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What Do You Want to Achieve?

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Have you seen this project by Candy Chang?

For those of you who haven’t clicked the link, Candy turned the side of an abandoned house into a blackboard, stencilled “Before I Die I Want to __________” all over it and left chalk in a basket so passers-by could fill it in. She got all sorts of responses from “grow old” to “write a book”, “see my daughter graduate” to “be tried for piracy”.

Anyway, it got me thinking: what do I want to have done before I die? What do you?

I used to be able to answer this question easily. When I was a teenager, I wanted to be independent (tick). When I was moving from rental flat to rental flat, I wanted to own my own home (tick). Growing up, I wanted to be a published writer (tick). But now that I’ve achieved all of those things, what’s left?

I have a lovely boyfriend and no particular interest in marriage. I have a job I enjoy. I’m so unlikely to have children that I’ve never given much thought to whether I’d like any. I don’t really want to go bungee jumping and, while I’d quite like a few more holidays, there’s nowhere I feel it would be a failure not to see.

I see so many lists on other people’s blogs – things to do before 20/30/40/I die; 101 things to do in the next 1000 days – but the truth is, while there are things I think it would be nice to do (sew better; dance more; learn to control my hair…), I have no burning ambitions these days. And, honestly? I kind of think that’s a good thing.

I know that I am lucky. I know how easily I could lose my job or my home; Steve could leave me; friends could disappear. We’ve all been reminded recently of just how easily we could lose not just one of those things but everything. So, for now, while I will never not welcome a holiday or an adventure or a nice pair of shoes, I’m happy to be able to say, “this is enough.”

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3 responses »

  1. I really like your comments. You’re right. We need to appreciate and be happy with what we have rather than constantly pushing ourselves to ‘do’ or ‘have’ or ‘be’ something else. Maybe we should start a list of 100 things I’m really happy or thankful for…. 😉

    Reply

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