Off But Yet On Topic: The 10 Things I Want to Do Before I Die

Thanks to one of my favorite PR people/bloggers, Gini Dietrich and her blog Spin Sucks, I was treated to a very thought-provoking blog post from Jayme Soulati (@Soulati) on hopes, dreams and wishes, both unfulfillable and yet to be fulfilled. Jayme decided to use her blog to ponder whether we are satisfied with our lives’ achievements after watching Johnny Cash’s final performance. Jayme asked her readers:

Was he satisfied with his life’s achievements? Would you be?

I have so much to do, and I challenge you to carry this series forward. Write a list of 20 things you still want to accomplish before you leave this world and stamp them on the blogosphere as part of your legacy. I have a hunch why this inspiration (which can be positive or not) hit me, and I’m going to make an indelible mark right here.

So following Jayme’s lead, here are the 20 things I want to do before I die:

  1.  Complete NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and get it published.
  2. Acquire perfect grammar/punctuation skills.
  3. Write a PR book – no, write two! And yes, I already know the topics.
  4. Leave the world a better place than it currently is today by eliminating gender and sexual orientation discrimination.
  5. Create and/or fund two scholarships: one for PRSSA students at my alma mater, Illinois State University; and one for my sorority sisters of ΚΛΙ, the Clionian Literary Society of McKendree University.
  6. Spend two weeks in Tahiti.
  7. Have a perfectly clean house.
  8. Tour England and Scotland, to pay homage to the great literature and authors I studied in college as an English lit major.
  9. Get my motorcycle license so I follow Steppenwolf’s advice to, “get your motor running/get out on the highway.”
  10. See my husband’s paintings hanging in an art gallery.
  11. Locate definitive evidence of my native American ancestors – difficult, when they had to hide their race when they made mixed marriages to protect their families from discrimination.
  12. Pay off all my bills, especially my student loans.
  13. Earn my PhD in public relations.
  14. Figure out how my husband’s brain works.
  15. Locate a missing relative.
  16. Finally lose the extra weight I’ve carried around for the past few years.
  17. Hit a hole-in-one at the Old Course at St. Andrews….or heck, just hit a hole-in-one anywhere.
  18. Crew on a boat in the Mack.
  19. Never let my furry children grow old.
  20. Meet Nathan Fillion, aka “Captain Tightpants,” over drinks.

If I’d written this just a few days ago, I would have added one more: “To be an Illinois Jaycee Ambassador.”  That belongs in the category of “things I have no control over” and would have been something I considered unfulfillable, because my Jaycee career was long over. However, just this past Saturday, I was surprised by the current Chief Ambassador and Jaycee friends past and present with Ambassadorship #262. So don’t give up on your personal and professional dreams – you never know when the most outlandish one will come true.

So in the spirit of hopes and dreams, what’s on your list?



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  1. I laughed out loud at “figure out how my husband’s brain works”!! When you figure that out, please let me know!

    And I also want to know how you’ll know if your house is perfectly clean?

    1. Easy – I’ll get up from my chair and not find a single thing to pick up and put away!

  2. OK, furry children? I have no idea!! And, best congrats on the Jaycee Ambassadorship! Amongst us, we who’ve carried forth the meme torch are book writers and travelers. I love this thread, and there’s a blog post brewing.

    Such a pleasure to meet you, Debra, (a peer PR peep) and I admire your penchant for punctuation. Now I have 3 I can come to for questions!

    Here’s one — “Nate is the guy who/that won first prize in wrestling.”

    I see everyone doing “that” instead of “who,” and I’m thinking it’s the latter as it modifies a person.

    Thanks for playing!

    1. I’m going to “borrow” that for my PR students this fall. One of these days I’m going to write a blog post on grammarians’ guilty little secrets – the sins we keep committing even though we know it’s wrong.

  3. English lit majors must always stand in solidarity. 🙂

    I’m definitely with you on #1.

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