My Life List. Life MENU. I’m Turning 40. And also, My Taste Buds Are Dying.

Life List… Life Menu… List of Awesome Things To Do… without pressure, but with purpose.

And my tastebuds are dying because… that’s what they do as you get older.

I am turning forty. Hitherhencetofore…. OLDER.

Back in July, I attended the Evo Conference in Park City, Utah. I love Evo. I have gone every year…

Evo jump with Jyl! via @jennyonthespot
While there I was able to attend Karen Walrond’s (Chookooloonks) session on Life Lists… or Life Menus. Oh it was so good for my heart…

Karen calls her list a Life Menu… She said (I am not quoting verbatim because my memory doesn’t speak “verbatim”)… she prefers to see her list as a menu. Say…. you go to a restaurant and you look at a menu. You can eat anything on the menu…  but you can’t eat it all! That’s kind-of how she explained her philosophy of life listing. The list is not there for one to feel the pressure to complete before DEATH, but rather the list highlights the neatest of the neat things to do/experience… Listing brings to the front of mind the array of wonderful things one can choose to enjoy when life permits or opportunity knocks.

Karen went on to share that it is important to put that list “out there”. For Karen, and me… “out there” is our online home.  Putting one’s list “out there” makes it more real. It gives certain focus or added awareness. Say you have an opportunity to ride in a hot air balloon. When you have an item on your life list – the opportunity is seen in a different light. Instead of reasoning an opportunity away, a connection is made… Where once there were only crossed fingers for someday… there is a target.

With a goal there comes determination.

I hit my 4th decade tomorrow. My list has been sitting in a little journal since July, though it has been living loosely in my brain for years. I have decided a present to me is to get my list written down and put “out there”. This list is living. I will probably add things.  I may remove things. It’s OK. I know you will never see “Be President of the United States” on my Life Menu. This is a list of joy and/or things that will stretch me. Not STRESS me.

What is intriguing to me now, may not be in 5 years. I want my list to reflect things that will bring joy. Things that may stretch me, but not create pressure or anxiety.

Karen had us list items in categories:

  • Things you’d love to do
  • Things to do with someone you love
  • Crazy silly fun things
  • Ways to give back

Things I’d Love To Do

– Do a daily photo challenge to document life. Say… 5 years? Life changes a lot in 5 years. I think seeing a daily visual life catalog could be mundane, but also moving… (Idea via Justin Hackworth).
– Write a book!
– Learn how to surf
– Learn how to play the drums
– Start a chick band
– Learn to french braid
– Swing on a trapeze
– Vlog every day for a month
– Swim in all 7 oceans
– Complete and Iron Man triathlon
Be keynote speaker (EVO!)

Photo by Justin Hackworth - justinhackworth.com

(photo cred: Justin Hackworth)

– Throw a party to treat and celebrate my friends & family
– Have a reason to get a passport
– Go to/work on a dude ranch
– Go paddle boarding
SOAR in a hot air balloon (did it at Evo too!!! I see a theme!)

I'm on a hot air balloon via @jennyonthespot
– Help 13 others check-off something on their life lists
– Ride a mechanical bull

Things To Do With Someone(s) I Love

– 6-8 week road trip with family across the U.S. (We already a 3 weeker… I think we are THAT kinda family!)
– NYC with the family (Really, I want to take them everywhere… I want to watch my kids see the world)
– tropical vacay… but only the hubs and me. We’ve never gone tropical without kids.
– sail away on a catamaran
– drink coffee on an outdoor patin in a Parisian cafe
– Go to Greece (I know, I know… but someday…)
– Go to Italy
– Paris with the husband… sip espresso in a Parisian cafe *sigh*
– Make annual vision boards with the family (We did it in 2012!)
– Coordinate a flashmob
– Own a home on the water

Crazy Silly Fun Things

– Walk the Red Carpet (Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, all… whatever)
– Make a Flula-like video (music, dancing, silly…)
– Wear a wig all day, on a regular day & out to dinner.

Ways To Give Back

– Send a handwritten letter/card to a different friend/family member. Do it once a week. Forever.
– Pay it forward – groceries
– Pay it forward – an outstanding bill
Give a bouquet to a stranger
– Help a family with a sick child to raise funds. (kind-of doing this now)
– Leave encouraging post-its in random public places.
– Serve in another country with my family (missions)
– Serve in another country (missions)
– Ice cream for everyone!

Mondo Beyondo

– Walk the Great Wall of China
– Go on a safari… Africa, Australia. Either. Both.
– Host/star-in a tv show.
– Be in a movie. WHY NOT?!
– Host the Oscars (HEY. MONDO BEYNDO!)
– Take our (hub’s) family on a vacation. Treat them. Completely.
– Landscape our yard. If you’ve seen our land, you’d understand why this fits in MONDO BEYONDO.
– Pay-off mortgage.
– Be an SNL cast member. Wouldn’t that be RAD?!


