

  15. modern_jane12:27 PM

    Wow! I think you are inspiring yourself! Such a fun list.. if you complete even part of it, it will be a life well lived:) LOVE #10!

  16. barbara @hodge:podge12:27 PM

    She is such an inspiring woman isn't she? Lucky you! I should make a life list as well - could help me organize my thoughts and create a sense of direction!

  17. Andrea12:27 PM

    This list is fantastic. Very thorough, and balanced with goals that can be done now, in the near future, and in the distant future. A good balance is key to not feeling overwhelmed by trying to do it all too soon. I frequently check-in with my goals lists. Mine is actually broken  down to: this year, in 5 years, and Bucket. This year's list doesn't get changed unless major life occurrences happen. 5 years gets revisited and changed. Bucket changes rarely, except to add to...because there is so much I want to do!
    Keep doing this! It feels great to turn those items green. 


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