This past weekend I was joyfully perusing the blogs of some of the many other optimists out there. In the process, I stumbled over more than a few entries and pages entitled “Bucket List.”
What is a bucket list you ask? According to an entry in the Urban Dictionary, a “bucket list” is a list of things you want to do before you die. It comes from the expression “kicked the bucket.”
These lists were inspiring–not only to read the hopes and dreams and goals of everyday people like me…but to see them actually tracking their “bucket lists” and crossing items off! Wow!
This is perfect timing in my life as I have been going through a sort of quarter life crisis and trying to figure out what I want to do next. I’ve been asking myself, “What is my Magnum Opus, or great work?” How could I possibly answer this question when I have not been taking the time to even visualize myself in the future?
I believe strongly in the power of positive thinking. I also believe that we are the makers of our own destinies. I’m done with this passive version of life where I’ve been going through the motions. I’m ready to “take the bull by the horns” and start carving my own path. This path will be filled with exhilarating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and I will savor each moment on its own.
In preparing for my list, I found a few online articles that were very informational:
As I began the process, I had a very interesting observation–one that I feel very ambivalent about, in fact… I realized that there are a handful of experiences that I would have included on this list five years ago. But–I can’t include them here because I’ve already experienced them. They include:
- Completing a century bike ride in one day I can cross this off my list 5 times now and you can read all about my two most recent century rides in “The Amazing Adventures of Two Girls on a Bike.”
- Be the first in my immediate family to earn a post graduate degree. As of May 2009, I have an M.A. in Communication Management from Emerson College!
- Explore the energy vortexes in Sedona, AZ. Wuggs and I spent three days in Sedona hiking in and around these awe inspiring vistas, giant red rocks, and mini canyons as a celebration of completing several major milestones in 2009.
Why am I ambivalent? I guess because, once I make a set of goals, I take as much pleasure in the act of crossing things off as I do in the actual experience. So I was a little disappointed that I missed the opportunity to complete these particular experiences that could have been on the bucket list. I shared this observation with my mom and she made a really good point in a recent email conversation:
“You have definitely completed some awesome things. The good news is–based on all you’ve done in your short life & your proven drive–you should be able to easily achieve these goals over the remainder of your life.”
Thanks Mom. Exclellent point!
She continued with one warning…a caution she has shared with me before.
“Just don’t get so caught up in reaching the goal that you’re stressed out & unable to enjoy the journey. Or don’t be so obsessed with completing the list that you don’t live & enjoy everyday life along the way.”
So true! Isn’t life really all about the journey?
So here it is for your reading pleasure, a list of 100 things I’m going to do before I die…in no particular order:
- Explore every continent… excluding Antarctica.
- Visit the grave of my great-grandfather’s in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
- Learn how to play bar chords with confidence on the guitar.
- Complete an Olympic Distance Triathlon.
- Bike up (or down) the entire coast of California.
- Mom and I celebrate our birthdays with Wuggs and any other family and friends who care to join us in Albuquerque, NM during the International Hot Air Balloon Festival.
- Take a bicycle tour of Scotland with Wuggs.
- A white water raft adventure vacation with family and friends on the Colorado River that ends in (or near) the Grand Canyon.
- Make a six-figure salary doing something I love and that generates happiness in others by building community.
- Take a pottery class and make an entire set of dinnerware.
- Grow old with my best friend and love of my life.
- Own a getaway home in a sunny destination that is near a large body of water and plenty of outdoor recreation.
- Hike the entire Appalachian Trail.
- Learn my Nonna’s marinara recipe.
- Explore Romagna and find the orphanage where my great-grandfather was raised.
- Go on a sea kayaking tour of New Zealand.
- Make a covered apple pie all by myself!
- Visit every one of the 50 states in the United States.
- Take the ultimate road trip with my mom when we FINALLY relocate her from Mississippi to Arizona.
- Pledge an entire year to service–preferably something physical like building or fixing homes with an organization like Habitat for Humanity.
- Laugh, cry, and lose myself in a NY Times Best Seller novel by Sarah Dornin.
- Develop a close relationship with my brother–one where we confide in each other, seek support, make each other laugh deeply, and hug freely.
- Have a family reunion vacation spent camping on Lake Apache or Lake Roosevelt where the Hult clan and cousins relive our childhood memories of diving off cliffs into the water, listening to the beach boys until our heads spin, boogie boarding and tubing behind a speedboat, sharing stories around the campfire, and sleeping in lawn chairs under the starry night.
- See Niagra Falls.
- Eat a savory crepe in Quebec.
- Visit a film set in Vancouver.
- Live in San Diego for at least a few years.
- Complete 100 consecutive pushups.
- Learn a martial art–preferably Akido or Capoeira.
- Witness first-hand the wonderfully strange and remarkably un-timid wildlife of the Galapagos Islands with a naturalist guide.
- Set foot on a black sand beach and see a live volcano (from a safe distance).
- Swim in the Blue Lagoon hot spring spa in Iceland.
