Checking things off your “Dreams List”

dream bigLaura’s note: I’m taking a vacation from blogging this week, and I’m re-posting a few pieces from the archives that you may have missed the first time around. I hope you enjoy them!

Back in October 2010, I posted my List of 100 Dreams. This is an exercise (dreamed up by career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine) that involves brainstorming everything you’d like to do or have more of in your life.

Of course, it’s one thing to make a list. It’s kind of useless, though, unless you start trying some of the activities on it. And so, as my time in NYC winds down, I’ve been doing a few more of them. This weekend, for instance, we finally made it over to the High Line (#68 on my list) — the old elevated rail road track on the west side that’s been turned into a park. It wasn’t particularly life changing. It was cool, and a nice way to spend a Sunday morning. Which is all we can expect from most things on such a list. Earth-shattering experiences are rare, even when they are quite nice (like eating at 11 Madison Park; #47 on my list was to sample the top Zagat-rated restaurants in NYC, and that was an outstanding one).

But if items on the List of 100 Dreams aren’t necessarily earth-shattering, why do we do them? Basically, because they’re so much more pleasurable and meaningful than the alternative, which is sitting around and doing nothing, or proceeding through a death march of chores and work.

I was reminded of this when checking the latest Nielsen statistics on American TV-watching habits. The average American is now up to 34 hours per week. This is absolutely amazing, given that the average workweek is about 33-34 hours. TV has become our job. This thought keeps sticking with me: in 34 hours a week, we could pull quite a few items off a List of 100 Dreams if we tried. But much of the time we just don’t try. It’s always easier to just sit around — and we were definitely tempted today, given the hassles involved in bringing small children anywhere. But in these moments I try to remind myself that life is better lived than avoided. I have much more pleasant memories of visiting the High Line than I would of cleaning out my bedroom while the kids watched Dora.

What item can you pull off your List of 100 Dreams this week?

photo courtesy flickr user monkeyatlarge



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