Sunday, January 4, 2009

Life Goals

My husband's friend Dan from grade school recently achieved one of his life goals - he bought and completely renovated a house 100 steps from the beach in Westport, Ct. Last night he had the "opening" night party at his renovated "cottage."

With an amazing eye for detail and desire to create a model true to the "Arts & Crafts" bungalow, the home embraces and calms as one discovers unusual touches -- hand-tooled hinges, a copper kitchen sink (bought on e-bay for $795), images of mermaids playfully hidden within tile, a coupula with beautful stained glass images and a weathervane that has followed Dan to each new house he renovates. The bookcase in his office is filled with books on Arts & Crafts archetechture and bungalows. He did his homework and with help from his girlfriend designer extraordinnaire, has created a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. (I'll get a photo and post later).

I remember sitting down with Dan at one of the many gatherings of our crowd several years ago. He talked about how having a home on the water was one of his goals in life. Intrigued, I asked if he had a list of things he wanted to do. And he did. Travelling to great places and climbing mountains like Kilimanjaro is one - checked off and done. For his 50th, he's heading to Patagonia.

Last night he asked a bunch of us what we wanted to do with our lives. It's a hard question to answer. Getting through each day sometimes seems enough of a goal. But as I've spent time with Dan, I have started thinking about the things that I want to do. Travel is an obvious. There are places I've never been and want to see: Spain, Italy, Portugal, Australia, etc.

But when I think about my goals, I think more about what I personally want to make happen. I too want to live on the water - a home by the sea, a lake, a stream even -- is at the top of my list. I want to learn to make cheese. I want to learn to fly fish. I want to catch a permit (it is part of the 3 sport fishes that consititute a grand slam in the keys and I've already caught a tarpon and bonefish). I want to discover a new career path. And more.

I'm not sure having an actual list gets you there faster. It works for Dan. But I do think keeping track and thinking about what you want to achieve is what will make your life richer and more meaningful. I'm working on my list.


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