My Life List
MONEY AND BUSINESS
I’m starting off with this category, because many of my other life list items require money, so if I don’t work on this first section, I might as well forget about the others. If this seems crass, oh well. I’m just being practical. Fun stuff is in the next section. You can skip if you like, but this is the section that I need help with. The rest is pretty easy.
1. Put away enough money to retire comfortably. Feed the Roth and the SEP IRA religiously. Invest wisely.
2. Change my attitude about money. Growing up, my parents never discussed money, and I was a big fan of fairy tales…where the poor, suffering, virtuous person is rewarded and the rich person who thinks about money gets punished. I still have a block against even *thinking* about making money from things that I do, it’s the last thing that occurs to me. I never want to ask for it. I turn it down if people offer it to me. I seem to have the idea that the universe will magically recognize my value and I will stumble over a treasure chest full of gold or something, as a reward for all the good things that I have done. Get the over this already. Life is not a fairy tale. I need to think creatively about how to monetize things that I am good at and enjoy.
3. I own/operate ThePortableBaby.com, a store specializing in smart gear to help parents get out and enjoy life with their kids. I sell fantastic baby and toddler carriers, strollers, portable highchairs, balance bikes for toddlers and preschoolers, sun hats, carseat wheels, airline safety harnesses, kid suitcases, etc. I’ve been running this business for the past 6 years, and in the past few years I’ve had a lot of great business ideas, but I’ve been so swamped with motherhood that I haven’t had a chance to see them through. Then I get depressed about not executing, feeling like a failure, and I start swirling downward. Both my kids are in school now. It’s time to get my mojo back, focus, and get shit done. I’m on a good streak at the moment.
4. Get my affiliate program up and running. I have so many customers who refer me and want to help my business, it’s about time that their efforts are tracked and rewarded. (Almost complete).
5. Get The Portable Baby Marketplace up and running. (Almost complete) No idea if it will be a success or not, but I have to do it.
6. Master AdWords and AdSense, or good advertising alternatives. Figure out the whole advertising/marketing thing. I am completely and unreasonably lame at this. I am slowly getting better at advertising my business with AdWords, but I have been blogging for over ten years (lamely of late), and I have JUST placed my first ad on a page with AdSense. Catch the fuck up. Word of mouth is amazing, and it has taken me this far, but I’ll never break through to the next level without marketing. Get over the fear/distaste for tooting my own horn.
7. Stop posting to Facebook exclusively, go back to posting to my personal blog and link it to Facebook. I dearly love Facebook, but I want to own the content I write, and not just have it disappear onto someone else’s servers. With all the words I write per day, I should be making them my own. Although I do have an absolutely amazing circle of friends on Facebook. How do you combine a blog with Facebook? Where do you write what? I need to figure this out.
Reinstate my baby-related business blog. It was really popular and got a lot of hits a few years back. It was in Blogger, which was shitty. I redesigned it in WordPress and hope to get it back online with fresh material. Complete! How can I position it to make the biggest impact?
9. Sell off all my baby wraps and pay off my manufacturing debt. I don’t want to be a product manufacturer, it’s too hard and it’s just not my niche. Get out of that business. Possibly sell it to someone who wants to do it?
10. Pay off all my credit cards. Get completely out of debt.
11. Stop working like a slave and doing absolutely everything. Be the idea person, gather talented people around me who can help execute. Find partners, and win-win situations where we can help one another. I am terrible at recruiting and accepting help. I’m just used to doing everything myself.
12. I got a bunch of free baby products from one of my vendors. Can’t sell it. I want to donate it to charity. How can I donate it to charity AND get some marketing buzz? Contest where people suggest who to donate it to? Or pick a good donation prospect (WIC?) and then say I’ll give away one wrap for each Facebook Like, something like that?
13. Be able to work and earn money wherever I am. At the moment I own a company devoted to traveling with your family, but I am utterly tied to my home/office/warehouse-garage because of customers/orders/shipping, and never get to go anywhere anymore without careful planning in advance. Pretty ironic. Wasn’t my plan.
TRAVEL AND VACATION
14. Go on a cross country ski vacation where you ski from hut to hut and a hot meal and drinks are waiting for you when you arrive. Switzerland would be sweet..
15. Go on a sailing trip in the Caribbean. Get dunked over the side in the bosun’s chair while we’re underway, just like when I was a kid.
16. Moe epic train trips. I LOVE trains.
17. Swim in the bio-luminescent lagoon in Puerto Rico, at night.
18. Go back to Stromboli with my family. Climb the volcano again and shout out “STROMBOLI” whenever there’s an eruption.
19. Take a trip to the fjords of Norway with my best friend Angela. Eat smoked fish for breakfast every morning.
20. Travel through Europe by canal boat.
21. Do genealogy research on my family. Find and visit relatives in Norway, Germany and Scotland.
22. Live in Gandia, Spain for a year with my family, while my kids are still young and can soak it up. Regain fluency in Spanish.
