Make Something of Lasting Value

This exercise in crafting a #bucketlist from A to Z has clarified something I already knew: It doesn’t take much to make me happy, and I am content with what I’ve already experienced in life. That’s not to say that I don’t have several lifetimes’ worth of experiences I’d enjoy, but I don’t feel there’s anything – other than poking hot lava with a stick – that I have a burning need to do before I die. I’m pretty content with my life as it is, and I’m open to adventures I haven’t even dreamed of, yet.

When I say that I’d like to make something of lasting value, I don’t mean that I feel driven to build a cathedral or invent a new technology – I just imagine passing along some little handmade bit of art or crochet, a book I’ve written, a photo, or even a diary that can be passed along to others and pick up stories of its own – a little truth, a sprinkling of fiction – along the way. Something tangible that can survive being packed away, discovered anew, cared for gently, handled carelessly, lost and found, or worn and frayed by some amazing life experience of its owner. I wonder if it will travel to places I haven’t seen, halfway across the world. Or maybe I’ll be the one to travel, while it stays rooted to one place. Whatever it is, it will acquire a history of its own, and I’ll be some small footnote in it.

I wonder if I can enlist the aid of all the parents who have ever brought Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; or A New Leaf for Lyle into their homes to help me with this one? My kids’ bookshelves are full of books I treasured as a kid and books I’ve introduced their friends to as adults. There’s more to their stories than their stories – there’s who chose and bought the books, what the readers thought about when they first read them, and why they saved them to pass along to someone else.

Maybe I’ll draw a picture and bury it, along with a story, in a time capsule. Or a geocache. Because this is not about leaving a legacy – it’s about weaving a tiny thread or two into history. A tiny purple thread in a history that’s never known purple. The idea isn’t lofty, at all; it’s almost mischievous.


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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5 thoughts on “Make Something of Lasting Value”

      1. Very true. But I think back – what might have been on mine ten, twenty years ago? – and I can’t think of anything really MISSING from my life. Just that poking lava thing. That’s been missing since I was nine. I really want to do that. 🙂
        HollyJahangiri recently posted…NovelistMy Profile

  1. I’m thinking VERY hard about writing a bucket list (when I have some time), because now it has to be filled from the disabled menu, which has far fewer choices.

    And the most important thing on it for the past fifteen years is 1/3 done with publishing the first book in the trilogy. I was going to wait and publish when the whole story was finished, but I got antsy about it.

    And it got long.

    My original plan was to rival GWTW in length (1468 pages in my paperback coy); not for the length as a goal, but because it looked to be heading that way. I think I’m on track, and only one of my reviewers has complained.

    This writing thing is weird. It gets away from you. It has its own ideas.

    I think it’s every hope you ever suppressed. Stuff’s got to come out somehow.
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt recently posted…From PLAN to PUBLISHED, writers make events HAPPENMy Profile

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