#75 … Check.

We incorporated the Tipping Bucket as an official non-profit in UT sometime around 10pm this Wednesday. I didn’t actually even realize I had another check mark to add to the list until my sister Molly congratulated me on crossing another one off. Several reflections on this:

First, and rather simply, how grateful I am for people who keep me in touch with my dreams!

Second, and slightly less simply, how important it is to be patient with dreams. Now, in now way am I qualified to extolling the virtues of patience. But there was a little lesson in this experience for me. See, I started the list–wrote the first 60+ items–as a gawkish 13-year-old in Mr. Maddox’s 8th grade science class. I’d capped it off at 100 before high-school graduation.

I haven’t the slightest idea how I’m going to accomplish most of the items on my list (reading all the Caldecott, Newbury and Pulitzer prize-winning works since 1900, for instance). But that’s never bothered me.

Far more vexing have been the times I’ve been tempted to “revise” my dreams. See, I no longer wish to have anything to do with purebred Persian cats (#4) nor do I particularly relish the idea of #52 (Watch all the Star Wars movies in order) after literally plugging my ears through the last half of episode 3 so as to be spared any more of the tortured dialogue.

I even vowed a few years back, not in any kind of a fit or rage but after careful consideration of the sad state of poor communication, duplicated effort and expenses, diffused resources and disappointing impact in the non-profit world, that I would never start a non-profit. I was not going to contribute to that fragmented, inefficient mess. I would simply find an organization I could wholeheartedly support and, well, throw my whole heart into it.

Still, I couldn’t quite bring myself to take #75 off the list. And (obviously) my opinions have changed.

I’m not saying that dreams can’t or shouldn’t change. Nor am I saying that what you wanted as a lanky (or lumpy) adolescent is always the best course for your life. I am saying “hold off taking that crazy #39…or 14… or 87 off the list.” The story isn’t over.

I’ll find a way to “run” that marathon yet.


4 responses to “#75 … Check.

  1. Yay! Way to go SaraJoy Pond! This is an amazing accomplishment, and I have no doubt that you’ll be checking the others off your list as time goes on…but what is best is that I know you’re enjoying the journey! 🙂

  2. Ali


    I am in team crocs, but learnt about your success from an email from your “second-coolest” prof. Wishing you another successful venture!


  3. Erin

    No SJP! Don’t take off #52! You will enjoy it if you watch them with me and we do crafts! It is an important part of our generational cultural heritage. I’ve been in love with Han Solo for 25 yrs, and you love me, ergo, you will, well maybe not love him, but with my guidance, develop an appreciation for his fine qualities.

    I don’t think you need to remove your dreams, just edit them. I view my list as really more of a guideline. I maintain that the reasoning behind why you chose each goal is the same, it’s just that the focus has changed. The core of who you are as a person hasn’t changed, just the interests that capture you. Why did you want a purebred Persian Cat in the first place? Was it so much about the cat or did you just want a pet you really connected to? So edit it a little, say you want to have a pet someday (in my opinion a very loyal dog, preferably a mutt) that becomes a true part of your family.

    Your list shouldn’t become a checklist to show that you’ve accomplished things, that kind of rigidity prevents growth and new opportunities. Rather let it be a reminder to really live your life to the fullest and take advantage of every opportunity to be adventurous, wander off the beaten path, and learn new things so you continue to grow and progress as a whole individual.

    Life is organic and everchanging, not a set of rules carved in stone! You and your dreams should be to.

  4. Chris Lott

    Tipping Bucket is an exciting project. It was great to learn about it, and even better to meet you!

    I’ve never kept a list of things to do… but your example is making me think I should. It would probably be good for me to think back and remember what some of those things I wanted to do were!

    I do keep an ongoing list of obsessions, though, to what end I’m not sure. A section I happen to have handy includes:

    Stars, inter-stellar light, quantum entanglement, the sound leaves make in the dark as night sets in, the small hollow at the base of a woman’s neck, hip bones, ruins of Roman coliseums, emotion expressed in the eyes, emerald flaws, solipsism, recurrence, multiple infinities, infinity plus one, ruined and abandoned places I once inhabited, the gathering of dew, the perfect arch of an ecstatic back, monkeys, the rare knowledge that something is happening for the last time when it is happening, stone, the quiet moments after, missing teeth, fine blond hair on tan thighs, the sound keyboards make in the movies, decaying flowers, walking in the pitch-black dark, my biological father’s face, epitaphs, dark matter, the technological singularity, Rothko canvases in the right light, caves, the sound of the sea in shells, forgotten ideas, the flow of auroral light, moonlight reflected on the wind-blown sea.

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