Life List 41-50 and a Review

posted by Momo Fali on November 20, 2016

In 2010 I started a Life List of items I wanted to accomplish. It took almost five years (and a divorce) for me to mark any of them complete, but as of last August I had crossed five things off. And, as of a couple of weeks ago I’m happy to have made some more progress.

I had to revise the order because some things had to be removed for reasons beyond my control, but that’s okay. I can adapt. Here’s where I stand.

1. Graduate from college. (This is in progress. Also, one of the reasons I never have time to write blog posts anymore.)
2. Run a half marathon.
3. Travel across the United States in an RV.
4. Stand under a Giant Sequoia.

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5. Hike into the Grand Canyon. (Two weeks ago I hiked around it, but I’m not counting that.)

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6. Get published.
7. Become a Certified Interior Decorator. (#retirementgoals)
8. Paint a picture.
9. Camp in a tent, on a warm beach.
10. Visit all 50 states.
11. Visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
12. Get a tattoo.
13. Go skinny dipping.
14. Grow my own tomatoes.
15. Take a dance class.
16. Learn how to properly skip a stone.
17. Sample 100 types of beer.
18. Breed a dog and keep one of the puppies.
19. Learn to play guitar. (I bought a guitar, so I’m one step closer!)
20. Go on a winter campout.
21. Hike in Zion National Park. (This right here? Is why this Life List was created. GO THERE. Trust me.)

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22. Learn to golf. (With some accuracy.)
23. Participate in an adventure race.
24. Learn to paddleboard.
25. Visit the Vatican and attend mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.
26. Float in the Dead Sea.
27. Sit in a natural hot spring.
28. Take a photography class.
29. See the Northern Lights.
30. Ride a snowboard.
33. Go whitewater rafting.
34. Learn to play the drums.
35. See a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
36. Ride a Segway.
37. See a Broadway show.
38. Canoe or kayak down the Colorado River. (A couple of weeks ago I saw where they drop the boats in the water. I stood there and cried.)
39. Write a screenplay.
40. Go snowmobiling.

Now for some new additions. Not to be confused with New Edition.

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41. Visit Chichén Itzá. (I hear it’s awesome.)

42. Hike in Yosemite National Park. (Zion was just the warm-up.)

43. Do 50 push-ups in a row. (Don’t laugh. I can’t even do five.)

44. Learn to knit.

45. Brew my own beer.

46. Visit Chile. (When I was young I saw pictures of Chile and wanted to move there. That hasn’t changed.)

47. Go sailing.

48. Go whale-watching.

49. Watch a baseball game in Fenway Park.

50. See the sunrise from Acadia National Park’s Cadillac Mountain (the first place the sun rises in the United States).

Had I known how amazing some things would be on a recent trip I took out west, I would have included a lot of them on this list. They will have to be bonus items, I suppose. I will be sharing those details soon.

Have you started your list? What are you waiting for?

 

Blogging: Found

posted by Momo Fali on November 17, 2016

I was looking for a picture last night. Not like the old days when you would pull out a photo album and flip the pages over – looking through, maybe, 50 images to find the one you wanted.

No, I was looking for a specific photo and couldn’t find it on my phone. It must be on Facebook, I thought. It wasn’t. I scrolled through thousands of pictures, but the one I wanted wasn’t there.

I cursed and moaned about technology. No one needs this many pictures! Why are they in all different places? My iPhone, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter…ohhhh, it’s probably on the blog.

So I came here to look, but what I found when I got here was not what I came looking for.

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I haven’t been her for awhile and what I found as I scrolled through the categories were post after post that I don’t even remember writing. There are unbelievable memories here. I was laughing at witch penises, and how my son used to insult me, and how my son used to threaten animals. And, a whole lot of other things my son did.

I was reminded that children grow A LOT in nearly a decade of blogging. My daughter is getting ready to turn 18, for crying out loud! Also, I was right about this. I was also reminded that her talents are limitless.

What I found is almost 10 years of life documented. I found something I’m still passionate about even though it feels harder to write these days. I can’t write all the things I want to and that’s awfully hard, because I have a lot to say. My life, however, does go on. Beautifully, in fact. It’s time to start documenting that again.

I never found that picture, but I take back all the cursing and moaning I did about the technology in which it’s buried.

Long live this blog.

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Take My Hand

posted by Momo Fali on July 5, 2016

As a best friend’s father lay dying last winter we gathered around the edge of his bed and I grabbed one of his hands. I held it in mine and traced the lines and sun spots dotting his skin. Those hands were like a glimpse into his past; of a life well-lived. And, it was one of the first times I’ve talked out loud about how special I think a person’s hands are.

Mine are typing this post right now. They have typed, or handwritten, thousands of stories, letters and postcards to friends and family all over the world. They have held crying babies, laughing babies, and a dying baby. They have cooked countless meals and, in the case of tonight’s dinner, burned a few as well.

I used to watch my grandmother’s as she rolled out her own noodles, or carried my handicapped cousin through the house. My children have used theirs to make me homemade cards. My dad used his for manual labor. My mom uses hers to work logic problems, or wrap her loving arms around the back of her very dirty grandson.

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Hands create, they comfort, they caress and they betray. I can’t help but think of the love they promised, the ring mine wore for 18 years, and how they held the pen that signed that all away. I remember another relationship when they were used to hurt me. I think of the guns they fire and the harm they can do.

And, I can’t help but think of the new hands I hold; stronger than any I know, calloused and worn, but gentle and giving. They have rubbed my shoulders during tense times, held me in the midst of darkness and danced with me in the light. They have been quite wonderful at prodding me to do new things in this new life. I love them.

They say eyes are the window to the soul, but I think it’s the hands. Next time I see you, take my hand and give me a glimpse into yours.

They Aren’t Here

posted by Momo Fali on June 2, 2016

It never gets any easier. This is not how it is supposed to be.

They are often silent, watching shows on a tablet with headphones or reading in bed. But, they are here.

They frequently argue about silly things to the point you think you can’t take it anymore. They make messes. They use all the hot water. They leave their shoes and balls by the front door where everyone trips over them. But, they are here.

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And, it never gets any easier when they aren’t. It doesn’t matter that life is really good; work is fulfilling, school is going well, you’re in a great relationship, you have friends and family you can always lean on. None of that matters when they aren’t here.

So, you tell yourself you’ll stay busy. You go to the gym, you study, you run errands you’ve been putting off and end up at Target trying to spend the $75 you always spend.

Instead you come home with empty hands and an emptier heart and there are the shoes, and the ball, and the messes. Now the ordinary silence is deafening because they aren’t here.

And it never, ever, gets any easier.