I read an article by J. Courtney Sullivan on Oprah’s website today, and while I agree with her five promises, I immediately thought of five more that I would recommend. And here they are:

1. Fall in love with at least one person and if it’s only one person, may it be you!

“Ain’t love grand?”  it’s a famous quote, and oh so true. Nothing beats love. Everything about it: the  initial glimpse, the falling, and then the sheer comfort and joy of being in love. There’s a peacefulness about accepting yourself (or a significant other) just as they (you) are. One typically drops the notion that they have to please everyone around them or that they must be “perfect” when they love every bit about themselves. There’s also the saying (that I agree with): you can’t truly love another until you love yourself.

2. Meet as many soulmates as you can

There are several definitions of soulmates, however, the one that makes the most sense to me, is that as we journey though life, we meet people with a particular message or they provide a much needed service. When we learn the lesson and evolve, we open ourselves up to new messages and thus new soulmates. This section could easily be titled: “Keep Evolving”, but I like the idea of soulmates . It’s much more romantic!!

3. Take a solo vacation

I do quite a bit solo, but I haven’t always. Post  college, I remember running into an old acquaintance at a party. She turned me on to another party, but she wouldn’t be attending and suggested that I just go alone. I was taken aback by the suggestion, why would I go alone? Years later (not too many) I began venturing out solo, and I can honestly say that I prefer it in most situations. I tend to meet way more people when I’m the only person I know in the room, and this suits my personality.  

Other than business trips (where you’re really not alone), I’ve not taken a solo vacation, however, it is on my to-do list. I relish the idea of doing exactly what I want to do when I want to do it on some tropical island. The idea of a meditative few days alone seems simply divine. No kids, no spouse, or partner, no worries, just me.

4. Write your memoir

You don’t have to be a writer to write, however, I believe that we all have a very interesting story, that if shared with the world, it would resonate for many, if not a few. There’s something about reliving moments in your life in detail that appeals to me. It can be cathartic, refreshing and nostalgic all wrapped in one. It’s always good to see how much you’ve grown or to just relive a pleasant moment.

Your memoir doesn’t have to be published, if that’s not your goal, but I think back to the movie, The Bridges of Madison County and how the main character’s children got to really know their mother through her diaries. Beautiful.

5. Create a signature dish!

At some point in your life, you will be asked to “carry a dish” to a fill in the blank: (pot luck, holiday dinner, work function, family outing) and it takes a lot of pressure off, knowing that you have a perfected dish that is sure to please all who aren’t allergic. In my twenties, it was a layered dip and I was constantly asked to carry it to family functions. While delicious, it was a bit time consuming, so make sure yours is simple enough to whip up at a moment’s notice. 

In my thirties, I retired it and my go-to dish became my spinach dip. These days, I’m the appetizer queen at most family functions and I’m comfortable with this. I have three dishes I can conjure up within a day’s notice, and I’m confident that it will be the best appetizer in the room, and will have everyone asking, “who made this?” I can confidently say, “I did. Would you like the recipe?”

Honorable mention: Start your own business

Or business plan. Should something happen, forbid, to your current corporate career, what would you do? This business may never come to fruition, but it could and you’ll be ready with a business plan in hand. Treat it as an important hobby and at the ready stand by. Who knows, if you flesh your ideas out enough, garner an interest in them, perhaps one of them can be your second (first, or fifth) career.