2 things you love, 1 thing you treasure, and 1 thing you’ll never forget.

Readers, I’m just back from a quick trip to Memphis (for the second time ever) and Oxford, Mississippi (for the first). I’d always wanted to see Oxford for myself, but debated whether or not to take the time to pop down while I was nearby. As I hemmed and hawed about it, I thought frequently about this reader-inspired post, which first ran four years ago. I hope you enjoy it today, again or for the first time. 

Years ago, a commenter (Hi, Jolene!) left a thought-provoking entry about priorities and time management on a very old post about practicing self care on a daily basis.

She wrote: “Someone once told me that women should do two things every day they love, one thing every week they treasure, and one bigger thing every month they will never forget. Because we’re worth the effort.”

Her guideline is a little grander than my own bits of chunks and joy list. It also reminded me of my List of 100 Dreams I started a year ago and still only have 37 items on.

I like Jolene’s idea. Since I read that comment, I’ve been mentally tabulating the things I do that I love, that I treasure, that I’ll never forget.

I’m pretty good at self care these days, and many things that are already in my routine could fall under the “things I love” category, and I usually do two of them daily.

I have a hard time distinguishing “things I love” from “things I treasure.” I’ve been playing around with it, and right now my “things I love” list looks like:

• Reading a good book with a cup of coffee
• Arranging flowers for my kitchen table
• Reading stories with my kids
• Taking a peaceful walk
• Picking vegetables in the garden
• Volunteering at church or for a local organization


Right now, “things I treasure” looks like this:

• A happy family walk or bike ride
• Browsing the library stacks or bookstore shelves
• A big family hike in the woods
• Having a glass of wine at the kitchen table with Will after the kids go to bed
• Coffee dates
• Girls’ night out
• Getting a massage (which doesn’t feel big enough to belong in the “treasure” category, except I’m so grateful for not just the time on the table, but the huge difference it makes in my well being for weeks)
• Making dinner with the kids (when everyone’s in a good mood and eager to help, that is)
• Getting together with other couples or families for meals or adventures
• Going out to eat with the kids. They’re old enough to enjoy this now, and for Will and me to enjoy eating out with them
• Talking Crazy Talk with Will or an old friend

This is what I’ve come up with for those “bigger things I’ll never forget”:

• Go to a play or show
• Have a big family get-together
• Go on an outing with a good friend
• Go on an outing with the family
• A very intentional date night
• Take a big trip—New York, Chicago, Europe
• Visit a museum or cultural institution (note: not all of these make the “never forget” category!)
• Properly celebrate a birthday, anniversary, promotion, or achievement

When compiling these lists, I noticed how fluid the categories are: many perfectly everyday moments (a walk through the woods right by our house, an ordinary play date with friends, a glass of wine at the kitchen table) become big moments in my history—the kind I’ll never forget. And many of the glam and glitzy moments are fun—I love being there—but don’t quite rank as unforgettable.

Ironically, Will and I have been talking the last month (yep, late at night at the kitchen table, after the kids go to bed) about being intentional about making categories 2 and 3 (even though we didn’t frame it as such at the time) happen more often in our family life, specifically booking weekends away and pencilling a local “Sunday adventure” into our family calendar.

Making a list like this is valuable (and I’m looking forward to your ideas so I can grow my own), but the real magic is in actually scheduling these things and carrying them out. They don’t have to be planned far ahead, they don’t have to be expensive, but they do have to happen. I’m a great dreamer; now I’m working on the concrete plans to follow through.

Wish me luck and send me reminders: I need them.

What things do you love and treasure? What falls in your unforgettable category? How do you make sure you follow through on your good intentions? Share your ideas and tips in comments. 

P.S. That top photo is from my swoon-worthy Mississippi hotel, Graduate Oxford. Look close and check out all those books at the bar!


Leave A Comment
  1. I 100% support the idea of family adventure days. Dave and I are bad (or is it good?) about getting into the routine of doing the same things all the time… because we like them. But still! We moved across the ocean to explore. So we plan Adventure Days once a month where we pick something new—a restaurant, a walk, a museum, something—put in on the calendar, and do it. It helps you enjoy where you live AND gives you awesome memories.

