The A-List: Because Life is Worth It
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen
I recently made a new friend and she impressed me right away. It wasn’t immediate, but it was within the first 30 minutes of our chick-chat. Of course, I asked her if she was dating anyone. “No,” she said. “But I’m working on it.” She then pulled up notes on her iPhone and showed me a list
The list was comprised of qualities she wants in a male partner. Some of them were highlighted. “These are the non-negotiables," she said, which included intellectually stimulating, humorous and a few more. I had never seen anything like it, but it struck me as smart. Not surprising, considering this woman owns a hugely successful international oil and energy consulting firm with offices throughout North America and the Middle East.
Her list inspired me to change the way I move through projects and to make my own lists for things I want to accomplish. The key to the list, though, is in the details. What do I really want? What am I willing to let go of in order to achieve the ultimate goal? What is non-negotiable to me?
I have to say, I love this method. It makes things crystal clear and focused. Instead of boring you with some of the lists I have made, which include everything from cleaning my garage to reorganizing my accounting department, I would like to share with you a bucket list of sorts for the summer. You see, up until about two years ago, I never noticed the seasons of the year because I was too busy chasing my tail. These lists eliminate the chasing-your-tail method, which never got anyone anywhere anyway.
My goal for the summer is to balance work with relaxation, notice and enjoy that I live at the beach, connect with my children in fun situations, connect with friends, laugh and breathe.
My summer non-negotiables include:
• A minimum one-week vacation outside of SC with
the kids (hopefully a few long weekends, too!)
• Beach walk at sunrise a minimum of once a week.
• Host a minimum of two beach circles with friends.
• Host one dinner for 8 at the house with a diverse
group of women.
Under each category on my list, I have made notes describing the qualities I want each of these events to include and what I hope to accomplish. It’s amazing how achievable things become when the reason behind doing them is identified and clear. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s merely putting thoughts on paper and getting in touch with what’s truly important to you. And, that’s important!
If you think I’m over-thinking things, I can assure you it’s worth it. I’ve lived most of my life under-thinking things, which resulted in repeated disappointing family vacations, dinner parties that were more work than fun, life in the fast lane and never stopping to smell the roses, the fresh sea air or even the perfume I spray on myself every morning.
I like being in touch with myself and my purpose. It makes my life more energetic and fulfilling and less chaotic and hectic. I encourage you to start thinking through the activities you want in your life. Ask yourself if these are things you really want to do? Consider changing things up this summer and really being true to yourself. Try living with intention and purpose, rather than simply doing what’s expected, or what you’ve always done. Let me know how it goes. I’ll root for you and I ask that you root for me.
I’ve always believed, “Life’s tough, get a helmet.” But now, I’m relaxing into, “Life’s worth it; make a list!” Maybe that’s why Santa can do so much in one night. He makes a list and checks it twice. Geez, I’ve known that since I was 3 years old. I wish I had caught on sooner.
My goal for the summer is to balance work with relaxation, notice and enjoy that I live at the beach,
connect with my children in fun situations, connect with friends, laugh and breathe.