The Ultimate To-Do List

I’m the type of person who likes to-do lists. Most of my to-do lists remind me of what I haven’t yet accomplished but need to do. I want to create a to-do list of what I haven’t yet done but want to do — a check list full of things that are wild, crazy and fun.

Oddly enough, I got this idea while chewing gum. I noticed the other day that on the inside of my gum pack, there was a list of fun things to do. I think it’s part of a promotional activity on the gum maker’s part. Here’s the list:

Rhinestone your entire wardrobe (Maybe like Leslie Hall?); hopscotch across the Golden Gate bride; rebut the Theory of Relativity; become a competitive ballroom dancer; break a world record; cartwheel across the Great Wall of China; get your massage therapy license; grow our your hair and donate it; run a marathon.

I would add to the list:

Become a track star; Fly in a hot air balloon; live in South America for a year; climb the world’s tallest tree (115.55 m); write a memoir; go back and read all of my favorite childhood books; sing on Broadway; be in a dance competition; go on a roller coaster (no, I still haven’t been on one); become a mom, and a grandma, and a great-grandma; learn how to speak Italian and Portuguese; write stories that bring people justice; go skydiving; make a paper crane chain that extends across the country; open my own hand-made jewelery shop; go to Paris; be the person who’s in charge of decorating the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center; work for a newspaper in all 50 states; see what life’s like at a giraffe’s height; create a built-in karaoke system for cars; draw a mural upside down; set a record as the world’s highest pogo-stick jumper; find a cure for cancer; become a competitive power walker; invent a business model that’ll save newspapers; read all the books I own; touch a cloud.

What’s on your ultimate to-do list?

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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