100 Dreams, Again (Still)

You know those times—hypothetically speaking, of course—when there’s something you really should be doing, so you pick up a random unrelated and unnecessary task and do that instead?

Maybe that’s just me.

ANYWAY, the other day I was sorting through old notebooks and tidying up my workspace (!) and I came across the 100 Dreams List I started after reading this post. I’d heard the author, Pamela, talk about her 100 Dreams List several times, and the idea was inspiring. I’d done shorter lists before, “20 things I want to accomplish this year,” that kind of thing. But 100 Dreams is a lot, and it forces you to think big and to think small: big picture and tiny detail, immediate and far-distant-future.

My list wasn’t dated, but based on the timing of Pamela’s blog post I can guess my 100 Dreams List is now about six years old. (Also it’s only an 80 Dreams List because that’s as far as I got.)

Life is very different (hello, understatement) now, so I thought maybe it’s a good time for a reboot.

First things first.

I was tempted to dive into refreshing my list, but I realized first I should see if I could cross anything off as “done.” Confession: I was nervous because I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much, and I hated to think six years had passed with no dreams fulfilled! Part of the point of the List is to refer to it and be inspired to Do Things (I know, wild idea, right?). I’d made it to #80 and then washi-taped it into a journal and more or less forgotten about it.

Pro tip: If you actually want to Do Things, don’t forget where you stuck your list.

I was pleasantly surprised to cross off a good handful of items, things that happened naturally, not because I’d remembered they were Listed. There were “one and done” items (Finish Quilt WIPs; Attend a Writers Conference), ongoing items (Start an Etsy Shop, Learn to Play Violin), and ongoing items I started but didn’t keep-on-going (Do Spiritual Direction, Learn Tai Chi).

More than anything, looking back over the six-years-ago List gave me an interesting perspective on who I was six years ago: what I hoped for, what I was aiming at, what I was interested in. I was surprised, too, to find that many of those hopes/aims/interests remain the same. I’m not sure if that means I haven’t progressed much in six years, or that I “yam what I yam” and can finally relax and trust myself. (I hope it’s the second thing.)


I’m working on a new 100 Dreams List now. I was tempted to start with the remaining Dreams from the old list and just add on, but instead I have started fresh and am not allowing myself to refer to the original list (yet). I don’t want to assume that anything from six years ago is still a dream.

I’m up to #40 so far. I’m determined, this time, to go All The Way. Thinking big and small, now and later, is—surprise, surprise—a spiritual discipline, an act of imagination and an expression of hope. And I need that these days, when life is both tightly constrained and completely out of my control. I need to remember that there are actions I can take today, and that there is a future worth dreaming for.

A future that needs our best dreams.

Next steps.

This time, I don’t want to treat Make My 100 Dreams List as if it were a list item itself, “one and done” and then checked off and put away for another six years. Right now: I’m looking at it and adding to it every morning alongside my regular journaling practice. When it’s complete (or close) I’ll create mini lists that pull “like” items together so I can see patterns, and through the patterns I’ll look for the most important driving factors in my dreaming.

Then, instead of just hoping my regular life will allow me to cross off a handful of items between now and 2027, I want to be “on purpose” about the steps I need to take to try the things I want to try and learn the things I want to learn. And I need to look carefully and seriously at the “big ticket items,” the lifelong hopes and goals, and figure out what has to happen to get me there…

… beginning with getting very clear with myself about whether that’s really where I want to go. I have a hunch that the flip side of dream is discernment, and discernment is an act of faith in itself. It usually means we have to have the faith to let some things go.

Stay well, friends. And dream on. 🙏🏻

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