NOTE: This post original appeared on my Livejournal account.
The other morning I saw Sam, the man who runs our mail room, out smoking as I walked into the building. He and I see each other several times a week – his smoke break and my arrival often coincide – and exchange a “Hey, how’s it going?” and a few words about the weather. That particular morning, he greeted me with the statement, “Fly an airplane.”
I was pre-coffee at this stage. Having been awake for less than an hour, this enigmatic statement left me a bit confused. Had our building suddenly gained a spy versus spy pass code? Was I being tested in someway that only makes sense to long term Harvard staff?
“Drive a car?” I responded.Sam gave a good chuckle. “No, no – your list. The list we talked about yesterday. I bet you have ‘Fly an airplane’ on your list.”The previous day, he and I got to talking about vacations as I wandered into the building. Right now I’m hoping / planning to go to New Orleans in the fall. Sam asked if I’d ever gone during Mardi Gras. Sadly, I haven’t, but, as I told Sam, it is on my mental list of things to do before I die.And Sam was now trying to guess what else might be on the list.
And “Fly an airplane” isn’t on it (although I didn’t tell Sam that small airplanes scare the shit out of me).
We all have some things that we dream of doing. Some are realistic, others aren’t, but that doesn’t stop our hearts from beating a bit harder when we imagine these dreams coming real.
So what are my goals/dreams/desires? What things do I want to accomplish before I die?
First there are the practical goals:
- Pay off all my credit cards
- Pay off my car and outfit it with the “toys” I want (skid plate, fog lights, roof rack, solid doors, new paint).
- Buy a house or condo
Then there are the desires that may require money, but also require even more work on my part
- I want another horse, and I want to be able to ride it well enough that I can jump 3 foot fences and canter without fear
- I want a black belt in a martial art
- I want to become a published book author (at least trying to publish the fiction book floating around in my head and started on my Palm Pilot)
And finally there are the things crazy ass “Places to go, people to see” things:
- I want to go to New Orleans during Mari Gras
- I want to hike the narrows of Zion
- I want to explore Alaska – a whale watch cruise, off-roading through the wilderness.
- I want to circumvent the Mediterranean, seeing Vatican City, the archeological sites Italy, Greece, and Turkey, exploring Jerusalem, and then walking in the halls of kings in Egypt, and bartering in Casablanca.
So these are the 10 things I want to do at some point. Flying an airplane just never made this list.