  2. Jennifer Marik says:

    I feel so much better about my list of “100” dreams now! I just looked and I only have 37 too!
    And I love the idea of the love/treasure/never forget goals. These types of framework REALLY work for me! Definitely going to try to incorporate this in my life.

  3. Pat Dodson says:

    Oxford is the best!!! I stay at The Graduate when I am there, also. Such a great literary town, but great food is there, too. If you didn’t make it to BBB (Big Bad Breakfast) and Bottletree Bakery, you need to make a second trip!

  4. Marlaine Lerz says:

    As an older retired couple, we too have a hard time following through! We have been trying to get to the beach weekly for just a couple of hours! But there always seems to be another project to do or we just decide not to go! We definately need a push and to make the commitment!

  5. Mary K says:

    Anne, Reading your posts is one of things I love in my day. I have to wait until I have about an hour to read it…..I love how you have so many places to click on and take us to a former post or someone else’s post, I can’t get out much because of health reasons right now, but I feel like I am traveling the world with you and enjoying hearing about, and reading many more books than I have in the past. You are a treasure in my day! Thank You

  6. Cielo says:

    I love this idea and what I love the most is that this isn’t a list that was created on January 1st. Which means, it’s always a good time to start planning and making goals. I love encouraging people to do things now because they feel it now–who cares if it’s not the first day of the year (or school year as many of my teachers run on an academic calendar). Dreaming and appreciation happens all the time and isn’t time-bound. I look forward to making my own lists of things I love, things I treasure, and big things I’ll never forget.

  7. Antoinette E. Irwin says:

    That so appeals to me! I am three years a widow, and I lost the self-care piece taking care of the man. Now I am getting back to my former habits and some new ones, and enjoying life more! Thank you for those suggestions!
    I began a book of bucket lists, plural. Categories include celebrations and festivals, books to be read, projects to knit or for the garden, projected activities with my daughters or my grandchildren.
    Life is good!

  8. Esther says:

    Such a timely post. It really resonates with me. My husband and I have all about doing bigger things, family things, but they seldom get executed due to kid activities. However, we took a walk yesterday in the cold and snow and it was delightful! It was just the two of us and we were able to talk uninterrupted. I do love the idea of lists and need to take some time and thought to put one together for myself.

  9. Suzanne says:

    Wonderful post!! I just bought Romancing the Ordinary by Sarah Ban Breathnach and I have been busy with memories of myself as a child and a young woman and I realized that most of what I love and what I treasure hasn’t changed much. Books, kittens, flowers, music and so on.
    I think the idea of 100 things, and the once a month splurge a little are great!! I recently decided that my money is bettter spent on something to experience (a book, a matinee) rather than another new blouse!
    Thanks for a fresh perspective to consider my choices!!

  10. Janean says:

    This post is a great reminder to be intentional with things that bring you joy. Check out Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunts. I signed my family up and it looks like there are some in Louisville. With the amount you and your family travel, you could even do some in other cities.
    From their website:
    “On our #1 app-lead city scavenger hunt, you’ll explore like never before. Your team will walk together from landmark to landmark to discover art, culture and history. Take your time, race to the finish or pause the app to spend more time at a specific location. It’s the perfect experience for locals and visitors alike.”

  11. Rhya says:

    I went to school at Ole Miss and Oxford is a beautiful little town with so much southern history. I loved reading the works of Faulkner while I was there and able to walk around areas and see how they have evolved from his time and myself being able to walk in the same spots that he did that inspired him to write. The Graduate is the best place to study in Oxford.

  12. Erica says:

    I love this post! The only way for me to follow through on my intentions and wishes is to calendar them. About six months ago, my husband and I started having Family Meetings. We sit down with our two children (12 and 10) and start the meeting with everyone saying something they appreciate about each family member. Then we go through and list out what are the big events for the month, when our family night(s) will be and what we’ll do, and what are goals are for the month. Each person shares three goals. One is always about reading. Maybe it’s a number of books to read or a specific book that person wants to read that month. We also take time to share out how we’re doing with our overall goals for the year and how we did the previous month. Separately, my husband and I then plan out our date nights for the month and get them on our sitter’s calendar. My husband is the planner and for that I am so grateful because if it was left up to me, this wouldn’t be happening.

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