Friday, November 27, 2009

part V--lucky girl

While at my mother-in-law's for Thanksgiving, she told me how much she enjoyed watching The Bucket List. I've never seen it, but asked her what she had on her list. Her answer got me to thinking back to a very dark time in my life about 17 years ago when I thought my world was falling apart. I was living alone, my internship and college career were ending, my parents were moving out of state, I had to find a job to pay my bills, I'd probably have to move to a new city or state, my boyfriend had dumped me for a cocktail waitress, I'd just had impacted wisdom teeth pulled and a pickup truck had run over my dog. Actually, I'm joking about the dog, but the rest really did happen within the same month.

In the midst of feeling soooooo sorry for myself, a friend advised me to make a list of ten things I wanted to accomplish over the next decade--a "bucket list" of sorts--and set my mind to getting that list done. You know what? It totally worked. While I ate some pudding and sucked down some painkillers, I wrote down my list, including such goals as "get a master's degree" and "go to Europe." I saved that list and believe it or not, completed every single goal by the time I turned 30. I made a new list on my 30th birthday, anticipating what a new decade of life would bring. And it was awesome putting my life in perspective that way.

Which brings me to my final list of things I am thankful for this week:

Part V: Experiences I feel lucky to have had:

1. climbed a pyramid in Egypt.
2. attended college and then grad school.
3. hiked up a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park.
4. floated down a river in an inner tube.
5. swam, kayaked, body surfed and snorkeled in the ocean.
6. lived alone.
7. eaten a seven course meal.
8. worked in both a library and a bookstore.
9. danced on a bar.
10. eaten my way through New Orleans.
11. taken a curtain call.
12. visited some of the great museums of the world, including the British National, Cairo and Smithsonian.
13. had ice cream beneath the Eiffel Tower.
14. hiked up a glacier in the Swiss Alps.
15. drank Guinness in a Donegal pub while listening to an Irish band.
16. slept beneath the stars in the great wide open.
17. went to the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.
18. seen Shakespeare performed at The Globe in London.
19. seen poverty intimately.
20. taken my children on It's a Small World at Disney World.

Spill it, reader. What experiences do you feel lucky to have knocked off your bucket list?


  1. My first bucket list included traveling to England. I've done that twice and plans are in the preliminary stages for the next trip.

    My current bucket list is more focused on my personal health and fitness.

  2. Train travel was a recent one checked off the list. We loved it; we'll do it again.
    Now there's the road trip down Rt. 66 - maybe in the next couple years, we'll get that one planned!

  3. i don't have a bucket list. so i'll compare my life to yours. i have done:


  4. Wow--you have a fantastic list.

    The first thing that pops into my mind of things I've accomplished is something I never would have thought to put on a list. I made it possible for my mother to die at home in her own bed--which was something on HER list.

  5. -What is missing from GG's list...being the best friend anyone could hope for....

    I don't have a bucket list- I just try to live each day with the best intentions and try to execute those intentions. It sounds cliche, but I try to leave each day just a little better....

  6. Sitting on a patio in Europe sipping a beverage I still cannot pronounce laughing at man capris is in the top 10. Not feeling intimidated by the idea of roasting a whole turkey is in the top 50.

    I so want to go to Egypt. And to see Shakespeare at The Globe. Your thus far completed bucket list makes me drool.

  7. I had a son and a daughter.
    I went to London.
    I moved to Florida.

    I want to be a grandmother.
    I'm living my life on a "no expectations-no disappointments" plan, so there isn't a bucket list.

  8. That is a fabulous list! You've definitely outdone me.

    Some of mine off the top of my head.

    -Moved across country at a moments notice with nothing but a '77 dodge van and my exBF's comic books and beer

    -Married the cute security guard at the parking garage for my apartment after knowing him a month. Still married to him.

    -Flown over glaciers in Alaska

    -Polar bear plunge in lake superior in winter. Easier because I was on day two at a beer festival. Incidentally, travelled to the beer festival with a street musician I had met in a coffee shop and he paid his way by playing his guitar.

    -Conceived oldest daughter while camping in the AZ desert in previously mentioned '77 dodge van (which is a year older than I am) after dreaming that I was going to have a daughter.

    -Live on the beach in Mexico, although I was 5 when I did this, so maybe it doesn't count. Not of my own choosing and all.

    -Lived in a semi-communal artist's warehouse with very little heat and no private bathroom facilities, but a gallery and a house band.

    That's all I can think of right now.

  9. I think we all have a bucket list. Rocky Mountain National Park is one I am please to have checked off too. Read more at

  10. Great List! I'm just returning to the land of the blogging after an almost two-week hiatus, so I'll have to give my Bucket List some thought and make a post out of it at some point in the near future. :)

  11. Good list! I don't have one. Hmmm. But I've done tons of stuff.

    Okay, number one on my list for 2010 is to earn a living from writing. Yikes!

  12. Um, I just want your list. I am especially envious of the Iowa writer's worskshop. And It's a Small World; it was closed for refurbishing when we went last year.

  13. What an amazing list! The Bucket list was a great movie..our church did a whole series on it...pretty moving!

    I'm extremely jealous of drinking Guiness in Ireland! Frank O'Dowd's is the closest I've come to that, pub singers, irish food and and awesome beer!!! (Let me know if you're ever in the area and I'll buy you a pint!)

  14. Tell me about this writing event in Iowa! I can't focus because of my curiosity.


Spill it, reader.