Thursday, August 7, 2014

I don't want to write a Bucket List

I was at a really good class last week, unfortunately interrupted by a hurricane inside my body, that was basically about achieving balance in one's personal, professional and  family life. It was geared towards teaching, so there was a lot of teaching specific content.  I would have really enjoyed it.  Lol

So I am sitting here writing a blogpost instead of finishing up my class work, because I am stuck on the next part and that is writing my Bucket List.  Now, I have always thought a Bucket List is a quaint idea, and sure, "everyone" buys into that idea that there are things you want to do before you die.  Well I am not so sure I want to actually do that.

First of all, I will say that of course I will write up some sort of list for the class, because it is a requirement.  So don't worry, I will do it.  I spent some time straightening up the house in an effort to avoid sitting down at the computer, but I am trying to overcome my procrastination tendencies (oooo, #1 on the list) so here I am.  During this time I had an extensive conversation with myself over what the hang up is here. Aside from the procrastination, I always do this when I have to write something that is difficult for me.  I have to let my brain percolate ideas before I begin, and I agonize more than a little. Then, sometimes I do other things (write a blog post) in order to let my brain settle into what I am going to write.  So the writing/creating process is at work here, too.  I then have a project to do  that could include an element of creativity.  It is my nature to go overboard on this, so I've decided to just write it.  With no bells and whistles or concrete mosaic (oh theres another one for the list) or fiber arts or photography (yep, there is #3).  I sort of hate that I am going simple, but in the greater scheme of things, the teachers I had (they were fabulous, btw) don't mind how I do it.  And there are MANY things I want to do this summer, including piddling in my garden (#4)  and enjoying the summer mornings.

The next element of this issue for me is, as I have said to my family:  I plan to live forever...... (usually followed by BWAHAHAHAHA)  OOOOH #5  I guess that isn't an option.  Ok, so that won't happen, but the point is that I am definitely a live in the moment person.  I genuinely love to go where the wind blows me.  I do plan my days at times, but I prefer spontaneity.  Structure is comforting and easy to live in day to day, but I am not a big planner.   It sounds like maybe I am trying to avoid coming face to face with my mortality or something, but I am kind of comfortable with this.  If you want to argue with me and tell me why I am wrong, I would like to say- really?  And how do you know what I want or dream or feel?

I have sort of an odd tick or reaction to being forced into certain things.  I refuse to weed the vegetable garden, unless I really want to because of my father forcing us to when I was a child.  I also refuse to can food, because of having to do it on my birthday in the summer (I can be a child if I want, shut up).  I occasionally have these things crop up that I for whatever reason do NOT want to do and this is one of them.  I don't like to do things just because everybody is doing it.  It is to the point of this being a cliché. It bugs me because it is not authentic for Debi.  But I will get past that reaction.

So, I found when I was thinking about a traditional bucket list, a lot of the things I thought of were travel.  I'd like to get to Europe, I'd like to go out to the west coast and definitely get out east again.  So there is that!  But you know, that takes money and there are so many things to spend it on.  Like a new kayak! (am I up to #5 or #6??)  And buying things for the kids and grandkids, and buying new clothes and did I mention shoes??  So, yeah, there is that.

You know what I find annoying?  How there are some people who make fun of you if they find out that you haven't been  **insert any given place**.  Or not make fun, but look at you with JUUUUUST that little bit of pity.  Poor thing, lives so far up north and never goes anywhere.....  sits in the middle of the woods and has winter most of the time.  Part of the whole travel thing, is that we live in vacationland USA.  Other than going to see mountains and the ocean (that is part of #6) we sort of have it all up here.  I don't have to camp, because we live in the middle of the woods- camping with a better bed.  I take my canoe a mile down the road and can paddle for hours.  I can bike all over my own personal woods or drive to the National Forest which is a few miles away.  You get the idea. I do love going to new places, and I absolutely plan to do traveling....

Before I die.  That is the issue right there.  I don't want to write a bucket list that I have to feel semi panicked about trying to finish.  When I make lists, I like to finish them.  So what if I have all these things written down and I look back at the end of my life and I didn't do a LOT of them?  That list will be there to make me feel like I couldn't attain my goals.  Like I am a failure on one level.  Like I am something to be pitied.  Instead, what if instead of traveling to Europe, I stayed with some of my grandchildren for a week while their parents vacationed.  Will this be something to be regretted?  Loving the grandkiddos and letting their parents have some time alone?  What if instead of seeing an ocean or climbing a mountain, I spent time with the hubs in the garden and piddling with the bees and going for a drive and finding a perfectly awesome sunset through a broken down barn? Will I wish I never spent that time with him?  What if instead of trying to do a specific thing, I discover a whole new thing that I can do or see because I was receptive and not worried about what was next on the list. I refuse to be held to a list that might not be anywhere near relevant tomorrow, let alone in 30 years.  I guess it is my abstract, random way of thinking that resists these lists that demand to be crossed off, it feels like a stifling of my soul.  This might seem overly dramatic, but it is an essential truth.

I wrote my list and here it is:

Bucket list

  1. Learn to overcome my procrastinating tendencies and learn some techniques to stay more organized.
  2. Do more concrete mosaic sculptures- 1 per year -more or less
  3. Continue to improve my photography skills and take a class on Madeline Island
  4. Maintain my gardens
  5. Travel – including seeing mountains and the Pacific ocean, unless I have a better offer
  6. Get a kayak
  7. Continue to strength train and get fun exercise as often as possible
  8. Spend more time with my family
  9. Retire as soon as I can afford it
  10. Always keep learning new things.
  11. Find joy/be a joy giver in my life day to day
I copy/pasted from my doc.  And I'm sending my teachers a link to my blog post.  Because they are awesome enough to get what I am saying!  :)

Whatever you do, be a joy giver (#11) today!  


  1. It's a good list.

    Too specific and finish. Then whaaaaaat!!! Another list?!#U()*$*&*@$*#&!(@)(


    1. Exactly! I think it is too contrived. Like I have to have a list to know where I really want to travel. Anyway, the cool thing is that one of the teachers wrote me back and said he got it COMPLETELY! :) AND that if I would have been feeling better and would have stayed there, they would have let me do an alternative to the project. But then I wouldn't have been able to write that blogpost- so.....