Ah, bucket.

I have known for a long time that I wanted to have a “bucket list.” In fact, before bucket lists were even a “thing”, I sat silently across a Bickford’s table from my best friend as we both wrote down our “goals” in a Shaws Supermarket mini spiral-bound notebook. I still have my list somewhere in this house, I think. There were things on it like “Get a 4.0 at least once” (I did) and “Have a kid” (I obviously did.) Some of the items were trite because I was reaching (“Paint a sunset with words.” Seriously?) but mostly my heart was in the right place. I think having goals is a good thing. I think striving to accomplish things that are important to you has merit. I don’t particularly enjoy the term “bucket list” because it implies that I’m trying to get it all done before I kick the bucket, but if this is what it takes to motivate people to be their best selves and experience what the world has to offer, then so be it.

There’s a little card stuck on my fridge with a magnet and it reads, “If not now, when?” The quote is credited to the Talmud. Whether or not that is actually its origin, it seems as good a place as any to begin. So, here’s my Bucket List. (With the caveat that it is subject to change at any time from now until bucket day.)

  • Take a cross-country road-trip (or two. I want to see every state.)
  • Go back to Italy
  • Learn to drive stick (Wtf? Why don’t I know this by now?)
  • Write a book
  • Grow a vegetable garden

There are a few others that are too personal to publish (even for me!) but that’s the bulk of them. It doesn’t seem like much and it doesn’t seem insurmountable. I’m excited to get started.

What’s on your bucket list?

12 thoughts on “Ah, bucket.

  1. I’d love to do the cross country trip too, especially with the family.

    I want to learn to use more sophisticated photo-editing tools and to decorate our home with photos I’ve taken across the world, instead of souvenirs.

    I want to become healthy enough to run a 5k or an equivalent fitness goal (as distance running may not ever be a fitness goal that’s compatible with my back).

    I want to continue to learn violin and to do so well enough to not need the stickers on the neck of the violin that tell me where my fingers are supposed to go.

    Every year I’d like to have more stories accepted, and eventually start publishing novels, maybe even editing a story collection down the road.

    • Oh! That’s a good one! I also want to decorate my home in my own photographs. I think I will work on that one this summer, actually, when we go to Cape Cod. There’s so much there that we love and that is so photographable. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I recently looked up the “If not now, when” quote… Hillel posed 3 questions and that was the third… I received a gift certificate for one of my bucket items (hot air balloon ride) and I was grateful for such a well thought out gift… Then I discovered I couldn’t get past my fears and do it… I guess sometimes you have to really feel death is eminent … Or you learn something about yourself … Actually my greatest fear was of humiliation because there is a weight limit and I would have to confess mine or endanger everyone …most of what I do doesn’t hinge on knowing or admitting my weight but this weird reaction reminded me how negative socialization sticks with me for a lifetime.

  3. Live in a Spanish speaking country to get more fluent in Spanish
    Learn sign language
    Paint huge paintings
    Learn a musical instrument

    • Oooh, what musical instrument would you learn? I’ve always wanted to learn guitar, but when I tried, it was so hard that I gave up. Maybe I’ll try again!

  4. My mom passed away from breast cancer at the age of 57, then my father the following year…all I wanted was to turn 58…and the hands of time this year will grant me the age of 60. Life is good.

  5. Connie, sorry to hear about your mom. If the company I work for achieves it’s bucket list, we’ll know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020.

    As for my own bucket list, these are my top 3

    Sail around the world
    Have more countries visited than unvisited by the time I kick the bucket
    Become the best grandmother a kid could imagine.

    • Michelle,

      I appreciate your message. My mom has now been gone 23 years, yet it seems like just yesterday. In those 23 years there has been a reduction in breast cancer by 33%, which is huge. It is encouraging to see how much progress has been made and yet there are still miles to go.



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