Did you catch last month’s post on making your own kick-ass bucket list in less than an hour?
That post was so much fun to write, and it spurred me to make my own bucket list. I put it in an excel file on my desktop and I’ve already revisited it several times to add new things that occurred to me (like “take our kids back to Luang Prabang for the lantern festival” and “buy a tea box”).
Just looking at the list reminds me that life is rich, we live in an amazing world, and the future is full of fun possibilities.
This week, I want to do a similar exercise for all of you in long distance relationships—except instead of making a bucket list we’re going to make a “together list”.
A together list is exactly what it sounds like—a list of all the things you would like to do when you’re together.
So grab a pen and sheet of paper and get ready to put your thinking and dreaming cap on.
Step 1: Make a dream list
Take 10 minutes (or more, ‘cuz this is so much fun once you get started you might not be able to stop at 10 minutes) and daydream about all the things you’d like to do when you’re together.
Don’t filter, second-guess yourself, or edit for feasibility. Just write them all down as fast as they come to you.
You could write down “do the grocery shopping together” followed by “go to a U2 concert” followed by “go see glaciers in Alaska”. That’s fine. This is a total brainstorming session, so let your mind wander and go wild. Think about everyday things you’re longing to do together, big life experiences you’d love to do together, and everything in between.
Step 2: Organize your list
After you’re done with your brainstorming, it’s time to organize your list.
We’re going to organize by how easy it would be to do these things.
Take everything on your list and put it into one of three categories:
- Easy to do
- Some planning or money required
- Significant planning or money required
Easy to do
In this section, write down all the things that you could do pretty easily during a visit or after you close the gap. Things like going the grocery shopping (if that was on your list), having a movie night together on the couch, cooking an elaborate meal together, getting nak… I mean… kissing.
These are the things you can do from your home base and that don’t cost a great deal of money.
Some planning or money required
In this section, write down all the things you could conceivably do, but that need some planning, some travel, and some money to accomplish.
For example, if you live in South Carolina then “go to Charleston for the night and stay somewhere romantic for a night” might go into this category (whereas if you live in Australia and happened to have this item on your list, it would definitely belong in the third category).
Do you want to see big-name performers or a famous musical, visit another nearby city, go to a nearby amusement park, design a personal treasure hunt for your significant other, or eat at an expensive restaurant? Stuff like that probably goes here.
Significant money or planning required
This is the section for those mega-dreams or mega-experiences. The sort of stuff that takes a lot of planning or money. The sort of things you would love to do but are not entirely sure you can even make happen.
Like what? Well, seeing glaciers in Alaska (unless you are lucky enough to already live in Anchorage, that is). Riding a gondola in Italy. Taking a train through Russia. Buying a house together. Getting a puppy or having a baby (trust me, getting a puppy is a big commitment, and don’t get one if you’re planning on having a baby in the next year because despite what television advertisers would have us believe, puppies and babies do not generally mix well.) Moving overseas. Closing the gap.
Step 3: Start planning now
Look at your organized list. Do you have items in all three categories?
Now think about the next time you’ll be together. Start planning now to do some of the things on your “easy” list. And start thinking about whether you could manage something from one of the other two lists.
Double the fun
How much fun was that?
Do you want double the fun? Send this post to your significant other and ask them to do this exercise, too. After they’ve had a chance to do it, send each other 5 things you listed in each of the three categories, and answer these questions:
- Did anything surprise you about doing this exercise?
- Did anything on your partner’s list surprise you?
- What’s something simple in Category 1 that you really love doing?
- What’s something in Category 3 (significant time and money required) that you’re not sure you’ll ever get the chance to do?
- What is something on your list you didn’t send to each other?