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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Life Goals Lists (aka Bucket Lists)

Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t blog last Friday. It wasn’t because I had posted something on Wednesday but rather because I was doing something I never thought I’d be able to, crossing off one very specific item from my life goals list.

I’m not sure if it’s the “type A” side of me or if it’s the Piscean dreamer, but I’ve had this list (which some of you may call your “bucket list”) since I was about 5 years old. I’ve never differentiated what goes on there since any of them, at the time of their addition, felt lofty and potentially impossible. In a way, this list is a bit of a time-line of who I was/am.

For example, one item on my list is “memorize my locker combination” which I likely added around 6th grade when, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember those 3 numbers. check Later additions include, “be accepted to college,” “get into my #1 choice for grad school,” and “finish a semester with a 4.0 GPA.” check, check, and during my final semester of grad school, finally, check Some items happened completely out of order too, like “speak at my graduation,” something I added at age 17, when I realized how many of my favorite sitcom characters were commencement speakers on their shows. Having graduated high school at age 18, that one seemed impossible, yet I was lucky enough to have achieved it at age 27 when I finished my MSW.

One of the earliest items I'd written on my list was to see my favorite musician perform. It’s been on my list for 21 years and, considering that he had retired in 2000, seemed to be another impossible goal to attain. Even when he signed a performance deal in Las Vegas in 2009, I was acutely aware of just how far away Vegas was from my apartment.

Last week, I crossed that goal off my list.

Yes, exactly 1 week ago, I was sitting 6th row, center, watching my musical idol perform. To be honest, it was incredibly therapeutic. There I was, listening to songs that had spanned much of my life, songs that had played in the background of my heartbreaks and travels, my friendships and experiences. Not only did I get to relive those moments, I did so while considering that there may well be other seemingly impossible goals that, well, aren’t so impossible at all.

I could write for days about the trip and about every second of the performance, but what I’m more interested in is hearing from YOU! What is on your life goals list? What items have you crossed off? Which are you halfway through?

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