The things I didn't do

So as my time here in the U.S. comes to an end (as a resident, not a visitor – can't get rid of me that easily), I find myself placing extra significance on things I might not normally think too much about. The day after Halloween, for instance, I said mournfully and quite dramatically, "That was my last Halloween here." To which my friend said, "So? You worked the whole day and night, anyway. You missed it."

She's right. I did miss Halloween, and the rest of the year, too. My head was buried in launching CREEP and writing FREAK. Damn those little monsters. And now I'm bummed at how fast the time went. There's so much I wanted to do here, and had I known I'd have only four years to do it, I wouldn't have put it off.

Here are a few things I always meant do, but never got around to doing:


(The Seattle skyline at night.)

Realizing all the things I never got around to doing is an important reminder that time is short. There isn't enough time to do all the things we want to do unless we make time. I have no regrets about how my writing career progressed this year, because it was a great year for me in that regard. But on a personal level, there's a lot I didn't do. A lot I neglected to do. And a lot that I wanted to do.

What about you? Is there anything you want to do that you haven't made time for yet?

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38 comments:

  1. I had a similar realisation when my year of living in London was cut down to nine months due to landlord issues. It was sad to think how little I'd done (I moved in with a list of places I wanted to visit), but in that last month I finally had the motivation to actually get out and enjoy the time I had left, and it became the best part of my stay.

    Now after talking about London, I want to go for a day trip! There's still so much I didn't do. And getting published for the first time while living in the States is a pretty good excuse for not getting around to all the sites!

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  2. Seeing Seattle from the top of the Space Needle is definitely worth it. Quick, go now!

    Thanks for the nudge. I'm going to go look up my list of resolutions for the year and see how I did.

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  3. Do you not have time for any of that before you move?

    Before our move several years ago, we made a list of all the things we wanted to do and places we wanted to visit before moving. We didn't do all of them, but we did more than we would have otherwise.

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  4. Aww, that sucks! The Space Needle visit is definitely something you can spare some time to pull off before you leave, right? I hope so.

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  5. I've only done one thing on your list. The view of the city from the top of the Space Needle is pretty amazing. I'll have to drag the hubs up that way soon, though and maybe take a trek through the Olympic Nat. Forest. I don't know about Forks, though. ;)

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  6. Hey you still have a little time left right? Maybe you can get something done, that would be cool :) The space needle one sounds particularly awesome.

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  7. You haven't been to Forks yet??? Haha, oh well. Maybe you can make time to catch that salmon--that sounds like fun. :)

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  8. I guess there's a reason they say seize the day. But I have a tendency to say--I'll do that when it's nicer out, or when the laundry's done, or after I finish this project, too.

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  9. Okay, so now I know what we can do for our last date. We're gonna take the elevator up the Space Needle, hopefully it'll be a nice day so we can see Mt. Rainier. Then we'll go visit Bruce & Brandon Lee's graves. I know exactly where they are. I was just there a couple of weeks ago. Then we'll go to Pike Place & see if they'll throw a slimy salmon at your head. We can drop by Starbucks while we're there & sing with the DoWop guys. Then drinks! Yay! What do you think?

    (I never knew we had a burlesque show here.)

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  10. Well, it gives you a reason to go and visit. :)

    When I was visiting Philadelphia, I wish we had the time to visit Benjamin Franklin's grave. We saw it from afar, but we didn't go in and see it.

    I think people often do have things they want to do and never get around to it, but perhaps we don't get to them so we can do it another time and have something to look forward to.

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  11. There are so many things I don't know where to start...

    Unfortunately most of my list involves serious time off, babysitters, and unlimited funds.hahha

    You have to visit Bruce Lee's grave before you go...and Forks. I know I make fun of the whole Twilight thing but I'd go if I had the chance. And after watching Burlesque with Cher, I wouldn't miss that either!

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  12. I know what you mean. But the space needle isn't going anywhere, it'll be waiting for your next visit. :) I'm lucky, I see it everytime I go anywhere out of town - I'm in Bellingham, so if I need to go south, I go straight through Seattle. Which actually ISN'T as awesome as it sounds. :)

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  13. You haven't done the Space Needle? There's time. Run out there and do it now.

    As for the rest, well, you can always visit.

