The “Life List.”

News flash: 32 days from today, I will turn 32 years old.

This is a big deal, mainly because I don’t feel anywhere close to 32. I know my grandma used to say that she didn’t feel her age, and when she looked in the mirror she was surprised to see her mother looking back at her. I’ve heard other people say that as well, including my own mother at times. And of course, I know the whole “time flies” bit already. But now the past few years I’ve been feeling all of this myself, and it’s bizarre. I can’t even blame it on my age, or even on the fact that I’m facing the looming prospect of marriage, which is kind of the ultimate in “grown-up”-ness…. because it’s been coming for a while.


Do I look 32? Because I literally feel, at the absolute oldest, maybe 21. Okay… so that photo is from back in May, but still. I wake up some mornings and still feel like a 16 year old kid. Other mornings I wake up and I feel so completely disconnected from the fact I’m actually in my 30’s that the concept of it is almost shocking. As if it just can’t be. Like there’s some mistake or miscalculation. Maybe I graduated from high school at age 8 or something? Maybe I was really born in 1991? Can that be? Because I cannot actually be in my 30’s. It’s just impossible. No way time can go by that fast, can it?

Just two weeks ago, I painted my nails with a multicolored glitter nail polish & there was a Candy Land band-aid on my finger (covering a cherry jam-inflicted) wound. That’s not very grown-up, is it?

Actually I can’t say that I give a shit whether or not it’s grown-up.

Anyway, inspired by AB CHAO’s Life List, I decided to make one. As in, things I’d like to do/have happen at some point in my life, as of right now at (almost) age 32. I’m of the opinion that this list doesn’t have to be a “bucket list” (I hate that phrase) nor does it have to contain things that are incredibly important, nor do I have to explain any of them to anyone other than myself. It does NOT have to consist of things that are achievements. It does NOT have to be about work, or family, or anything. Just stuff that you want to do. I see so many people make these over the top lists of things they feel they need to accomplish… and so much of it involves making more money, or having better things than others do, having the biggest house or nicest car, etc. That’s not what this is about. This isn’t about impressing anyone or making anyone else feel inadequate. This isn’t about changing yourself.

And there’s no “Achieve world peace” or “Get the Nobel Peace Prize” stuff here; I’ll save that for the Miss America pageant.

My "Life List." What's on yours?

  1. Vote for a female presidential candidate (not just in a primary- but an actual election, and not a Vice President).
  2. Open my own bakery/coffee shop.
  3. Attend the Met Gala.
  4. Plant & successfully grow an edible fruit tree in my yard, probably apple. I love me some apples & they do great in NY.
  5. Own a brownstone in downtown Manhattan or Brooklyn, or a home built prior to 1940. The older the better, in fact!
  6. Travel all over Europe, with no specific time frame or monetary restraints.
  7. Buy a car from a cooler decade to drive around on weekends. For example; A Studebaker from the 1920’s, or Ford pickup truck from the 1930’s… hell, I’d settle for a ’50’s Buick or Chevy, or even a 1960 Chevy Delivery sedan. Old cars > new. All day, everyday.
  8. Get my driver’s license so I can drive my awesome 1920’s car around on weekends like Daisy Buchanan (hopefully sans killing anyone).
  9. See a favorite band perform in another country (not Canada, doesn’t count… too close!).
  10. Have pink hair one more time.
  11. Buy a farm. Literally.
  12. Grow enough tomatoes in one season to make a few jars of homemade sauce, with NO store bought ingredients.
  13. Complete the family tree, equally, so that one side isn’t traced back to 1300 and the other is still stuck at 1830.
  14. Win more than $500 on a lottery ticket (okay, so I know this is a matter of luck & has nothing to do with me, but still).
  15. Learn Gaelic, French & German.
  16. Write (& publish) a book.
  17. Replace all the jadeite pieces of my grandmother’s that I broke.
  18. Learn to sew on a real sewing machine.
  19. Fix up my mom’s vintage blue 1967 Columbia Thunderbolt bicycle with new chains, new white wall tires & a basket on the front.
  20. Learn to clean, de-bone & cook fish perfectly.
  21. Hire Chrisie to paint a portrait of Indy in a stately, dignified pose. Like this!
  22. Finally make a t-shirt quilt.
  23. To be one of those super organized people with an actual home office.
  24. Make my own usable pottery- dishes, bowls, etc.
  25. Learn how to Marcel wave my hair.
  26. Make a jelly roll without the cake “cracking.”
  27. Get back into watercolor painting.
  28. Learn how to really work the shit out of my camera like a pro.
  29. Buy a working antique gramophone/phonograph.
  30. Start to do yoga.
  31. Make macarons that are perfect on the first try.
  32. Finally get those tattoos I have all drawn up.

I’m sure I’ll think of more as soon as I stop writing this post, but I thought I ought to confine it to 32, you know, 32 being the big number and all. C’est la vie. I think I’ll revisit this post in one year & see how much I’ve done.

What would be on your life list?

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  1. Jorette

    You are a beautiful, driven young woman. All of us could learn a lot from you, and as I read your blog I have learnt a lot, not just baking and cooking but some life skills I have held on to. Your age or being “grown up” should have no matter in how you see or do anything. Who says that growing up has to be dull and boring? I have rainbow colored nails and Hallo Kitty is the only band aid I use. That just makes us fun people. I look up to you, you ALWAYS put a smile in my heart, don’t change who you are EVER!

  2. Hillary

    I totally understand what you mean by not feeling your age. I asked my mom once about how old she felt inside, and she said “Not a day over 24….and I’ve always felt like that.” I feel that way too. I need to do a list like this too. My dream vehicles are either a 1967 GTO or a 1950ish Ford truck…both matte black preferably. So many of your things to do are similar to mine! I would like Diesel and Bella painted in Victorian attire….go figure. Love this list!

  3. Marilla

    Aww, Yoyo… ♥

    Thank you Jorette! That was so sweet. It made me smile!

    Hillary- let’s buy our dream vintage cars & drive around wearing bandannas tied up Rosie the Riveter style together!

  4. Heather

    I love the concept to this list! I’m going to turn 32 this year which I find stranger than when I turned 30. At least age 30 was still connected to age 29…

    There are several items on this list that I would put on mine if I were to make one: #4 (mine would be a Haas Avocado), #10, #31, and #32 specifically.

  5. Marilla

    Thanks Heather! I think it’s a great idea. I really hope next year I can cross a bunch off this list, and compile a new one. 😀

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