At age 34, Brett Bohlinger is living the perfect life. She’s got a great job, a handsome boyfriend, and a great place to live. When Brett’s mother passes away, though, her life goes into a tailspin. In order for Brett to receive her share of the large inheritance, she must do one thing: complete her list of goals she created when she was 14. What her mother was thinking, Brett has no idea. How can the dreams of a naive 14 year old girl have anything to do with the woman she has become now? How can a 20 year old tattered list of dreams suddenly turn into The Life List?
Confession: When I was 21 I created a list of goals that I was going to accomplish by the age of 30.
Confession: I threw the list away when I was 29, too scared to push forward and too weak to try.
But you needn’t have done the same to read this book and enjoy it.
What does your fourteen old self (or 21 year old self) know about your 34 year old self (or 40, 50, 60 year old self)? Anything? I’d argue yes. At the very least, a glimpse of what life looks like when you indulge in the freedom to dream. Most likely that youthful you had determination and, however fleeting, a sense of who you are.
It’s true of Brett Bohlinger. At age 14, in a moment of clarity she dared to dream. She dared to record those dreams. And now, at 34, those dreams still have a bearing on her life. But it’s up to her to figure it out. Suddenly, life is more than lucrative but disappointing jobs and jerk boyfriends. It’s more than just the inheritance money, too. It’s about completing The Life List, and rediscovering that self.
I’m older than Brett, of course. But I think her dilemma is one that we face periodically throughout our life. Maybe in our early thirties, like Brett. But also in our early forties, and I suspect every ten years or so after that. It’s the human condition, I’m convinced.
This a fabulous book for any woman. And probably one I’ll return to every few years. If for no other reason, to remind myself that its okay to dream. That my life is more than the children that surround me and the dust that hides in the corner. And that it’s important to be who you are.
Go ahead and pick it up. You’ll finish reading it in an afternoon. But the book will stick with you long after that.