Bill Hansen considers himself smarter than the average bear, although fortunately he has never had to put that hypothesis to a test. He was born at a very young age and, much to his chagrin, has been getting progressively older ever since. He has a lovely B.A. in Cultural Anthropology adorning his bathroom wall and it is, by far, the single most expensive piece of paper he owns. An award-winning photographer currently based out of Syracuse, NY, Bill's work has been exhibited multiple times at the New York State Fair and has been featured in several shows across Central New York.

He enjoys taking long walks on the beach; spontaneously going on adventures with his beautiful wife, even if it means driving twelve-hours just to try duck-fat-fried poutine; and sometimes, just sometimes, he finds subtle satisfaction in a good cup of coffee.

If given a choice, Bill would rather be in Hawaii.

101 Life Goals

FYI: This is post is decidedly unrelated to photography.

North Shore, O'ahu 2009.

I’ve been feeling introspective lately. It’s funny how the passing of a loved one can do that to you. As my wife & I sorted through my father’s personal affects this past weekend in preparation of this weekend’s estate sale, it struck me just how much of my father’s life boiled down to stuff. He had a lot of stuff.

Yet, I hardly knew what his hopes & dreams were (he had to have had them, right?) and it’s now seemingly impossible to infer what they could’ve been from just his possessions.

One dream of his I know, as he constantly asked repeatedly, is also one that hits me the hardest, is that my Dad wanted grandchildren. He possessed a large collection of Disney DVDs in eager anticipation of the day some rug-rat would enamoredly watch cute cartoons with him, much as my grandmother did with us.

The funny thing is that was a hope & dream of mine as well. Christine & I, a couple years back, each made a list of 101 life goals, as an exercise in… well… I’m not sure. But it still felt like a worthy endeavor. Number 43 on my list was “for my father to watch cartoons with his grandchildren.”

Heart-wrenchingly, I just removed that one from the list.

But that got me pondering the rest of my list. How many things out of the original 101 had I actually checked off in the intervening years? Five. I bought a new car; I finished my degree; I cooked a lobster; I won a prize playing skee ball; and I did something with expiredfilm.com.

While, yes, many on my list were meant as perpetual behaviors, as compared to quantifiable achievements, it still seems as though I should be doing more. Life is short. So as a semi-public means of accountability, here’s my newly revised list.

101 Life Goals in no particular order (other than #1)

1. try to make Christine smile everyday

2. leave Upstate NY for parts unknown

3. preferably to live in Hawaii

4. find something to do that I enjoy that will afford us a reasonable income

5. lose the spare tire

6. not lose all my hair

7. let Christine know that I love her, as much as possible

8.

9. think of something especially clever for #8

10. find something unique to share with the world

11. raise a loving family with Christine

12. to get a dog

13. preferably a Bloodhound

14. for my student loans to be nothing more than a bad memory

15. to go on adventures with Christine as often as feasibly possible

16. to still go on adventures with Christine even when it’s not feasible

17. never eat broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts ever again

18. to always be able to make Christine laugh

19. to be a better correspondent

20. to be a better friend

21. to be a better husband

22. to eat a grilled cheese sandwich everyday for a month

23. to make a scathing documentary of the grilled cheese industry

24. to snuggle with Christine as much as possible

25. to become a better photographer

26. to always greet Christine with a hug and a kiss

27. to find something worthwhile to say and to say it well

28. to buy Christine roses when she least expects it

29. to make sure I actually buy roses for her when she does expect it

30. to always win when playing “not it”

31. to have a hot dog whenever at Yankee Stadium

32. to have Christine take a bite of said Yankee Stadium hot dog

33. to own a house that Christine and I can make into a home

34. to have a vacation every year where Christine wears a bikini

35. to find new things that interest me

36. not to be this old this young

37. to celebrate holidays without feeling guilt

38. to never eat cottage cheese just because “it’s healthy”

39. to have the confidence to know whether I’m good at something or not

40. to watch a sunset and sunrise in the same night with Christine

41. to own art I appreciate

42. to see Mariano Rivera go into the Hall of Fame

44. always be able to find time to read a good book

45. remember to use deodorant most days

46. to be less slovenly around the house

47. to pick up my boxers whenever we are expecting guests

48. to dance with Christine whenever the opportunity presents itself

49. to not look utterly ridiculous doing so; unless on purpose

50. to be the most ‘whoamantic’ person I know

51. to never catch Ebola

52. or smallpox or The Plague or other bad bug

53. to let Christine squish a slug with her hands

54. but to be the voice of moral restraint when she endeavors to kick a pigeon

55. to improve my handwriting

56. to always be Christine’s best friend

57. never eat yellow snow

58. to accomplish something I can feel proud of

59. learn a cool yo-yo trick

60. to not break anything in the process

61. to spend Thanksgiving with our family at our house

62. to dress more “snazzily”

63. to carve a pumpkin for Halloween each year

64. to not schedule my life around television

65. to learn how to smile in front of a camera

66. especially when Christine is holding the camera

67. to win a whole boat-load of money in the lottery

68. to learn a cool new origami thing

69. to create a meal using veggies from our garden

70. to have a garden

71. to have a backyard barbecue with our friends

72. to have a backyard to barbecue in

73. to have a grill to barbecue on

74. to know how to make good mixed drinks

75. to eventually figure out Christine’s system of hiding my stuff

76. to eventually not need Christine to hide things on me in the first place

77. to never wear pink socks to a wedding

78. or pretty much never wear pink socks

79. to grow a thriving Chia pet

80. to always find things to shake a stick at

81. to never dress a pet in a holiday festive sweater

82. unless it’s really funny

83. I mean really funny, not just a self-deluded funny

84. to never fall victim of a pirate attack

85. to drink more water

86. to eat less pizza

87. but still eat pizza

88. to actually traverse the Oregon Trail

89. without dying of dysentery

90. take a train across the country

91. to spit into an active volcano

92. to learn how to surf

93. to complete my run of DC Sandman comics

94. to own a vintage Optimus Prime

95. to visit all 50 states

96. to drink a pint of Guinness in Ireland

97. learn to play the ukelele

98. to never be compelled to smell/taste sour milk against my wishes

99. to snorkel in Bora Bora

100. to finish reading Moby Dick(done), War & Peace, Walden, Paradise Lost, and Ulysses

101. to find the means to overcome the resting inertia in my life

102. to be happy

So there it is. I’m impressed if you actually read through the entire thing. Just to be clear, it’s not a “bucket list.” It’s just a list. It may change, it may grow, it may shrink, but hopefully along the way I’ll be able to check some things off.

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