Goals and Lists

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A Man Should Choose

with a careful eye the things to be remembered by

This past week threw a bit of a curve ball.  My dad died.  The end came quickly and while not unexpected, it was too soon.  It's funny how we deal with the left-over moments after the funeral and visitation have moved into yesterday.  Suffice to say that I'm staying away from Gordon Lightfoot songs on my playlist for a while.  

I found an interesting article on Nora Ephron's list of things she will and won't miss published in 2010 (she died in 2012).  It made me smile, and they all rang true for me.

 Nora Ephron's List:

What I Won't Miss

Dry skin
Bad dinners like the one we went to last night
E-mail
Technology in general
My closet
Washing my hair
Bras
Funerals
Illness everywhere
Polls that show that 32 percent of the American people believe in creationism
Polls
Fox TV
The collapse of the dollar
Bar mitzvahs
Mammograms
Dead flowers
The sound of the vacuum cleaner
Bills
E-mail. I know I already said it, but I want to emphasize it.
Small print
Panels on Women in Film
Taking off makeup every night

What I Will Miss

My kids
Nick
Spring
Fall
Waffles
The concept of waffles
Bacon
A walk in the park
The idea of a walk in the park
The park
Shakespeare in the Park
The bed
Reading in bed
Fireworks
Laughs
The view out the window
Twinkle lights
Butter
Dinner at home just the two of us
Dinner with friends
Dinner with friends in cities where none of us lives
Paris
Next year in Istanbul
Pride and Prejudice
The Christmas tree
Thanksgiving dinner
One for the table
The dogwood
Taking a bath
Coming over the bridge to Manhattan
Pie

I especially identify with the pie one.  When I came home, I made a peach pie.  Pie was one of my dad's favourite things in life.  No such thing as a bad slice of pie.  At my sister's house, we gathered together a final time, just the family, to have some lasagna and wine and pie.  And the thought of making one when I reached my own front door anchored me a bit for the hours ahead of travelling. 

I've always looked forward to writing lists.  My Saturday morning lists.  Little mini goals.  Move the bird feeder away from the wily squirrel who keeps finding ways to steal all the seed.  Deadhead the geraniums.  Make some pastry.  Vacuum.  Laundry. But the bigger goals have alluded me lately.  And it bothers me.  Writing.  Exercise.  Professional pastry courses have proved not an option at this time.  It seems wrong to be directionless.  Even though fall is the time of year for fallowness. With my parents both gone, it leaves me with what grounding they gave me (including the random truths of the goodness of pie), and the need to try to keep moving forward. 

And so here is my list of Goals,  Small and Big for present and future days

  • Keep making better pies
  • Learn how to bake other stuff really well
  • Save up and sign up for that pastry course program where they give you a chef's jacket to wear while you bake
  • Write something, anything really, at least once a week but preferably twice a week on this blog because it makes me feel that although I have done it from the couch, I am being less of a couch potato
  • Take a picture or two each week because I don't do it now
  • Keep doing needlepoint because it is beautiful to see a picture emerge from pulling the needle back and forth over a canvas of nothing
     

I read recently that if you don't really have any goals and you are stuck on coming up with a few, you can contemplate what sort of personal legacy you want to be remembered for after you are gone.  When I think of my dad, he lived such a full life.  Draftsman, father, son, brother, husband, uncle, grandfather. Teacher, coach, skater, woodworker, builder of houses and cottages.  Photographer, golfer, writer, reader, searcher of ancestry.  Curious, stubborn, funny, exasperating, difficult, a story-teller.  A memory like no other.  His life was the example lived of happiness found in the doing, not the accomplishment of the goals.  So for now, I will continue with the lists, and try to do one or two things on them.  And see what happens.  I think at the very least, there will be a pie or two on the counter.

 
 Dick Crowley, husband,  father, grandfather

Dick Crowley, husband,  father, grandfather