This is Happening: My Life List

Goals are funny things. 

…easy to make, easier to break, and everyone insists on having them. Including me.

One day, at the end, when I look back at my home movie of memories, I want it to be a good show. I want it to be interesting. I do not want to measure my success by any other standard but happiness, which, is as messy and subjective of a method as it gets, but I don’t care. This is me. This is mine. I am determined to get there. This list is my first step, my biggest step, in that direction.

Here we go!

100 Life Goals

1. Eat shrimp under the cherry blossoms at The Four Seasons.
2. Learn how to tell a decent joke.
3. Take a photography class.
4. Throw a penny from Eagle’s Nest, Switzerland.
5. Have a sandwich named after me.
6. Go 7 days without looking in the mirror.
7. Go 30 days with out referring to the past.
8. Float in Lake Rebta (the pink sea, Senegal).
9. Learn to play banjo (viable alternative: ukulele).
10. Take a photo inside The Cheshire Cheese pub, London.

11. Replace a lock by myself.
12. Own a Turkish rug.
13. Join a marching band (majorette boots required).
14. Make a will.
15. Live without fear of losing everything.
16. Wear a solid gold dress.
17. Pet a skunk.
18. Hug a Santa.
19. Write a book.
20. Sell a book.
21. Learn video editing.
22. Own a farm.
23. Visit the Hemingway estate in Key West (coming home with a six fingered cat: optional).
24. Develop a signature scent.
25. Hire a housekeeper on a regular basis.
26. Do ten pushups (not the girly kind).
27. Save 12 months of expenses for an emergency fund.
28. Finish paying off student loans.
29. Help someone else pay for college.
30. Live in a castle.
31. Play a didgeridoo.
32. Tour Venice in a gondola.
33. Scatter my father’s ashes.
34. Replace my mother’s headstone.
35. See a live taping of Saturday Night Live.
36. Take a Christmas tour of the White House.
37. Watch the sunset from the top of the Empire State Building.
38. Make a six-tier coconut cake.
39. Rally 1,000 people people around a specific cause/purpose.
40. Wear a rhinestone possum necklace.
41. Go to Iceland.
42. Learn how to develop a mobile app.
43. See a mermaid.
44. Visit India for the Holi festival.
45. Set up a projector in the back yard for a movie night.
46. Stay in a cabin at the Neshoba county fair.
47. Learn to make the perfect mohito.
48. Host or attend a Friendsgiving meal.
49. Visit Sesame Street.
50. Spend a night at the Greenbrier.
51. Take an autumn leaf tour in Vermont.
52. Go to Kenya and stay in the Giraffe Manor.
53. Have my picture taken under the St. Louis Oklahoma welcome sign.
54. Land in an airport to find a driver with a sign with my name on it.
55. Drive an 18wheeler truck.
56. Learn another language well enough to conduct a full conversation.
57. Leave someone a $100 tip on a $20 check.
58. Go 30 days without processed food.
59. Host a surprise party.
60. Watch a meteor shower.
61. See my home in a magazine via my own photo.
62. Drive a zamboni.
63. Get rid of my turkey neck.
64. Attend service in St. Peter’s square.
65. Open an Etsy store.
66. Make a cathedral square quilt.
67. Master the perfect cheesecake recipe.
68. Get Lola’s portrait painted.
69. Find my dad’s first wife.
70. Find my dad’s brother.
71. European river cruise.
72. Sit in the audience at the Scripts National Spelling Bee.
73. See the cherry blossoms in Washington DC.
74. Go to ascot in a crazy hat.
75. Hold a sloth (viable alternative: koala bear).
76. Catch a falcon.
77. Eat in a busy/fancy restaurant by myself.
78. Drive an RV (or passenger van) across the US.
79. Raise alpaca.
80. Make a playlist of 100 food themed songs.
81. Go to the Golden Girls house.
82. Host an ice cream social.
83. Pick berries by day and bake pie by night.
84. Visit Jane Austen’s home in Hampshire.
85. Visit LM Montgomery’s Green Gables.
86. Visit Hemingway’s Buffet de la Gare.
87. Spin wool.
88. Make homemade ice cream.
89. Hire an intern.
90. Buy a car for a single parent.
91. Create a 501c3 foundation.
92. Go see the original Winnie the Pooh.
93. Consult an independent financial adviser (not just the guy my employer provides).
94. Ride in a helicopter.
95. Meet a president (while they are president, any country).
96. Run a 5k color run.
97. Karaoke-sing  a song I’ve never heard before.
98. Sleep in a tent in the rain.
99. Witness aurora bourealis.
100. Plant a magnolia.

In 1940, when John Goddard was 15, he sat down and wrote out a list of 127 things he wanted to do and see; everything from climbing Mt. Rainier, to swimming the Great Barrier Reef, to studying the native tribes of New Guinea.You can see his list here, and yes, he managed to tick off most of it before passing away earlier this year. If something like that doesn’t inspire you to set some goals, I don’t know what will.

