Life’s Checklist (2012 update)


I had really thought about writing again. I couldn’t just sit through lunch watching Blake Griffin videos and tweeting, as enjoyable as those are. About a week ago, I had this weird dream of moving to Austin and starting to write again, and then realized I had this blog that I hadn’t updated consistently since a debacle with a government program in 2010. Similar to the Cowboys since 1995, the posts on this blog had declined considerably in quality since May 2010, so metaphorically, it’s time to fire Jerry Jones and bring this writing ability back.

So, as a start to my new writing adventures, I bring to light my life resolutions that I set out to do in early 2010  and an update two years later on the progress:

Visit the Marfa Lights (2012 progress: Nope)
-Visit an off-the-beaten path art museum in a city I’ve never been to (one of the coolest art museums I’ve been to is the Renwick in Washington D.C.) (2012 progress: off the beaten path bars, yes. Off the beaten path museums: No.)
-Stay in a non-American hostel (there happens to be hostels in NYC and Vegas) (2012 progress: Done)
-Meet someone from every country in the world (disputed territories included) (2012 progress: I honestly have no idea)
-Go to a momentous sporting event in DFW (Mavs NBA finals, Rangers World Series, Cowboys Super Bowl, UNT BCS Bowl/Sweet 16, FC Dallas MLS Cup) (2012 progress: who knew 2011 was going to be an epic sports year?? I’ll take a Mavs victory parade on this one- Check)
-Go to a Champions League game (2012 update: Nope)
-learn to cook at least 15 gourmet meals (current progress: half of one full meal) (2012 progress: Nope)
-Hunt and skin my own food for a meal (2012 progress: What kind of idealist was I two years ago? Nope.)
-Write a meaningful poem (2012 progress: Poem, yes. Meaningful, No.)
-Eat at all of the 100 places on the Travel Channel Chowdown Countdown (current progress: 4) (2012 progress: 11)
-Share something magnificent and non-sexual with a stranger (2012 progress: amazing what alcohol and sports can do. Check)
Tailgate at a NASCAR race (2012 progress: I am stupid for not waking up in the morning for this.)
-Learn and appreciate love like college basketball coaching legend John Wooden (2012: I must’ve been a real wanna-be romantic. NO)
-Visit the oldest synagogue in America (2012: NO)
-Share a laugh with someone in a community where laughs are in short supply (2012: Surprisingly, I accomplished this broad based goal in Peru)
-Read five books of my choosing before the end of 2010 (current progress: 1 1/2) (2012: I think I ended at 4 1/2… progress)
-Learn to say “I love you” to the people that matter most (for present and future purposes) (as corny as that sounds, it’s an important skill to have) (2012: USE THESE THREE WORDS WITH EXTREME CAUTION…. so still not accomplished)
-Visit the Grand Canyon (2012: Nope, came close though)
-Ran another marathon (I ran the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon in June 2006) (2012: longest run since 2010: 10 miles, so no)
-See all the wonders of the world (2012: Nope, and with the ever expanding list and ballooning travel costs, probably won’t happen)
-Learn to appreciate the art of playing an instrument, and learn to read music in the process (I quit playing the violin and the guitar in middle school- I regret that) (2012: what kind of drugs was I on? I became a proficient guitar hero player)
-Go to the World Cup… again (I went as a six-year old in 1994) (2012: Ask me again in 2022)
-Successfully coach a youth basketball team in another country, or a city where basketball isn’t as popular (2012: half credit)
-Write a 3000-5000 word feature on something many people will find interesting (like the features in the New Yorker) (2012: 500 word, yes)
-Have a meaningful conversation with someone I just met (2012: Networking works- YES)
-Find someone in my life who will truly make me smile (2012: I feel like this was probably related to my “love life”, revisit in the summer)
-Learn to make better first impressions (2012: this will always be my kryptonite, NO)
-Attend a game at Cowboys Stadium (this should have already been done) (2012: DONE)
-Run in a European or Middle Eastern city (2012: NOPE)
-Go skydiving (NO)
-Develop my yoga to the point where I can do a quality handstand (2012: was working on it, then said screw it and decided to weightlift, so no)
 -Learn to tell a decent, non-insulting joke (2012: Thank you scattershooting on 1310 the Ticket. Yes)
-Visit the NBA and NFL Hall of Fames (in Springfield, Ill, and Canton, Ohio, respectively) (2012: NO)
-Go to a symphony in Vienna (their orchestra is the best in the world) (2012: No.)
-Learn to value the importance of family (2012: 50% done.)
-Take at least ten of the Man vs. Food challenges (current progress: zero) (current progress 3)
-Attend a Harvard/Yale football tailgate (Nope, and not anytime soon based on what happened at the last one)
-Watch all foreign films nominated for an Oscar (current progress: 3) (same)
-Learn to truly understand issues that face me as an American (the rent is too damn high)
-Have a credit score like my father’s when I’m his age (I got 28 years to go)
-Learn at least two languages (current progress: zero) (half credit, Spanish)
-Visit a Hindu temple (does the bahai one in plano count???)
-Learn how to play cricket (NOPE)
-Go to a dangerous place (Sherlocks in Addison has some scary people there)
-Become successful to the point where I am satisfied with my life, and am able to do things that I enjoy (2012: Eh, about 20% of the way there)

Moral of the story: In my opinion, I don’t think I’ve experience a lot during these past couple of years. Obviously the accomplishment of certain goals, and progress towards others says otherwise.

I think this is a great exercise for everyone to do- set some goals- ideological, personal, financial, and travel wise- and see where you stand after 2-3 years. The progress will probably surprise you.

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