23. Live in Paris for a year. Regain fluency in French.
HOME AND FAMILY
24. Have a soaking tub, and take a hot bath every day in the wintertime.
25. Go dancing more often, or throw dance parties.
26. Grow flowers and have bouquets on the table.
27. Build more birdhouses.
28. Plant a cherry tree.
29. Plant an apricot tree.
30. Plant an avocado tree.
31. Speak Spanish with my husband.
32. Teach French to my children.
33. Do a science project/experiment with my children every week.
34. Have a year-round vegetable garden with enough different crops to actually feed my family (currently rocking tomatoes and plums in summer, apples in fall, and chard in winter and that’s it. I mean, it’s pretty good, but I can’t eat from it every day). Goal is to not *have* to go produce shopping.
35. Own a beach house. Or maybe just rent one every summer.
36. Own an apartment with parking in a great location in San Francisco. Trade it for other apartments in great cities all over the world, but spend a lot of time in SF too. Love my city! Too hard to raise a family there and do other stuff I want to do full time (also COLD), but I do miss it.
37. Volunteer more.
38. Get a skin transplant from a dark-skinned young person so that I can sail, windsurf, paddleboard, snorkel, go for long ocean swims in the tropics, etc. without destroying my skin or wearing a burka. Hate being so fair-skinned. Probably no solution to this.
39. OK, buy burka then.
40. Read the whole Harry Potter series with my kids (finished book 2, starting book 3).
41. Read Lord of the Rings trilogy with my kids.
42. Have an epic longboard ride like the Longboard Girls’ Crew Madrid video.
43. Learn how to slide on my longboard.
44. Take a Tantra Yoga class with my husband, and neither of us laughs or thinks it’s ridiculous.
45. Get a massage at least once a month, even if it’s at Happy Feet.
46. Get back into a regular yoga practice.
47. Become a good salsa dancer. Take lessons with my husband, or at least watch the videos I bought. Stop trying to lead. Learn to follow. Only when dancing though.
48. Have a green smoothie for breakfast every morning.
49. Do something meaningful with my grandparents’ ashes. Figure that out.
50. Take all the many cartridges of slides that I got from my dad of my childhood, set up the projector, look at them, take the best ones and have them transferred to digital format.
51. Ask my mom to come over to look at them with me, even though she is crazy and will probably just piss me off. It will be meaningful and who else do I have to watch them with, who actually can ID persons, places and things?
52. More annual camping trips. Love Anza Borrego in springtime, love the redwoods in summer. Add a fall beach camping trip? Maybe Point Reyes?
53. Own the perfect camper, with solar panels on top. Keep it packed and ready to go at all times.
54. Regain fluency in Spanish.
55. Regain fluency in French.
56. Learn Italian.
57. Learn some Japanese.
58. Ride my cargo bike for all local shopping trips. Quit wimping out and driving to the market.
59. Ride bikes to and from school every day, once my kids are at the same school next year.
60. Learn how to tune up my bike by myself.
61. Find a good biodiesel source nearby and start using that in my car again.
62. Get back into photography again. Just because all my photographs were stupidly destroyed doesn’t mean that I had to stop doing it. Get over that block and get my eye back.
63. Find the right guitar, and learn how to play it well.
64. Learn how to play piano. I did know how at one point, but I forgot.
65. Find a singing gig. I love to sing, and I’m not bad at it.
66. Play more board games, fewer video games. But man, I loves me some Wii Lego Star Wars.
67. Make sure that my kids are perfectly cared for, 100% worry-free, then do mushrooms, on a beautiful day, outside.
68. Own a motorcycle again someday. I miss being a bad biker babe.
69. Get involved in an epidemiology research project and put my biology degree to use. I am too old for medical school at this point, but I really regret not becoming a doctor. I can still do research on disease, or help work on someone else’s project.
70. Dress more stylishly: Less REI, more 1970s Keith Richards. Is it weird that I admire his style? He’s a rocker, not to mention a guy. But I just really think he looks great in his youth, with his scarves and his edgy flair. OK, if I have to dress like a girl, then I guess my icon is the Boden Catalogue. Cardigans and wool skirts and boots. And scarves. I goddamn love scarves. I love hats too.
PEOPLE and RELATIONSHIPS
71. Stop dumbing myself down to be understood. Cultivate people who get me and don’t think I’m weird. I’m not all that weird. I’m just not interested in being conventional. Sometimes living in the burbs gets me down. Anyway, just keep searching for kindred spirits, they are out there.
72. Practice being the best friend that I can be. That means not just helping people, but letting them help me. I am terrible at accepting help. I always just try to muddle through on my own. This is stupid behavior. Enough.
73. Always write thank you notes. Stop finding excuses not to. This is inexcusably lame. Stop being lame.
74. Throw an annual Summer Solstice party, even though it’s a little depressing that the days are only getting shorter. But our annual Winter Solstice party is so great, should do the other solstice too
75. Find a reliable babysitter. Check! OK, how about a backup?
76. Have more dates with my husband.
77. Keep my marriage fun, sexy and intimate, despite the daily grind of work and children.
78. Grow the number of fun people who come along on our annual camping trips. The more the merrier, in every way.
79. Follow the truth. Don’t lie just because it’s easy. At first, a lie seems easier, but in the end, it’s harder. Be courageous enough to always tell the truth. Especially to yourself.
80. Make a Living Will and Trust. Figure out who will be guardians to my children, that is a real stumper. No one is an obvious choice. It’s a matter of choosing between bad options. Hmmm. Anyway, good to identify this problem.
That’s it! Will update as I progress.