- See a giant sequoia in Redwood National Park.
- Swim in the Pacific Ocean (I’ve only ever dipped my feet in!).
- Go on an African Safari.
- Zipline in Costa Rica.
- Ride one of the fleet in the bike share program in Boulder, CO.
- Watch the sunrise on a fishing trip with Dad in the White Mountains in Northern Arizona. Aunt MaryBeth can join us and we’ll fry up our giant trout in a tasty beer batter and stay up late playing card games and laughing until our side hurts.
- Rent a giant suite at a fancy hotel and host an annual girls sleepover spa weekend getaway with my mom, aunts, and cousins. The children will stay with spouses.
- Pay off my college loans before I’m 40.
- Take an Olivia vacation to an all-inclusive resort in a sunny location with my lady love and all my best friends.
- Learn how to do my own bike repairs.
- Build enough confidence in my guitar technique to jam with a group of musicians.
- Own an eco-friendly automobile…a hybrid or (preferably) a biodiesel converted volvo or jeep.
- Join a local toastmasters group.
- Teach a public speaking class at a college or university.
- Learn to golf.
- See my marriage to Wuggs recognized on a state and federal level–from sea to shining sea!
- Renew my promise and wedding vows to Wuggs in the company of all our family and friends on our 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries.
- Visit the cliffs of Ireland.
- A trip to see the orphanage Mamita (my great grandmother) ran in Bolivia.
- A culinary vacation in Tuscany.
- Learn to speak Italian.
- Learn how to windsurf with Laird.
- Explore the many attractions in Australia–multiple times!
- Own a modest house with a back yard so my animals can freely enjoy the indoors and outdoors.
- Own a boxer named Frieda.
- Start a book group as a great excuse to get together with amazing women, to eat, drink and talk about love, movies, culture, politics – and, of course, literature.
- Attend an FCW Society meeting in NYC (because, lets face it, women are so effing cool)!
- Vacation in Kenab, UT and care for the abused and abandoned animals at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
- Try acupuncture at least once for treatment of injured back.
- Take Wuggs hiking in Madera Canyon and show her our “family tree,” a cottonwood near one of the picnic areas.
- Plan a “Johnny Reunion” in Arizona and invite all of John’s friends and all our family near Tucson to celebrate his memory and eat all of his favorite foods.
- Quit biting my nails and have soft manicured hands.
- A cosmetic carrier filled with Bobbi Brown cosmetics.
- A bathroom filled with Origins products.
- Trim down and build my body to have no more than 15% body fat.
- A closet filled with Thomas Pink french cuff shirts.
- Surprise Wuggs by picking her up in a BMW and take her for a romantic date that includes a drive to the coast and stargazing while we exchange our deepest wishes and plans for our future.
- Vacation in Palm Springs during Dinah Shore weekend.
- Romantic and fun-filled weekend in Fire Island with Wuggs.
- To live and build a career in a community of peers who excite and inspire me–where earning an income is so enjoyable that it can no longer be called going to “work.”
- Participate in a four-square tournament.
- Take dance lessons with Wuggs: Merengue, Salsa, Swing, and more.
- Indulge in a playful escapade with Wuggs on a Zero Gravity Flight.
- See the Cherry Blossoms bloom in Washington, D.C.
- Attend a Burning Man Festival in Burning Rock, NV.
- Visit the Coney Island Boardwalk.
- See the Northern Lights (the Aurora Borealis).
- Climb the pyramids at Chichen Itza, Mexico
- Visit the ancient cliff pueblos in Arizona or New Mexico.
- Learn how to “keep bees” and harvest my own honey.
- Learn how to brew my own beer and become a knowledgeable enough brew master to craft my own ale.
- Save enough money to start a foundation or endow a scholarship so that I can support someone in realizing a dream that makes the world a better place.
- Become a mentor and empower a growing leader by example and through a nurturing reciprocal relationship.
- Become a localvore–commit to to buying locally produced goods and services and support sustainable food production, processing, and distribution.
- Become a successful voice-over artist on the side. Hear my voice on commercials and training videos and radio spots.
- Take an R&R vacation at Kirpalu Center in the Berkshires with Wuggs.
- Learn how to make ceviche.
- Swim with the dolphins.
- Take a spiritual journey on a vacation to Tibet with Wuggs.
- Attend a Native American sweat lodge ceremony.
- See John Joseph and Heather be the first in their immediate family to graduate from college.
- Hike down the south rim of the Grand Canyon and stay at Phantom Ranch for a few nights before hiking back up the Grand Canyon.
- Take at least one vacation with the entire Dornin clan to an all-inclusive resort at a sunny location with plenty of choices for outdoor recreation.
- Return to Key West with Wuggs to celebrate a milestone anniversary.
- Fly to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale and rent a convertable to drive all the way down the Florida Keys.
- Invest in good camping gear so I can camp with Randi in comfort.
- Go on at least one camping trip each year.
- Spend at least one day at the Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.