How Are You Spending Your One Exquisite Life?

Last weekend I attended something called the World Domination Summit 2013. There may literally be thousands of blog posts about the event, so I'll not go into recapping speakers, messages from the event, etc.

In fact, I'm noticing more and more my gravitation towards small, exquisite moments. Did I photograph the big, beautiful auditorium or the well-known speakers on stage? No. I photographed a sleeping dog who belonged to bluegrass musicians at the farmer's market. I guess I like the details.

So this is the story of an exquisite moment that happened after the summit (See? I can't even pick something that happened AT the summit).

I hopped on the light rail to get to the airport, and as soon as I stepped on I noticed an attendee who had spoken at the event. I didn't remember his name. I sat near him and wanted to say hi, but he was scrolling on his phone, which is like this invisible shield that you don't want to cross. But after a couple minutes of feeling awkward, I waved my hand at him and said, "Can I pull you out of your phone for a second? It's just the longer I sit here the weirder and weirder I feel. I heard you talk at WDS and I really liked what you had to say."

You might think that was an exquisite moment. And it was. But not the one I'm thinking of.

He smiled, we laughed, and had a great conversation all the way to the airport. His name was Bo, and one of his goals was to sail around the world. We talked about the conference, and work, and traveling. I joked that it seemed like no one in first class ever smiled. We exchanged contact info.

When I boarded my flight and looked around the faces in first class, sure enough, they all looked miserable. So I told a passenger about how it seems like folks in first class never smile, and asked if he would smile so I could take a photo and show my friend that a first class smile is possible. So I got this photo and sent it to Bo.

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 4.48.15 PM

Awesome, but also not the exquisite moment I'm thinking of.

The day after I got home, in my post-summit hangover of inspiration, information overload, and general exhaustion, I took some time to catch up with people I had met over the weekend on Twitter. I wanted to say hi, visit some of their websites, that sort of thing. So I headed over to Bo's site and read his bucket list.

On his list were things like "give away a million dollars," "ride a bike across a country," and "hike the Appalachian trail." My first thought--my FIRST thought--when I read his bucket list was, "There's no way he's gonna be able to do all that."

And then I caught myself. And THAT is the exquisite moment I'm thinking of.

I took one look at Bo's dreams for his life, and decided that he couldn't do them. It was ok to me when he had this one big goal of sailing around the world, but to have multiple big goals? I didn't think that was realistic.

I was shocked. I consider myself to be pretty evolved and self-aware when it comes to living your dreams, blah blah blah. But I spent enough years in theatre to know that the first instinct tells the truth. And somewhere down in there, my first instinct is that dreams have to be easily achievable, reasonable, and limited.

Bummer.

So I've made my own bucket list. I don't have the desire to do a lot of the big things that Bo wants to do. But I worked at making this an honest list. One that is not restricted by what seems reasonable, and also doesn't leave out things that might seems mundane to someone else.

Because you know what? If Bo does even a handful of things on his list, he will have had an exquisite life. And I want to keep investing in making my life exquisite, by my own definition.

I included some things I've already done that were on previous bucket lists, and I intend to update this list as I think of more things to add to it.

  1. see my dad examine a witness (1.29.14)
  2. go on a trip with just my sister
  3. have my mom make a piece of art for my kid's room
  4. travel to Italy with my husband
  5. be an awesome mom (beginning 3.19.14)
  6. adopt Ewok & Henry from the shelter
  7. have a dog who loves me more than anyone else
  8. attend a living funeral
  9. be there when someone is born  (3.19.14)
  10. be there when someone dies
  11. have an octet reunion (my grad school class)
  12. thank my mentors
  13. leave a $100 tip at a restaurant for a really great server
  14. be a professional actor
  15. publish a physical book (9.15)
  16. host a beautiful, in person celebration for Create as Folk (9.14.13)
  17. create & perform a one-woman show
  18. record or perform my original music
  19. record or perform my latest original music
  20. speak at my high school
  21. speak at my university
  22. be in a wedding party that does a surprise choreographed dance
  23. have a really big piece of art in my home
  24. make homemade ice cream  (7.27.13)
  25. be at Newgrange for the winter solstice
  26. see Andy Goldsworthy art in person
  27. walk behind a waterfall
  28. have an otter touch my hand with both paws
  29. have on otter sit on my lap
  30. swim with dolphins
  31. jump off the diving board at the pool (7.15)
  32. sit in a tub full of dried lentils (weird, I know, I just like the texture)
  33. have a charity tie-in with one of my projects (5.14)
  34. "go dark" for 2 consecutive weeks. no work, no social media, no agenda.
  35. spend the night in this nest
  36. stay in a luxury treehouse
  37. have my own treehouse
  38. go whale watching & see a whale
  39. keep fresh flowers in my room for a year
  40. have a reading tent or nook in my house
  41. get married outdoors
  42. change my legal name back to Simms (3.10.15)
  43. sleep under the stars. no tent.
  44. swim in really blue water
  45. wear a full-length evening gown to a black tie event
  46. have a business BFF & make a product or event with them

Your turn. In the comments, let me know...

How have you been limiting your dreams?