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  14. I hope you're able to squeeze in a few of these before you leave, or do them when you visit Seattle again. I feel the same way about activities in NYC. I'm not leaving the area anytime soon but I need to go out and do more. This is why I'm glad I made that Thirty Before 30 list. A few things I want to do are on there. :)

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  15. Did I miss where you're off to? I feel sad, even though I never had the opportuinity to meet you! How silly to realize you were still far away!

    You're right, there never is enough time! You'll always have a list. Maybe that's what makes living magical!

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  16. On the bright side, it sounds like you have plenty of reasons/excuses to keep going back for visits. ;)

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  17. Thanks, girls! (And David!) I'd like to cross at least a couple of things off this list, starting with the Space Needle. It would be a shame to move to the other side of the continent without a glimpse of Seattle from the Space Needle.

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  18. Jennifer, I'm shocked. Shocked! No space needle? No Olympic National Forest? Shut the laptop right now and get out and see those things before you go. Er, okay, that was a little bossy, but I mean it. :)

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  19. That's a good list for the Seattle area I imagine. Hope you can get to some if not all of them.

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  20. Seattle has great burlesque? Who knew?!

    We'll be sorry to see you go, but then you will be a next-door neighbor. :)

    Mark

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  21. I want to ride the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier when the sun sets. I keep saying I'll do it...

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  22. I'm one of those people who's always overflowing with so many things I want to do that it'd be impossible to list. Mostly travel the world. Like, ALL of it. Well, not all, but a lot. For a long time. Very realistic, huh?

    Did I ever mention that my new book's based in Seattle? Locations in my books usually present themselves very vocally just like characters do. I've always loved Seattle, but never been. Ooh, add that to my list!

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  23. Not any big things.... just a million little things.

    I hope you love every last second of your time here! And that in the end, it doesn't feel like you're leaving so much. After all, you're going to be right on the border, right? So not that far away. Plus, great new sites to see!

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  24. Never been to Seattle, so you're way ahead of me!

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  25. Boo, a bittersweet farewell, yeah? There are plenty of things I want to do but keep putting in the backburner. I'm trying to get better at that because life indeed, is much too short!

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  26. I always regret not visiting Disney World when I lived in Florida. And never seeing places like the tulip festival in Holland, the cherry festival in Traverse City or the Sleeping Bear Dunes even though I grew up in Michigan. Or driving down to see Canyonlands National Park while I was in Utah. Here in Colorado, though, I can't think of anything I want to do that I haven't done.

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  27. Ah, but this way you have plenty of reasons to return to Seattle, right?

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  28. Yes, I'll have to come back to visit! It will feel weird coming back as a visitor, though.

    @Alexia: Love that your new book is based in Seattle! Let me know if you have any questions.

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  29. Good point! I've been fortunate to visit the Olympic National Forest. One word: magical.

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  30. I hope you manage to fit in a few of those things before you leave.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Oh, and I've now ordered Creep for the Kindle so I can read it on my laptop and my phone. It looks great!

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  31. I hope you will get the chance to do all those things in the future, Jennifer!

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  32. See, the trouble with identifying a vampire in Forks is everybody is that pale. teehee--seriously, though--hope you get to do lots of your to-do list!

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  33. Jennifer - I lived in WA for a while when I was younger. I have been to the top of the space needle. I BELIEVE it was cool. Can't really remember.

    What I really want to make time for is hiking to various waterfalls. I have a thing for the loud, rushing water. =D

    Take care.

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  34. Something tells me that you will go to the top of the Space Needle before you leave. I feel like I know you from all the great things Nancy wrote about you. Good luck with your move, and your successful writing career. Julie

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  35. Bruce Lee's grave and the Space Needle - what else is there to do in Seatle? Oh wait, a lot!

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  36. OOOH! I love your list. I haven't traveled very much but now I want to visit Seattle. Getting published is an awesome, but I understand your regrets. Sometimes life moves so dang fast!

    Good news is, you can always visit again right?

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  37. Great thought provoking post, Jennifer - I have learned, as time marches on, I must stop and look up once in a while - I am always amazed at how much there is to take in!

    You will be back to the West Coast, I'm sure, and then maybe you'll have those "missed" items on your "to see before I leave, again" list!

    In the meantime, more exciting adventures await - make the most of each today so when tomorrow comes your regrets will be minimal.

    Cheers, Jenny
    PEARSON REPORT

    PS - I've finally posted my review of Creep! Drop by if you have time!

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