So. Have you ever made a life list? Have you ever wanted to? If you have it somewhere to share, I’d LOVE to see it (Leave the link in the comments!)… Without thinking and reasoning it away, what would be one of YOUR MONDO BEYONDOs???

Do you have any suggestions for things I can add? I will admit, this is not complete. But a first pass. It feels good to get it out. I also feel a little funny about putting it all out there. Makes me feel silly. Vulnerable. My Mondo Beyondos… very mondo and beyondo

But that’s OK.

Alrighty. Hi there 4th decade…. LET’S DO THIS!


Don’t forget to visit Jenny On the Spot on Facebook. It’s just like here, but it’s not. You know, ‘cuz it’s Facebook, so… And Twitter. And YouTube. Definitely YouTube

Jenny On the Spot! @jennyonthespot

Peace and Sparkles!


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17 Responses to “My Life List. Life MENU. I’m Turning 40. And also, My Taste Buds Are Dying.”

  1. Helen Jane says:

    Hooray! Awesome list — so excited to have been at EVO with you. A very special event indeed.

  2. Kristen says:

    Oh girl – your videos give me so much joy! Love them and your life list rocks 🙂

  3. Cally says:

    You’d be PERF for SNL. Why aren’t they calling you? Ugh. Those blasted cliques, right?

    Landscaping our property is MONDO BEYONDO, indeed. I hear that. The ticks are taking over. Do you think I could get them to weed whack?

    As for those taste buds…a good pinot noir might help.
    Here’s to ya!
    Happy early birthday!

  4. That’s a fantastic list! And I adore you and your video blogs.

    That is all.

    Oh wait…that isn’t all.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! YOU are a light and a lovely person that I am so glad to know.

  5. Kari says:

    What an awesome list! I especially love the ones where you wear a wig all day and send hand-written cards to family/friends (that would surely make my day) – how fun! I would love to come up with my own list but, frankly, it’s scary. I know that sounds silly but I’m one of those OCD people who isn’t very flexible and thinks if something is on a list, I have to keep it “as is” on the list without ever modifying the list. And, that if I don’t complete the items on my list, I’m a big failure. Thus, I don’t really EVER make lists, LOL! (Yes, I have issues). But, anyway, yours has inspired me to think about doing this for myself and learning to be more flexible with it.

  6. Amy says:

    Love this! I have been wanting to make a life “to-do” list forever and I think you’ve finally given me the push to do it.

    You, my friend, are one special lady. Happy Birthday!!

  7. Amiyrah says:

    Dude. After reading your menu, I’m pretty sure now that we’re soul sisters. So many things on your menu are on my bucket list! I do love the idea of changing it to a menu and treating it as such. I guess I should change my list to a menu and start adding a few more items for inspiration.

    Also? I completely agree on you making a Flula video! I love you for even mentioning it. Maybe we can do one together: A Duran Duran/Eric Carmen mash up (Hungry Like the Wolf/ Hungry Eyes) with kazoos?

  8. Allie says:

    That was my favorite session by far and I loved all the sessions at EVO12! I love your list and let me know when you want to learn how to french braid because I can teach you.

  9. Aw, love your spirit.To-do lists are a must in life. And the phrase “LIFE MENU” is even better!! 🙂 ps you look beautiful. Age is just a number, clearly!! 🙂

  10. Michelle says:

    Holy Crap! You want to do a lot of things. I think one of the things you may have forgotten, though, is sleep. Like a sleep marathon…or maybe sleep a whole day? I like sleep too.
    Happy 40th my friend. Welcome to the dark side…um I mean …
    nope, that’s what I mean.

    Love to you and your taste buds.

  11. […] by a post from my good friend Jenny Ingram, I have FINALLY started a life “to-do” list. I have been wanting to put these life […]

  12. Stacey says:

    Number one on my Life List WAS “get a vlog shout out from JOTS regarding rockin’ birthday present”! I can now turn 30:)! Miss you!

  13. Stasha says:

    Happy 40!! I see a safari in your future…

  14. Brooke says:

    Love this list, Jenny! And you!

  15. OK…. I’m totes flying up to Seattle do wear a wig with you all day and out to dinner. AND… even though it wasn’t on your life menu… we’ll get a jumping pic in our wigs. My wig may or may not be purple. Just warning you.

    Alright, I need to start packing my bags. I can’t wait! LOL!

    And PS: Totally go on a 6-8 week road trip. I think we’re THAT family too. Do it in Europe. You totally could be the next Chevy Chase in European Vacation.

    Glad you checked so many of these off at evo. Love having you there every year. xoxo

  16. Sheila says:


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