Have, Be, Do List

I just finished reading a book called Table for One, which was surprisingly accurate, humbling, and humorous. In it, she suggests making a list of things you want to Have, Be, and Do in your life.

Now normally I’m against lists. For example, the list I’ve heard many women tell high school girls to make of qualities they want in a husband. Do they actually hear themselves suggest this? As if this one time is the exception in life where you will get exactly what you want and it will just fall into your lap, no work involved. Well this may have worked for them, but that doesn’t mean it works for everyone.

It’s like the people who say “You’ll find someone when you stop looking; I did.”  Well, A. I wasn’t looking for years when I was fine with being single, and I still didn’t find anyone and, B. what they’re really saying is “If you weren’t so desperate you would probably be more likely to attract men.”

Or maybe I’m just bitter because in a moment of weakness I made a list and Prince Perfect did not immediately materialize out of thin air and ask me out to dinner.

But I digress. The purpose of this list is to put your desire to get married and have children (if these are desires of yours) in the context of other dreams and remind us that marriage is not the end-all, be-all of life. This list helps us set goals, meet challenges, and take risks that lead to a more vibrant life.


  • A Great Dane
  • Land Rover (it’s so wrong for many reasons, but ever since Sidney Bristow drove one in Alias I’ve wanted one)
  • Meaningful tattoo (probably on my foot)
  • Children (I’ve made a thoughtful, prayerful, and conscious decision that if I’m still single at 35 I will adopt)
  • A black and white room in my house (or apartment) that has only pictures of influential women (ie. Susan B. Anthony, Audrey Hepburn, Jacklyn Kennedy Onassis, Angela Thomas, Harriet Tubman, etc)
  • A macbook
  • A large bathtub


  • A PhD
  • A professor
  • A psychologist
  • A speaker
  • An author
  • A lover of people
  • A good, safe, and loyal friend
  • A mother
  • A servant
  • A world traveler
  • A giver
  • Authentic


  • See a glacier in Alaska
  • Tour Greece
  • Skate at Rockefeller Center in New York
  • Drink coffee at local cafes in Portland and Seattle
  • Work with women in or just out of the sex trade in Thailand (or anywhere, really)
  • Go rock climbing in Maine
  • Be proposed to (if I ever am) at night when it’s snowing
  • See luminescence in the ocean
  • Re-learn to play the flute
  • See Alanis Morissette in concert
  • Go backpacking
  • Live downtown in a big city
  • Meet my compassion child in Tanzania (and climb at least part of Mount Kilimanjaro while I’m there:)
  • Do something meaningful for my parents to thank them for years of love, sacrifice and support
  • Leave a legacy
  • Learn to love myself
  • Fulfill God’s will for my life

One thought on “Have, Be, Do List

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