Note: I’m writing this while listening to my roommate play Paramore’s Misery Business: “Just watch my wildest dreams come true, not one of them involving you … ”

My family started a vacation tradition when we found ourselves stuck in Seattle. We were trying to fly standby to Hawaii and weren’t going to make it. Despite disappointment and crabbiness, we were determined to have fun, so we all got to make a wish. My brother wanted to drive the Pacific Highway/Highway 1 down the coast. My sister and I wanted to go to San Francisco. My mom wanted to play on the beach. My dad wanted to see Crater Lake.

The tradition continues, though we don’t really go on trips. But when we’re all home in Minnesota, everyone gets a wish. Even the niece and nephew get in on the wishing action (toy store!). I love this tradition and usually am the first to put my wish out there and ask for others’ wishes.

And I poo-poo others’ when they make lame wishes like, “I just want for us to all be together.”

No, make a real wish! I want birthday cake for breakfast, to go on a hot-air balloon ride … Those are wishes! I also force visiting friends to voice their wishes.

Anyway, I talk a lot about my own list of dreams or wishes. That trip to San Francisco is where that started. Though I never actually wrote the list until my friend Tara forced me to on a long drive. I think that original list she wrote for me is in a box somewhere. I vaguely remember a few of the items on it:

Live in a big city
Own a beautiful chandelier & have somewhere to hang out
Have a spa day with my sister
Take surfing lessons
Walk, bike or crawl the entire Burke-Gilman Trail

OK, so one out of five isn’t bad. But that list has evolved, and I now have my spin-off New York list of wishes. Here’s a look at where the life wish list has gone:

Own a beautiful chandelier & have somewhere to hang out
Have a spa day with my sister
Go surfing
Walk, bike or crawl the entire Burke-Gilman Trail
Become fluent in French
Get published in a major magazine (or website would be fine, too)
Earn a master’s degree
Zip-lining
Get married and have (bilingual) children
Treat my niece to a big girl day in New York – pretty dresses, Broadway show, fancy dining.

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