20 Things to Do Before I Die

No New Year’s resolutions for me, but I do like to set goals.  As a young woman, I once went on a retreat with my friend Kelle during a time in which she and I were desperate for some major changes to be made in our lives.  We spent a weekend in Calistoga, CA, and with our spirits buoyed by friendship, good food, wine and the rare indulgence of massages at a health spa, we made a list of goals that we intended to complete within the next three years.  I am proud to say that we both accomplished the goals that we set for ourselves, and ever since, I have been a firm believer in the concept that if you write something down and name it, as well as share it with others, it has a way of developing a life of its own, thus being more likely to actually happen.

After reading Bethany Hiitola’s “Mommy Writer” blog (http://www.bethanyhiitola.com/blog/) where she lists 101 things to do before she dies, I was inspired to make a list of my own.  I am only up to #20, but perhaps that is because I have already accomplished some of what I set out as a younger woman to do and also because I want to make sure that my list is manageable.  Yes, I’d like to eliminate hunger, war and disease, but I’m trying to limit the list to things within my control that I can personally accomplish during my lifetime.  I hope to look back and be able to check off most of the items on this list some day, as well as maybe add a few more.

I encourage you to steal this idea and create your own list.  Please feel free to connect a link back to the Damian Daily in your own blog.

20 Things To Do Before Dying:

1.)  Publish more fiction.  Lots of it!

2.)  Do everything I can to help nurture my daughters towards becoming independent, educated, self actualized, and happy women.

3.)  Scuba dive the Galapagos.

4.)  Learn to speak another language.

5.)  Meet and talk with some of my favorite authors including, but not limited to Neil Gaiman, Kim Harrison, Audrey Niffenegger, Donna Tartt, and Orson Scott Card.

6.)  Take my daughters to China.

7.)  Go on an African safari.

8.)  Live abroad, which should help with #4.

9.)  Ride in a hot air balloon.

10.)  Teach or mentor others in the writing process.

11.)  Learn to fly an airplane and/or a helicopter.

12.)  See the Egyptian pyramids and sphinx in person.

13.)  Participate in a project with Habitat for Humanity or another organization where I can travel and donate my time to help make a significant difference in the lives of others.

14.)  Take ballroom dance lessons with my husband.

15.)  Learn to make a champagne cocktail.

16.)  Spend at least a month living at the beach, preferably a warm one.

17.)  Visit all 50 of the U.S. states and at least 20 different countries.  (Wow, I’m already halfway there!)

18.)  Own a dog again, at least one, maybe two or three.

19.)  Buy a high performance sports car for my husband because believe me, he’s earned it!

20.)  Give myself permission once in a while to just relax (maybe take a bubble bath or even a nap) without feeling guilty that I should be doing something more important.


  1. Lisa, I love this concept, and I’ve been entertaining the idea of making up a list like this, too. I’ll do a little thinking and post my own on my blog, linking back to you for giving me the boost I needed to get off my beeeehind and finally generate my list. The blog looks great!


  2. Lisa:

    This is great. I don’t know if it’s possible, but you should add your picture. Everyone always wants to see what the author looks like.

    C and C Krek


  3. I especially like and admire your pursuit of No. 2 (my granddaughters’ welfare) and No. 19 (your husband’s deservedly acknowledged reward). That says volumes about your role as a Mom and wife. That’s so special. I love that!

    My love, support and best wishes in your life’s endeavours.


  4. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing your list, I always find it inspiring to see what others are longing for or aiming at.
    Regularly, I take a moment and a new page in my journal to reconsider my goals, sometimes adding new ones, or making slight changes in direction in the existing ones.
    I really feel the need to put these in writing, so that they don’t get lost in everyday mayhem, or something. It’s so easy to lose track sometimes.
    I’d love to take the time for a retreat like the one you did ! Maybe, this will be one of my next goals !

    Have a nice day !


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