We've all heard of the lists people make. You know the "Before I Die I Want To..." lists. Well, I for one think that's rather morbid, so I'm going the opposite route. I really like the old expression, "You simply haven’t lived until you've whatever." Since the expression is mostly used in the South or in movies, it usually winds up being something like, "You simply haven't lived until you've tried some of Mabel's iced tea." While I'm sure the tea is lovely, I'm convinced you simply haven't lived until...
You've Watched the Classics
You must watch the classics. Sure, throw in some of those old black and whites your grandmother likes so much, but I'm talking about modern classics such as Forrest Gump, Princess Bride
, The Breakfast Club, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Austin Powers, and every full length animated film ever made. This is just a very short list - maybe someday I'll make a complete list of "Movies You Must See Before You Die," but that's for another day.
You've Dripped with Sweat
It's totally gross, I know. But until you've been so devoted to a project or mission that you've literally had sweat running in streams down your forehead and body, you don't know what real work is like. I've dripped with sweat while running, biking and working on houses in one hundred degree heat for those who really needed it. And I can tell you that a hard day's work is a reward in itself.
You've Raced Down a Mountain
I don't care how you do it, but race down a mountain as many times as you can. I've personally shot down a mountain on skis and on a mountain bike. There was an unfortunate running episode down a hiking trail when my balance isn't what I thought it was. I highly recommend a bike, but however you make it down the mountain, the exhilaration is breathtaking.
You've Seen the World
I personally have only seen four or five countries so far, but I plan on seeing as many as possible. I think it's amazing to see how others live around the globe. The differences and similarities are what make humans so intriguing. I might grow up halfway around the globe from you, but we still do some things in the same way despite speaking totally different languages and having two totally different cultures.
You've Cared About Others
Yes, you're important, but there is nothing more powerful than giving yourself over to others. Join a mission group or work at the local shelter or food pantry. It's hard to see past our own drama and misery sometimes, but seeing how others are sometimes forced to live and knowing that you've helped to make their lives just a tiny bit better is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
You've Baked Bread
I think everyone should bake bread at least once just to say she's done it. If you can't bake bread, try any of the other tasks that used to consume the daily lives of girls our age a century ago. Try washing clothes by hand, making soap, working in a garden, or taking care of kids all day. Then think about how great it is to have the privileges that we do - some girls are still doing these tasks everyday while we chat and text ourselves silly.