Posted by: chlost | June 4, 2011

Cross it off the list

My mood lately has been very introspective. I think that especially since my sister died just over a year ago, I have had more and more thoughts of what I want to do with whatever time I have left on this world. The death of someone close to you, and younger than you seems to do that.

Most recently, the idea of a bucket list has come up in conversations and readings. It seems that the karma of the world is nudging pushing  shoving me to think about what I truly want to do with my life. My god, I am over 50-what DO I want to do when I grow up? How much time do I have to figure this out, anyway?

In my twenties, I kind of fell into marriage and kids. Never planned it. Never really regretted it.

My legal career is also something that I sort of fell into. I went to law school thinking that I would practice environmental law-save the planet and live in Montana, near the mountains. But with the kids and a horrible economy in the mid-80’s I took the only job I could find, practicing  family law. Handling divorces was not exactly the same as saving the planet, but it did allow me to be in town near my kids while my husband worked an hour away. From there, I took on a contract to handle juvenile court cases in addition to the divorces. Can we say burn out?

But back to the introspection. I have realized that I don’t have all that much that I want to do before I die, but that I have never really focused on it. I am a list person. I do so much better in getting things accomplished if I work from a list. I make lists all the time… lists, lists of chores, lists of files to work on, lists of clients to call, lists of projects.

But I have never made a bucket list.

So, I decided to do it. I am putting it out here to make it formal, to hold myself to work on crossing off items as they are accomplished.  I have only withheld a few items which I would rather not share with all.  The list is in no particular order.

1. Attend an immersion language camp

2. Run (walk) without pain

3. Fly (this is either by parachute, parasail, or small plane-I have had numerous dreams that I fly like a bird, and I want that feeling)

4. Horseback riding (I had a horse when I was young-I want to do that again)

5. Take the train to Glacier Park or the west coast

6. Live overseas

7.Write a published work

8. Meet a favorite star/writer

9. See my great grandchildren

10. Get one haircut that I absolutely love (this has never happened to me!)

11. Travel for a cause

12. Find an artistic talent or outlet (perhaps by taking classes-perhaps drawing, painting, piano, or voice)

As I look at the list, I realize that some of these items are relatively easily accomplished. Why haven’t I done them? I can’t answer for sure, but I do think that by having the list, I may be more focused on getting to them sooner.

There are other items which will take much more time,money and energy. I am hopeful that by having those on a list, I will be more likely to make the plans and get them accomplished as well.

Then, as these items are whittled down, I will add more to the list.

At least “Making a bucket list” has been crossed off the list.

If I get to the point of having nothing on my list of “to dos”, then I will know it is my time to get out of here.



  1. I should look into a language immersion camp for myself, that sounds like a great idea! Good luck on achieving your goals!

    • Thanks for visiting. I see that your list is much longer than mine. I will see how I do with this little one.

  2. Had to laugh a bit. I had a brief bucket list and when I finished the last I got a bit scared. Rather than ” get out of here” I just made a new list. Trust me, there will be a bunch more that will crop up to keep the list going.
    You have made a super start.

    • Thanks-I plan to have many revisions and additions along the way before I get out of here. It is only when I can’t figure out anything new to add that it would get to that point.

  3. Like the idea, like the list. Good balance.
    I did the same two years ago when a friend my age died. Hence last Autumn in Paris! At least that is off the list. Or so I thought. Now I have added to my list that I would like a flat in Paris! Ho hum.

    • Oh, a flat in Paris. That is an option for my “live abroad” item on the list. I am so impressed that you made your staying in Paris come true..

  4. Well, hey, when we get together you can cross off #8! 😀

    When I was younger I always wanted a PhD so people would be able to see how freaking smart I am right off the bat, but anymore I don’t much care so think that item has dropped off my list.

    I want to complete a marathon and triathlon; I want to return to living overseas. I always wanted to take a train out west, too! I finally got a haircut this spring that I really loved, for the first time in my life! There is hope! I want to start kayaking. I’ve become friends with a woman who kayaks a lot and I would like to be able to join her. I’ve always been a bit insane, so the idea of doing some whitewater kayaking appeals to that daredevil side of me. I’d like to do some long distance biking again. And I met a woman last weekend who leads adventure trips for women to the BWCA; I’d like to go on one with her in the next year or so. I don’t know though. I’ve gotten so unused to bugs…

    • I would love to cross off #8!

      It sounds as though you are getting younger every day. That is so wonderful! Your goals for running and kayaking are great. I know that you will reach them soon. You are amazing!

  5. I am struck by how do-able your list is, these are all things that are reasonably possible. I took up skydiving after my first near-fatal heart event when I was in my mid-40’s – it was a life-changing experience and one I never regret doing.

    We have friends who spend huge sums traveling; Europe, Australia, South America (Machu Picchu) and they are heading for Greece now. Nice but other than the memories, how lasting are these experiences?

    When I consider my loving wife, the beautiful place where I live, my kids and grand kids, I realize that my fondest wish in life has been granted. I wanted to learn to fly – then my buddy learned, bought a plane, now it is almost an Albatross around his neck. As the old Chinese curse warns: “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.”

    • Yes, I am a pretty down to earth type. I don’t have many pie-in-the-sky dreams. I just need to focus a bit to get things done. I do love to travel, though.

  6. Time for a train trip to the Language class. 🙂 Two in one.

    Me I want to travel and record it with humor. Another two in one.

    • Two for one is a great idea!

  7. I had never heard of a language immersion camp before… Maybe exchanging bucket lists can widen our horizons! Maybe there are things I would still want to but I haven’t heard of them yet!

    I’m a list maker, too, but have resisted making a detailed bucket list, maybe for the same reason I dislike setting goals. Maybe I’m far too content (lazy? unambitious?) for my own good! There are a few things I would like to do, such as visit Norway and see the northern lights, but if I were to die tomorrow I would have few regrets.

    Cheering you on as you proceed!

    • There is a nearby college that is known for its immersion programs. Almost any language is available. There are some other programs in the country where the language is native to the area. I see myself as doing better in accomplishing things if I have made the list, even if it is in my head.

  8. I think if I made a bucket list now it would only contain the names of places I’d like to visit and books I need to read – the rest for me is not that important, but it’s good to know what you want to do so you can try to achieve it.

    • There are some books and travel destinations in my “to do” list, but my attitude toward them is that if I get to them, great, but if not, I’m okay.

  9. I don’t know what it is about them, but I am very resistant to the idea of bucket lists. I need to think about that.

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