Maggie Berry of Mighty Girl, who has an amazing list herself, offers lectures and weekend workshops on this very subject. A lot of people keep a bucket lists, and I get that, but I like Maggie’s term better: a life list.

This thing has been in the works for years. A number of items did not make the top 100 list because 1. I removed anything I already scratched off in recent years, and/or 2. I removed anything that depended on active participation from other people. Doing things with other people is okay, depending on other people is not okay. Perhaps that sounds odd but it’s important to me. If something does or doesn’t happen, it’s on me. Alone. I know far too many people, women in particular, who have seen their dreams take a backseat to circumstances dictated by others. That won’t be happening here.

…and, okay, so, yeah, I also realize not everything on here will get done. I’m okay with that too. Actually, if I ever did manage to hit all 100 I’d spend my days in fear of eminent doom, so maybe it’s better this way. For now the goal is to get it out there into the world then start scratching them off bit-by-bit every year. It’s going to be awesome. I hope you will stick around and follow the ride!

Or, better yet, make your own.

What is on your life list?


  1. says

    I made a 30 x 30 list but I like the broadness and the sweep of a list without a fixed deadline. Perhaps I should make another list….

    • says

      I made as 30 by 30 and crossed over maybe seven, tops. It made turning 30 a little depressing. This takes some gusto!

  2. says

    Great list! You’ve got plenty of time, and I bet you’re well on your way to many of these things. (I’d love an Aunt Peaches book!!) Also, if you’re ever hiring an intern, I’ll submit my resume ASAP.

  3. says

    I have a lot of the same goals!! Thanks for making it easy for me to start my list!! 🙂

  4. says

    Seriously, if you’re in need of a editor for your book to be, an intern (is telecommuting ok?) or partner in crime, I’ll send you a copy of my resume ASAP!!! Thank you Aunt Peaches; I just figured out how to start my blog (it’s been bouncing around in my head for the past month or so, but now I have FOCUS!)! Looking forward to reading & seeing pics about your journey, and if you need friends in other locales to help ya out, just give a shout out – I have lots of friends in other countries/places that would love hanging out with a woman of your ilk!!

    • says

      Thanks Desilu! I will keep that in mind. This list will involve covering a lot of ground…I could use all the help I can get. Wahoo!

  5. says

    I remember reading about this great man, and making our own list in elementary. I have knocked some things off that list since, mostly travel. Alas, I will never grow to be 7 feet tall. I like the idea of starting a new list right now!

  6. says

    Fantastic list! It has inspired me to do something similar, with a lot of recurrent themes from yours – especially the Neshoba County Fair, I just got lost in the rabbithole of researching it, and now I’m plump-obsessed.

    • says

      What a great goal — I wish I had thought about that. It would be so awesome to see others creating lists too. So glad you got to take part in her dreams. Can’t wait until I see a meteor shower!

  7. Naomi Pritchard says

    Aunt Peaches,
    Goals are great, but as a financial adviser, I feel like I am not doing my job if I don’t encourage you to save far more than 12 months in savings. I can’t tell you how many single women fail to make this a priority and pay the consequences down the road. Then while you are at it, pay off your student loans as soon as possible. You only get ten years so I imagine you will be there soon. Hurry before legislation takes effect and sets you back even further. Forgive me if this advice is overbearing. It is well intended! You have a great blog. I hope you achieve your dreams!

    • says


      You are hella nosy but I give you credit for being honest. We should all be more upfront about money. Pretending like it doesn’t matter will lead us allllllll into elderly poverty, and that’s no good.

      So, yes, you are right, and yes, I do have financial goals that are not on this list. I have some retirement savings but it’s structured in a way that I would be penalized for tapping early (thus the 12 month emergency fund). My student loans were hefty (I worked full time through college and there isn’t much/any financial aid for part-time students)…I took out whatever loans I could, including private ones, which last a lot longer than 10 years. If I could make them go away I would. Until I pay them off the hard way, all I can do is my best (and cross my fingers that inflation can calm the fuck down). I probably don’t need to defend all this. Had I not taken a personal inventory of a lot of things last week, I would certainly be inspired by your honesty.

  8. says

    It is amazing that reading others’ life lists I find things I have done. What a wonderful world that we are all so unique and there are still so many things to do and sights to see!

  9. says

    Looove. To avoid ever feeling you will cross off everything and then be doomed, maybe you could make it a rule to always add a new goal with each one you cross off. The PERPETUAL 100 Life Goals?

    • says

      Oooooo, that is a great idea! I might need to do that. Esp since I have thought of about three more things since I hit “publish” on this post. Isn’t that the way it always goes?

  10. says

    When I was a little girl I wanted to *be* a mermaid. Once I got old enough to realize that wasn’t going to be possible I decided I wanted to be one of these mermaids:

    If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it as a way to cross #43 off your list 🙂

    • says

      Whoa Whoa WHOA!!! I had no idea this existed. Well then, I need to get my butt to central Florida!

