With a baby coming in less than a month my parenting ambitions are kicking into high, HIGH gear, but those other more personal (selfish?!) dreams and aspirations are fading into the background.

Is that good? Bad? After some careful thought… I think it’s pretty awful actually. And I want to consciously put an end to this back-burner instinct. Pronto.

How terrible, that so many people must feel like we feel do right now… that babies and children mean the end of personal dreams and aspirations. Its almost as if we feel irresponsible about dreaming freely and imagining wonderful and exciting things.

I want to put together a quick little Pre-Baby Bucket List to remind myself, and my husband, that we need to keep dreaming to stay alive. And no matter how practical we try to be for our child, it doesn’t mean that we stop walking our own path to personal fulfillment. So here it is…

THE PRE-BABY BUCKET LIST

1. Start a charity

2. Publish my novel

3. See Leonard Cohen in concert. I hope he tours again!

4. Learn to make a scrumptious, braised Beef Bourguignon (in a Le Creuset pot that I don’t own yet.)

5. Create a pied-a-terre in the Caribbean.

6. Get chef/resort/dinner party idea off the ground (could include #1, and #5)

*With only six things on this list, my mind is filling with worries about my mother’s finances, my child’s education, and my own retirement. I can see how it’s much easier to put this sort of list in permanent limbo. But isn’t it through additional income and entrepreneurship that we can escape the loop of pay check dependancy? (P.S. Notice how none of the above involves Twitter or Facebook… why do I waste my time on that crap?)*

7. Write an article for a national newspaper.

8. Give an inspiring speech (And yes, I’d happily settle for giving a reading while on a book tour)

9. Live in a glass house. Surrounded by beautiful trees and/or water.

10. Take a wine tour of Bergundy by canal.

11. Learn to play piano.

12. Learn French (#11 and #12 have been on my list since forever!! I’m terrible…this is really kind of helpful for focusing. Although I’m finding it kind of depressing for some reason. Onward ho!)

13. Earn a Master’s Degree. Likely an MFA in creative writing.

14. Tour Japan. Visit the zen gardens. See the cherry blossoms. Eat the food.

15. Learn Scubadiving.

16. Dive.

17. Get nominated for an award.

18. Attend an award show.

19. Learn some tricky salsa moves/get thrown in the air.

20. Start a Speaker Series (I’m thinking this will tie in with #1, #5, and #6!)

21. Grow hair long, like past elbows.

22. Finish reading Proust, Remembrance of Things Past. Seriously. Finish. It.

23. Publish second novel.

24. Become a stronger swimmer.

25. Go to Greece. Island Hop.

Wow, ok. So 25 things… and it would be hard to come up with more at this moment. I feel inspired though, and focused, and I truly believe that happy, fulfilled parents make happy, fulfilled children. I want my daughter to know me as a writer, a doer, a maker of change. So why put my own life on the back burner?

Thoughts? Oh, and if you make a list of your own, send me the link!

~ ♥ LMF

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