The Life List

The 29th Birthday Life List* ** ***

Edit: Last updated May 4, 2021, and gosh, I was optimistic as a gal in my 20s. After three kids, some of these items will take a little longer to complete than I originally thought.


[1] Run a half marathon.

[2] Knit and donate 25 scarves and hats. (Update: Begun – 12/18/2013)

[3] Take fencing and/or archery lessons.

[4] See a shark and/or manta ray while scuba diving.++ (Done! Shark, Great Barrier Reef, 6/2/2014)

[5] Take Peter to the White House.

[6] Donate to my high school and college five years in a row. (Done!)

[7] Hike in New Zealand. (Done! 5/2014)

[8] Ride a horse.

[9] Milk a cow.

[10] Join a string ensemble.

[11] Write in a journal three times a week for six months.

[12] Take Peter to Niagara Falls.

[13] Taste five foods I’ve never seen before. (Done! 5/2014-6/2014)

[14] See the Northern Lights. (Done! September 2019, Iceland. They were spectacular.)

[15] Eat mussels on Prince Edward Island. (Attempted Summer 2019, underestimated the difficulty of traveling with small children.)

[16] Visit every state in the U.S.

[17] Go to a drive-in movie.

[18] Write a letter to a favorite author.

[19] Learn enough of another language to get around.

[20] Build a piece of furniture.

[21] Visit a monastery in Tibet.

[22] Be on TV (for something positive – no arrests, please). (Update: Done – 12/12/2013)

[23] Photograph a giraffe in the wild.

[24] Visit the Gullfoss in Reykjavik. (Done! September 2019. Also spectacular.)

[25] Read 100 books outside my usual genres. (Done several times over.)

[26] Go back to the Isle of Lewis and kayak off the coast.

[27] Try a popular extreme fad diet and write about it.

[28] Make yogurt.

[29] Volunteer at a food bank.

What do you have on your life list?

(Click here for last year’s birthday post: 28 Things I’ve Learned in 28 Years)+++



* I reserve the right to amend, add to, or delete from this list.

** List is truncated version of original list, which contained way too many travel destinations.

*** This is more of a “wish list” than a “life list”; a gal can always hope.

+ Dog pictures inserted to add visual interest.


+++ I originally planned to do a “29 Things I’ve Learned in 29 Years” list like last year’s post, but after approximately 0.116 seconds of thought, I realized I haven’t learned 29 new profound things in the last year (and no, learning Maddie makes an adorable fuzzy wuzzy sound as she’s settling down to sleep doesn’t count).


    1. Thanks, m’dear! 🙂

  1. Happy Birthday Jessie!!!
    A great list!!! It is crazy how time flies. I am going to be 30 in March! Eek! But traveling is on my list for sure. It is hard cause life happens and it is hard to make the time. But I need to!

  2. Happy birthday from here too Jessie!

    What exactly do you mean by [5]? Take Peter to the White House for a visit, or make him President? 😛

    1. Only if I’m President and he’s the First Gentleman!

  3. Marie and Mike says:

    Happy birthday!!! Come visit us next summer and we’ll go to the local drive-in together!
    xoxo Marie & Mike

    1. Sounds perfect to me! 🙂

  4. What a lovely and ambitious-in-the-best-of-ways list! I hope you get to do most of these things!

    Happy Birthday, Jessie! (Don’t forget to eat cake, it’s not on your list!;))

    1. Thanks, Lucy! And don’t worry – I had plenty of chocolatey goodness 😉

  5. PEI is very close to me.

      1. Relatively speaking it is on the same side of the country as me and can be reached with fairly minimal travel. Far enough that I would probably want to stay a couple nights at least if I was going. About 3 and half to four hours drive from where I live

        1. Good to know!! 😀

          1. I thought so.

  6. Happy Birthday!
    I love your list. Learning archery sounds sweet, you should totally take it up.
    Also, I read 8 and 9 as “milk a horse” and “ride a cow” which was pretty comical on first glance.
    I’m relatively close to Niagara Falls so if you drive there by way of the Michigan/Ontario border, let me know!

    1. “Milk a horse” – gracious! 😉 Now that I know you’re by Niagara Falls, I hope we’ll get there soon!

  7. Happy birthday to YOU!
    I can’t wait to hear which fad diet you choose….great idea!
    And fencing? Yes, I can see you as a fencer.

    1. Thanks, Gina 🙂 And as for seeing me as a fencer, I’ll take that as a compliment (I think? 😉 ).

  8. Happy Birthday Jessie!

  9. Happy Birthday lovely Jessie, wishing you a day filled with bliss and love! I love reading your lists and your dog is soooo adorable. Hiking in NZ & visiting a monastery in Tibet sound amazing, especially #13 – I am curious to know what five foods you’ve never seen before! Speaking of the White House, have you watched the show Scandal? Again, happy birthday!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks so much! I haven’t heard of that show but I’ll have to check it out 🙂

  10. AWESOME list!! I hope you get to do everything!! Fingers crossed. 🙂

    And happy now belated birthday!

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