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?