Weighty Matters

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More About the Promise List

on March 4, 2012

Back on February 9th, I posted about my Promise List.  (You can see that post here.)  In the comments of my post yesterday at Reinventing Fabulous, someone asked if I’d mind sharing what things I’ve placed on my Promise List.  I don’t mind at all, but thought I might go a little more in depth in my explanation of why I’ve chosen to make a list and call it this.

For years I’ve seen books and television shows listing things you should do or places you should visit before you die. (Did you know that, according to a BBC Poll done earlier this decade, the number one thing that people in the U.K. want to do before they die is swim with dolphins?  Great choice!  I see people do it every day at the facility where I work.  People and dolphins have a great time.)  But I digress.

Someone put out a movie called The Bucket List.  I never saw it but I think the premise was that one guy found out he was dying and took off with another guy to do things he’d never done before he kicked the bucket.

For whatever reason, formulating a list that’s connected to my eventual demise makes my insides curdle.  It’s too much of a reminder that there is an actually deadline (literally) for checking off those items.   No extensions.  Ack the pressure!

All of my life there have been things that I wanted to do and places I wanted to see.  I think that’s natural.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have had many of those experiences — like swimming with dolphins and going to Europe.  I was thisclose to seeing Elvis Presley live in concert but he had a drug overdose the day before we got to Vegas and then died two years later.  Still, in the last fifteen years as my weight fluctuated, so did the number and variety of experiences.  There were some things that I would still go for — like last year’s cruise to Alaska — and others that I didn’t dare try.  I couldn’t fathom trying a scuba or sailing lesson or traveling to any place that might require me to fly on anything smaller than a full sized jet.  Even last year in Alaska, I was so heavy and out of shape that there were things I automatically banished from my head and deemed them non-doable.  It was just difficult for me to walk more than a few blocks.

For years, I told myself that someday I’d lose the weight and be able to do whatever I wanted.  For years I disappointed myself.  I can’t tell you how much I have grown to hate how my excessive weight limits my choices.

Soon after I began the journey to weight loss surgery, I experienced a terrific “aha’ moment.  I realized that, rather than “someday” being somewhat of an empty promise, it was now a reality, an eventuality.  There’s no more “maybe” to me losing weight.  It’s happening pretty much daily.  I absolutely am going to be able to do everything I’ve dreamed.

I refuse to tie those dreams to the bucket of death.  My future is bright and filled with promise — the promise of a happy, healthier life.  I have promised myself that I am going to explore all of the things that were trapped in that nebulous “someday” wishful thinking.  Hence, the Promise List.

Once I started making the list, I realized how happy I am to think of these things and make plans.  When a new item for the list comes to mind, I usually call one of my friends to share.  The whole process brightens my spirit, makes me smile, and imbues me with excitement and hope. I promised to share my current list.  Here it is, in no particular order:

Go to Hawaii — whale watch and snorkel while visiting; Speaking of snorkeling, I want to take my friends out on my boat and snorkel in the Keys, knowing I’ll be able to haul myself out of the water; Go ziplining, preferably in Hawaii or Costa Rica; Try paddleboarding; Buy an ocean kayak and kayak in the harbor behind my house whenever I want; Take a scuba lesson; Take a sailing lesson; Go to a fancy spa for a weekend; Go to Disney World, unafraid that I won’t fit in a ride’s seat; Go horseback riding (a favorite activity when I was much younger); Try Zumba; Get on a game show; Shop for clothes in a non-plus size department or store; Go on safari in Africa.

I might have to update the list in another six months because I’m positive there will be many additions and also some things that I can check off as done.   I can’t wait to get started.  Actually, I already have!

If anyone has a Promise List, please share it with us in comments.  I hope you experience each and every dream you’ve listed!


2 responses to “More About the Promise List

  1. Hope says:

    Promise list sounds so much more positive than bucket list!

    I’ve done standup paddleboarding a couple of times. It’s really fun! Maybe one of these days (years :p), Kristian and I can head to the Keys for a visit and we can go paddleboarding together!

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