When I made my “101 List,” I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let it consume my blog. I saw flashes of my posts constantly focusing on logistical issues, like….

…. how am I going to visit 58 national parks – one located in American Samoa – by May 2011?

… how am I going to bank roll this little project? 
(I thinking it will end up costing me $100,000.)

…. when am I going to have time to work?

I definitely want to keep everyone updated on my progress, but do you really care that I only have a one-month window each spring to accomplish No. 13 – riding with storm chasers? (Or that fact it’s going to cost me $2,600.)

Anyway….I thought I would go ahead and break that little promise to myself right out of the gate. I have two reasons for already blogging about “The List”:

1) I marked off my first task.

2) I have some small nuggets of advice for anyone thinking about making the radical leap and making a list of their own. I’ve already heard whispers that some of my friends and family members are considering it, which is AWESOME, but heed my warnings.

(BTW: If you DO lay out 101 things to do in 1001 days, please forward me a copy of your list and confirm that I was your inspiration….I would LOVE to keep my momentum going a scratch No. 32 off my “List”)

(in honor of the Michael Phelps whipping tail in Beijing)

Scratch it off – No. 51 is no more! (For those that haven’t memorized my list…that was: “Participate in a wine tasting.”) Last night, Tanya and I attended one in Dallas.

Here is an actual conversation before we went:

FRIEND: “Are you guys crashing it?”

ME: “No.”

FRIEND:  “Did somebody invite you after they read your list?”

ME: “I think it’s just a coincidence.” 

FRIEND: “Oh…I thought they felt sorry for you because you hadn’t accomplished anything on your list yet?”

WELL NOW I HAVE….AND THERE IS NO STOPPING ME! (Still only 14 American League ballparks, one Fathead, and a $1 million to go!)

Here are a few highlights from my wine-tasting experience:

• Paul, the leader of the wine tasting (pictured right), referred to himself – in all seriousness – as the “Wine Master.” (Love it! Love it! Love it!)

• I tried 14 different wines – some were awesome, while others tasted like astringent. 

• I learned there are certain wines that actually go well with turkey. (Again … astringent.)

• I learned Ritz crackers cleanse your pallet between “tastes.”

• I learned that you actually don’t spit out the wine in buckets if you don’t like it. There is a bucket, but it’s for pouring out wine you don’t prefer and/or emptying your glass after you wash it with water.

• I learned that “flabby” is actually an appropriate description for wine. (FYI: Lacks acidity.)

• I purchased a nice bottle of Dos Rojos – the Wine Master described it as “a wine that will put hair on your knuckles.” 

Here is a little preface to my advice: I’m sticking to my guns on my list. Even though I’ve second-guessed myself about 136 times over the last week. I refuse to change and/or amend my original list.

Now….here are some things EVERY potential “list maker” should think about:

• You are only dealing with so many seasons
If you make your list “official” in the next couple of weeks, you only have two summers for those dream vacations. On a positive note, if you have a lot of activities that involve the snow, you’ll have three winters to get those tasks done.

• Money talks and…
….you better be paying attention. A trip to Italy, Australia, and South Africa by 2011 sounds awesome, but if you have to exhaust your children’s college fund in order to do it … not so awesome. Keep in mind that doing really cool things costs a lot of money, too. 
(e.g. Riding in a hot air balloon: $175; Skydiving: $295; Buying a round of drinks for an entire bar: Who knows … priceless, I guess.)

• Embrace life’s simple pleasures
I kind of wish I had more things like No. 47 (“Order a double scoop of ice cream”) or No. 58 (“Let my dog play in the ocean.”) Just take that hind site for what it’s worth. (To help you understand, re-read the first two bullet points.)

• “Giving Back”
I love the tasks that fall under this header on my “List.” I definitely stretched myself in this area, but I think that’s why I love it so much. I encourage you to put some emphasis on the causes in this world that tug at your heart strings.

“…With My Wife”
I’m really glad I created this category, but I’m excited that Tanya is going to share A LOT more than those seven tasks. My advice: Include your spouse. I really think you’ll enjoy your “List” a lot more.

• More focus on “Spiritual Life”
I wish I had more tasks under this category. I think I got too caught up in the “big ticket items,” forgetting that any task listed under that header ARE the most important. Like I said, though, I’m sticking to my guns. I unveiled the list to the world, and I’m going to do every last task on it. This is something I am going to do, though – I’m dedicating my entire “List” to Jesus Christ. I’m treating it like a gigantic thank you note to Him for allowing me to truly live an adventurous and amazing life.

Here are three Bible verses that exemplify this journey of 101 tasks in 1001 days:

Brothers, I do not consider myself 
yet to have taken hold of it. 
But one thing I do: 
Forgetting what is behind 
and straining toward what is ahead, 
I press on toward the goal to win the prize 
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

g g g

They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.

– Psalm 36: 8-10

g g g

So I commend the enjoyment of life, 
because nothing is better for a man under the sun 
than to eat and drink and be glad. 
Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days 
of the life God has given him under the sun.
– Ecclesiastes 8:14-16
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