Monday, January 6, 2014

Reverse Bucket List For 2014

What is a Reverse Bucket List? Well, the beginning of a new year always puts me, and evidently almost all other people, into the mood to make changes, resolutions, and plans. To list things to strive for, things to do in the future, including loading up the always-popular Bucket List, that dream-filled receptacle of all the things we want to see and do before we leave this earth forever.

I'm all for those lists. I make a "100's List" every year myself, which is not a bunch of resolutions so much as a year's worth of mini Bucket List items, things I think I can (and want to) actually do in the coming year. A Bucket List, at least to me, is for items that are a bit more out of reach, at least for the immediate future. I might put a trip to Ireland on my extended Bucket List, but trying three new hairstyles from my Hair Board on Pinterest would (and did) go on my "100's List" as a thing to do this year.

Okay, you say, but what about the Reverse Bucket List? A Reverse Bucket List looks back instead of forward. It's a way to take stock of our lives and to be grateful for all the things we've already accomplished and experienced, to see where we've been in relation to where we are now, and think about where we might go in the future.
I don't know about you, but I spend so much time looking to the future that sometimes I forget to just appreciate the here-and-now, as well as the past. I don't want to get sucked into that I'll-be-happy-when... cycle. I want to acknowledge everything I have to be happy about already and live in the moment. There's nothing wrong with making plans and being excited about the future, that's what keeps us moving forward, but every once in a while, I think it's a good idea to stop, take stock, and be grateful.
I've seen Reverse Bucket Lists other people have done that list thirty things they did before they turned thirty or forty things they did before they turned forty. So, in keeping with that theme, this is my list, in no particular order (definitely not chronologically! LOL This was stream-of-consciousness):

50+ Things I've Done Before Turning 50

(Since I still have a few years before that milestone birthday, I have plenty of time to add even more items to this list. Like making the NYT and USA Today Best Seller lists!)
  1. Graduated high school
  2. Earned a degree/graduated college
  3. Got married
  4. Had a beautiful wedding
  5. Earned my pointe shoes as a ballerina
  6. Performed in many dance and musical recitals
  7. Became a cheerleader
  8. Owned my own business
  9. Started a family
  10. Had a ten-pound baby (and two eight-pound+ers!)
  11. Lived in another state (actually, two)
  12. Got interviewed on the TV news
  13. Got interviewed on the radio
  14. Was a "beauty" queen
  15. Made a home for my family everywhere we have lived
  16. Went to Europe
  17. Went to Canada
  18. Went to Mexico
  19. Rode the castle ride at Universal Orlando's Harry Potter World (had to lose 100+ pounds to do it!)
  20. Finished a book (or ten or more...)
  21. Published a book (or five... with many more to come!)
  22. Earned actual, real, spendable money from my writing
  23. Saw Brett Favre and the Packers play live at Lambeau
  24. Saw Bon Jovi in concert (twice!)
  25. Saw the Eagles in concert
  26. Snuck out of my house to visit my boyfriend in high school
  27. Went on a girl's weekend with my friends
  28. Went on a writing retreat with my writing friends
  29. Served on an RWA chapter board (coming into my sixth year: two years as Membership Chair for Seattle, three as Membership Chair for Everett, and now as co-president for Olympia)
  30. Learned how to French braid hair
  31. Taught my kids to drive
  32. Boogie boarded in the ocean
  33. Learned how to swim
  34. Learned how to high dive
  35. Learned how to roller skate
  36. Learned how to snow ski
  37. Lived alone
  38. I met and developed a close, wonderful relationship with my birthmother before she died
  39. Learned how to do my own taxes
  40. Worked at Disneyland
  41. Worked at Knott's Scary Farm
  42. Earned my certification for and worked as a travel agent
  43. Auditioned for and played in the official Pasadena City Tournament of Roses Parade Honor Band, which included many performances beyond the Rose Parade itself, like marching down Main Street for a parade in Disneyland!
  44. Marched with the Honor Band in the Rose Parade itself with a 104 degree fever and passed out at the end!
  45. Ditched high school to go to the beach (shhh...)
  46. Did a cross-country U-Haul move on our own, with three young children, a dog, two cats, two vehicles (one towed behind the moving van), and no idea what we were doing or where we were going
  47. Identified my true political and religious beliefs and where I stand on key issues
  48. Shot a gun
  49. Rescued a dog
  50. Rescued a cat (or several)
  51. Served as a bridesmaid several times
  52. Played my flute for two friends' weddings
  53. Earned the high score on a video game at Disneyland's arcade on Centipede
  54. Earned First Chair in my high school band as a flute and piccolo player
  55. Was voted Most Talented in my senior year of high school
  56. Had my heart broken into teeny, tiny pieces, and survived
  57. Coached high school cheerleading
  58. Attended the first LeakyCon (Harry Potter fan conference) in Boston, MA in 2009 and every one since, except for the first-ever LeakyCon held in London, England, to which I did indeed have a ticket, but the travel plans didn't work out
  59. Badgered my son into attending the Emerald City ComiCon two years ago, where he finally found his tribe
  60. Moved my middle daughter to her college dorm and managed not to break down completely until I was out of her sight
Now, what about you? What items are on your already-done/experienced lists that you're particularly happy about or grateful for? Are there any items on the list as a cautionary tale, things to remind you not to make those same mistakes again? I have a few of those, too. The point is just to acknowledge your life. See what you find! And all the best to you and yours in this fabulous 2014!


  1. Thanks for the reminder to not just look forward, Chantilly! You have indeed accomplished much and have inspired me to think about my own Reverse Bucket List (never have made a Bucket list so might have to do that also!). Here's to another great year and many more accomplishments to look forward to and look back upon. {{{Hugs!}}}

  2. {{{{{HUGS}}}} to you, too, Lori, and thanks for commenting! I hope 2014 is the most fantabulous year for you ever. If you do your list, let me know, I'd love to see it! MWAH!!!