Thursday, October 28, 2010

Working on my Bucket List

There is a lot of talk these days about bucket lists, mainly due to a popular movie with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.  Great movie; I enjoyed it.  A few years back I bought a book called "1000 Places to See Before You Die."  It contains a huge selection of the most valued experiences a person can have, according to someone's opinion anyway.  And then awhile ago I bought another book called "500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late."  Are you seeing a trend?  I have been buying into this idea that we should all be living life to its fullest because eventually we are all going to kick the "bucket" and don't want to have any regrets.

Even with all this outward stimuli, I never really sat down and wrote a bucket list, though I certainly was adequately armed with all those "don't miss" suggestions.  But I have always dreamed of places I wanted to see and adventures I was certain would give more meaning to my life.

Then it happened.  I was given a dose of reality.  I was forced to look straight in the face of my husband's mortality, and consequently, that of my own mortality.  And I was startled to see how much they go hand-in-hand.  Our lives are so intertwined that as I saw the threat to his life, I felt it as a threat to my own; certainly to my life as I know it, that of being with a companion that offers love and livelihood and laughter.
So I decided to think a little more about a bucket list, a list of all the things I want to experience and accomplish before I kick that darn, rusty bucket.  As I did so, armed with paper and pen, an interesting thing happened.  I thought I would write fast and furiously, anxious to get on the paper all the amazing destinations I have yet to see.

Didn't happen.  Instead, my mind turned to an interesting process of prioritizing.  Suddenly the most important things became time with family; and trips to meaningful places.  There are a few personal accomplishments that I would still like to see happen, but realistically, I feel satisfied with most of the things I have filled my years with.  I have educated myself, in lieu of a formal college degree.  I have studied the scriptures and taught many lessons from what I have learned.  I have explored my creative side, using a variety of mediums to beautify and chronicle my life.  Most importantly, I have nurtured four amazing children into adulthood, and fostered significant relationships with a wonderful group of family and friends.

Here is my bucket list, so far.  It isn't long.  It is filled with my lifelong dreams of exploring the homelands of beloved book characters and authors.  Some are just traveling to places that have intrigued me for one reason or another.  Nothing is frivolous.  Everything is reasonable, I think. 

  1. Write a book, and get it published (This one is close!)
  2. Tour Great Britain by car
  3. Serve at least one mission with my husband
  4. Visit Hilton-Head Island, South Carolina
  5. Visit New Orleans, Louisiana
  6. Visit Chicago, Illinois
  7. Take a thorough Church History Tour
  8. Nurture a personal relationship with each grandchild
  9. Revisit painting--take a class again
  10. Learn to use Photoshop
  11. Take a train trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, in a sleeper car
  12. Visit Paris, France
  13. Cross the English Channel at Dover
  14. Explore Plymouth Harbor; sail in a tall ship
  15. Take a riverboat cruise down the Mississippi River
  16. Take a New England Fall Color Tour
  17. Go back to Wichita, Kansas someday
  18. Have a family reunion in Hawaii
  19. Explore the Alps of Switzerland
  20. Visit the Holy Land
  21. Sure, we better throw in there Mt. Rushmore...
How does your list compare?


Laura said...

I love your list!!! And I'm SO glad Brian is doing better!
Almost anytime I do something on my list without my family, I'm always saying to myself, "they would love this!" I have many items I'd love to have a re-do with them :-)

neffie said...

If I make it back to Oregon and you have not learned Photoshop, I can teach you! :-)

I like your list! I need to go through my list and make sure it's updated... but are they ever completely done?

Kim said...

I think you have a great start to a great list!!