“What makes you happy?”
That was the question Karen Walrond, leader of the EVO’12 conference session on creating your life path and blogger/photographer extraordinaire, opened with that afternoon.
Blank faces stared back at hers while the thought “tea, tea makes me happy.” swam through my head.
“Don’t let your inner gremlin tell you it’s dumb. Just make a list of anything you do that brings you joy.”
So we did.
Obviously my list was topped with “drinking tea,” but it ran on and on for four pages beyond that, with items ranging from “making my friends laugh,” to “getting into a well made bed.” As the list grew the well of gratitude in me deepened. So many of the things that fill me with joy abound in my life. Simply taking stock like that reminded me of just how good I have it and how powerful it can be to just take note once in a while.
The session progressed, leading us from the catalog of joy to the categorizing of these things and eventually to the creation of another list, our life list, or rather, as Karen suggested, our Life Menu.
“Think of it like you would a restaurant menu. Much might sound tasty, but you wouldn’t eat all of it.”
All of a sudden the heavy responsibility and seriousness of a creating a life list was gone.
This list wouldn’t be a list of things we had to do, just a list of things we wanted to do, something to give us inspiration as we went about the day to day living of our lives.
“Make sure you put things you love to do on that list,” Karen suggested. “Put easy things too, so it doesn’t seem insurmountable.”
My pen flew over the page, writing things that surprised me, things that delighted me. Some items gave me mild twinges of anxiety, others were filled with longing, pure and simple.
This is no bucket list, no 40 by 40 list, it’s just a suggestion list for those days when you feel like life will forever be predictable, when you start to wonder how and why you should keep pushing on.
It’s a list for the things you know will make your heart beat a bit faster, that you know will push you, challenge you. A list for the forging of memories.
I haven’t yet finished creating my list. Halfway through I got sidetracked by another conference attendee and got drawn into a great conversation. But it’s ok, the list isn’t something static that needs to be completed in one sitting, it’s something that will grow and evolve with me as I keep embracing living life to its fullest extent.