I’m reading The List: Shout Out Your Dreams by Yuval Abramovitz.  I don’t love it.  I don’t hate it either.  I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I won’t go into what I like and dislike about it, but I will tell you how it is impacting me thus far.

In general, Abromovitz’s premise is that we should keep lists of our dreams and goals and then share those lists (or at least items on the lists) with people.  He posits that sharing your dreams with people allows you to commit to your dreams and yourself and to get the help you need to realize your dreams.

I don’t get with that completely.  I believe that we need God to direct our desires and our steps, but I do believe that there is value in concretizing your dreams and sharing them.  So in that vein, I will share some of my lists with you (I made at least 4 or 5 lists today, and I found that exercise actually quite wonderful.).  I always thought I wasn’t ambitious.  My lists clearly prove me wrong.

Things I Want to Do Before I’m 51

  • work in a high school, planting and directing an academic resource center
  • earn an Ed.D. in literacy, language, and culture from UMSL (paid for by someone who is not me)
  • get out of debt
  • write and publish the book about the kids
  • write and publish the book about Ebele
  • begin writing and publishing other books in the Ebele series
  • write and publish the book about Malcolm and Teresa
  • write and publish a romance (but I don’t think the one about LaTroy and Kaidis or the one about Blake and Cassaundra are the ones)
  • become a postpartum doula and volunteer my services in St. Louis City (I’m thinking about Thrive St. Louis, but I need to learn more about them)
  • teach in China
  • celebrate New Year’s Eve in Sydney
  • live some time like they did in the 19th Century (if it’s at an abandoned mining town or someplace else)
  • live unencumbered (have so few possessions, debts, responsibilities, etc. that we can get up and dive headlong into adventures over the summer – once the kids are gone, maybe our adventures can be extended)
  • compete on Dancing with the Stars
  • revolutionize American education
  • become an education juggernaut (NB – my list for things I want to do before turning 61 includes becoming US Secretary of Education.  How is that for becoming a juggernaut?)
  • go back to Vienna
  • learn to tat
  • relearn how to crochet
  • relearn how to knit
  • learn to play the piano
  • learn to play the guitar
  • relearn how to play my clarinet
  • work for myself and not anyone else
  • if I do work for someone else, it will be part-time and on my terms
  • run my own publishing press
  • design a clothing line for people who can only wear cotton – it must include lingerie, socks, and other hard to find items
  • turn the clothing line into a business (even if I just start out as an Etsy business, that would be so cool.  I could make some things and source other items that I like.  Nice.)
  • take more ballet lessons
  • learn to square dance
  • celebrate Carnival in Rio
  • winter in someplace warmer than St. Louis
  • have an uncluttered house
  • have a clean house
  • be kinder to my kids
  • follow my own circadian rhythms and energy patterns
  • earn an MA (of some sort in theology – currently I’m fascinated by the MACM at Missouri Baptist University – and have someone else pay for it)
  • earn a Th.D. or D.Div (and have someone else pay for it)
  • do mission work right here at home in St. Louis (I know there is all kinds of work to do, but I’m really talking about setting up some sorts of educational systems and supports – I can definitely see this as work that I could do through church.)
  • learn to ride a horse
  • visit more of the presidential libraries, eventually hitting all of them (I’ve already been to Lincoln’s)
  • take a nap every day
  • study my bible systematically
  • get pregnant, have a healthy pregnancy, and give birth to a healthy baby (or healthy babies)
  • adopt a sibling set
  • earn my MLIS (and have someone else pay for it)
  • visit the Grand Canyon
  • visit 5 more national parks than I’ve already visited
  • bookify and publish my dissertation
  • write and publish academic articles on 19th C stuff (and education and writing and Christian things – why not?)
  • write and publish a fictional slave narrative (in some ways, I guess that is what the book about Ebele is)

Start Steward (the school I’ve been dreaming about starting for the past nearly 20 years)

Here’s a video I made when I was trying to win $50,000 from National Geographic to fund my venture.

Here’s a mock site I made for the school.  My ideas have evolved since then, but it’s worth a peak.

  • convince St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) to give me the 3 vacant school buildings that I want (Scullin, Marshall and Branch, CVPA)
  • start ARCs at SLPS schools in exchange for their empty buildings
  • make a multimedia proposal to SLPS – I’ve actually already done a ton of prep work accumulated over the past decade
  • write a business plan
  • get 501c3 status for Good Steward Education (I actually want to create an organization like PEO, the organization that backs Cottey College.  Hey, I know someone who works at Cottey College….)
  • start a buzz about the school before it even begins to materialize

I clearly have a lot of work to do.  I’m looking for you to comment with questions, suggestions, offers of help (however they may come), offers of funding (I can dream, can’t I?), encouragement, and whatever else is on your mind.  Thanks in advance!


  1. This is a wonderful list! I’m sending thoughts of positivity, love & support your way 😍 I’m hoping our blessings come in a way that allows us to invest blessings into some of these things on your list! God bless you sweet beautifull lady.

  2. Thank you so much for your thoughts and support. I’m blessed by you already, because you’ve already invested time and love into me. God bless you too.

  3. […] but apparently I was on May 8, 2015, when I not only wrote but had the audacity to post a list of things I want to accomplish by the time I finish being 50.  The list appears to be entirely unedited and uncontextualized.  I […]

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