  11. says

    fly to NY. I will meet you with a sign, we can go to Saturday night Live plus the Daily Show, my husband is a money manager and then we can drive to Vermont. On the way back we can go to the Four Seasons. I have never been, but I’ve been to 21. Then we can see a sunset from the top of the Empire State Building, go to Ground Zero and visit the Statue of Liberty.While you are here, we can visit Sesame Street!! I thought you would want to design fabric or wallpaper via Spoonflower.
    My list starts with Hug a Panda. I thought I would go to Camp Mighty to write my list.

    • says

      BAM. That’s like 20% of this list!?!?! Let’s do it!! It will probably need to be in the autumn. This fall is not great — you are in Ecuador, I’m in Swissville. Fall 2014, though. I say we do it!

  12. says

    PS. I am a wizard at Found parts of my family I didnt know existed. Found my husbands grandfather that they hadnt contacted since 1930.

  13. says

    I totally have that imminent doom problem too! I would be sure that if I crossed off number 100 I would drop dead. Weird. I know.

    • says

      Yes. Hand sewn. Have you ever tried making them? One square can take an hour, if not more. Dedication!

    • says

      I’ve never quilted at all, but I will one day!! Wow – imagine the hours it will take!!

  14. says

    OOO- what fun! Numbers 2, 11, 14, 17 & 88 are pretty easy. I’d love to help you with number 87 (so addictive AND useful!) plus you can combine it with 79! Definitely go for the ukulele AKA: the happiest musical instrument. As for the meteor shower, here ya go: Perseids
    Comet of Origin: 109P/Swift-Tuttle
    Radiant: constellation Perseus
    Active: July 17-Aug. 24, 2013
    Peak Activity: Aug. 11-12, 2013
    Peak Activity Meteor Count: Up to 60 meteors per hour
    Meteor Velocity: 37 miles (59 kilometers) per second
    Notes: The Perseids is known as one of the best meteor showers to observe, and this year is no different. A crescent moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving dark skies from late night until dawn. The Perseids are typically fast and bright meteors that frequently leave trains.

    • says

      Forgot to say: the meteor info is right on If you miss the Perseids in August, there’s always the Leonids in December!

    • says

      Thanks for this! I really do hope to see one some day. Need to schedule some time away from the city glow, I think. 🙂

  15. says

    LOVE your list. Alot of that is doable – and take up on Nutbirds offer! THAT sounds awesome. I was going to mention the Perseids meteor shower, but Laurinda beat me to it. That would cross off a few off the list. LOVE IT. We all must have goals, some simple, some to really, really look forward to – and all that we must do ourself. Great job, Peaches.

  16. Tess says

    Peaches – how the heck did you get ahold ‘MY’ Life List? It’s identical. Ha. 🙂

  17. Anonymous says

    My friend can help with the Lola portrait!

    She is at

  18. says

    This is an excellent list; and I reckon you could double/triple some of them up for a multiple-box-ticking extravaganza. Such as a homemade icecream social to accompany movies in your back yard. Whilst wearing a solid gold dress and a rhinestone possum necklace! Good luck with your list.


  19. says


    I can help with #67 — make a perfect cheesecake. I have a killer recipe, taste tested by friends, co-workers, and restaurant staff. It’s the classic creamy style, with the thin layer of sour cream on top, and involves multiple blocks of cream cheese and several eggs.

    Let me know if you’d like to have the recipe — it’d be my pleasure to share.

    Anna in Albuquerque

    • says

      Anna, send it in! We can all try it! Do you have any other great recipes? I want to try my mother’s steamed Christmas pudding. It has molasses and raisins and you put it into a tin and boil it in a big pot. Top with a sweet creamy sauce called Gorgeous Sauce. I guess it is a New England version of sticky toffee pudding. If anyone wants to have the best non chocolate, non cheesecake dessert of their life, find a Spago and order their Sticky Toffee Pudding. it comes with 3, yes 3, sauces. This Life List business should be one post a week until we get ours all worked out. I want to try 100 new fruits. 100 vegetables?, not even close

    • says

      Will do. How would I put up an attachment? Or, maybe I can upload it to Pinterest and everyone can get it from there.

      A in A

  20. says

    Peaches, I live in DC and I have a cherry tree in my front yard (the ones down by the Tidal Basin are pretty, too). Let me know when you want to come, we’ve got lots of room. Thanks for posting this, lots of great ideas in here! (I can also meet you at the airport with a sign with your name on it).

  21. says


    Thank you for number 90, I was a young single mom with no car once. It’s pretty hard. Now it’s on my list too.

  22. says

    If you come over to London I will gladly take your photo in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub! And definitely go to Iceland when you have the chance! It’s amazing! Giraffe Manor is on my list as well!

  23. says

    If you come over to London I will gladly take your photo in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub! And definitely go to Iceland when you have the chance! It’s amazing! Giraffe Manor is on my list as well!

  24. says

    I think those are some really awesome life goals, ranging from the small to the large! I always love reading these sort of lists so thank you for sharing them with us!


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