Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Bucket List

So Much to Do, So Little Time

I have a lot of respect for accomplished people; people who have set goals and achieved them.  Examples? People who can speak multiple languages, are experts at certain hobbies, have mastered musical instruments, have several degrees or have accomplished feats of physical strength and endurance.  Yes, Olympic athletes come to mind.  My talented husband also comes to mind.  He is very musically talented (piano, guitar, trombone in high school, a little bass, drums and is teaching himself banjo), and  he is getting his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering.  Smarty pants.  We both speak some Spanish, but we’re getting rusty.  I have accomplished cousins, uncles, friends and acquaintances. 

Now that I am married and becoming a real adult, I have to start thinking about the things I want to accomplish while I am still young.  I’ve still got a few years before Robert and I want to start thinking about kids, so in the meantime, I’ve got some living to get done while I’m not completely tied down.  So, I’ve started a “Baby Bucket List” comprised of all the things I want to accomplish before getting pregnant (hopefully, we won’t have any unexpected bundles delivered before then). 

Baby Bucket List:
Go to Europe with Robert
Go to Vegas with Robert
Get a Master’s Degree
Run a 5K
Live in a big city (Chicago maybe?)
Ride on a motorcycle
Go para-sailing
Go to a Dallas Cowboys football game
Go to the 2016 Olympics
Improve my Spanish
Relearn to play piano
Learn to play guitar
Get a puppy
Enter a play in a festival
Get involved in theatre, even if only as a hobby
Refresh my martial arts
Take a yoga class
Get more involved in church and charity work

These are goals that I want to achieve so that my kids can someday look back and maybe think, “Wow, my mom used to be cool,” and maybe be proud of me.  I also want to have lots more fun before I pile on more responsibility like children, a mortgage, car payments, etc.  I don’t really understand people who get married very young (I know, 23 is young, too), settle into boring jobs, buy a house in their home town and start popping out babies right away.  If that’s you, congrats!  You are living the life you want to lead!  I’m just not ready for that (although, ask my husband, I freaking LOVE babies).

I’m also working on my “Life Bucket List,” most of which will take longer to accomplish or take more money than what we’ll be making in this decade.  This list focuses on the kinds of things I want to be able to look back on when I’m old and be proud of, things that will make my obituary more interesting.  I want to use the talents, blessings and abilities God gave me to enjoy the life I lead and to explore the world around me.  Luckily, I’ve already completed some of the things I’ve wanted to do.

So, before I can build that list, I have to check off what I’ve already done.  This is the fun part because I get to feel really cool for a little while.  Here goes.

Gone to Europe (England and France)
Gone to the top of the Eiffel Tower
Visited Shakespeare’s grave
Gone to Canada and Mexico
Learned to surf (a little!)
Visited Hawaii
Visited the Bahamas
Gone on a cruise
Gone mountain biking down a mountain (Mt. Shasta)
Learned to ski (intermediate, thank you!)
Owned horses (childhood dream fulfilled by age 12)
Visited New York
Seen a musical on Broadway
Spent New Year’s Eve in Manhattan
Learned to sew
Taken a swing dance class
Learned to water ski/wakeboard
Learned martial arts
Gone to Disney World
Seen the Grand Canyon
Seen Mount Rushmore
Seen Mt. St. Helens
Seen one of the Great Lakes (Just Lake Michigan so far…)
Written a full length play
Been in a television commercial
Been in a radio spot
Got a bachelor’s degree
Written and passed my Honors Thesis
Planned a wedding
Got married
Lived outside of Texas

I was really lucky to grow up with a family that was very active, loved to travel, and loved to experience life.  I could list many more wonderful experiences that I have been lucky to have (going camping, going to Major League baseball games, visiting national parks and seeing tons of cities and landmarks).  My grandparents were able to go on lots of exciting trips and adventures, and God willing, Robert and I will have the resources some day to do the same.  Here are some of the things that I hope to experience and accomplish in my lifetime. 

Life Bucket List:
Stay married
Have children
Own a home
Visit all 50 states
See Niagara Falls
Tour the California Wine country
Complete a triathlon
Visit at least 6 of the 7 continents (not too sure about Antarctica)
Go on an Alaskan cruise
Visit the Mediterranean Coast (Specifically Italy and Greece)
Visit the Vatican
Visit Israel
Climb a mountain
Ride in a helicopter
Go white water rafting
Go scuba diving
Go whale watching
Go on an African photo safari
Go hunting
Go deep-sea fishing
Have a play produced
Have a career in theatre or the arts
Get paid to act
Make generous monetary donations to worthy causes
Learn a third language
Read all the books on a “must read” list
See ever movie that’s won an Oscar for “Best Film”
Get my Concealed Handgun License (if I ever move back to Texas)

These are just the things I can think of.  I truly hope I can accomplish these goals and more, because I feel that a life not well-lived is a life wasted.  We live in an incredible world in a blessed nation.  We have abilities, talents and intellect that can be put to use.  It’s possible, however, that I may not accomplish half of the things on this list, but if I broaden my horizons, better myself and enrich the lives of others, I’ll consider it a success.  There’s a lot to do before I die, and who knows how long I have?  Excuse me while I go run a couple of miles, start working on my next play and look up a guitar tutorial.

Checking things off my list.  One day at a time.


  1. You got like 10+ ryla children :) - taka

  2. Btw, if I don't go to college. Ima hook you up with the 2016 olympic tickets cuz ima wrestle for the Federated States of Micronesia -takawaka

    1. First off, yes and I love all of my RYLA children! Second, I would cheer my lungs out for you! And if you play college football, I will cheer my lungs out for you then, too! :)

    2. When you become a momma, your goals change. What was important to you now becomes tossed by the wayside. Rearing children is a full time commitment and I am not saying that you wont be able to work on your goals during their time at home, but what I am saying is, their needs/desires will take president over yours. To raise successful children, you have to give everything! Focus on your baby bucket list as you will have the most control over that one. The life bucket list is more harder to manage until the children leave the home. Some things are doable while they are home, but most will have to wait. Rearing my children was THE BEST accomplishment I could ever have on my bucket list.

      Best advice ever is SEIZE EVERY DAY ! Live each day like it is your last. Go after that bucket list like there is no tomorrow. Time passes WAY too quickly and even though it feels like it is in slow motion...(you're waiting to live), time is still ticking. Don't wait to have money to give to charity. Volunteer...it is AMAZING how networking works in those arenas. People with money can afford to volunteer. You want to be around influential people to get you where you want to be. It just makes sense. PLUS....you are helping and giving back.

      Always work on your marriage. It is like a car....pull maintenance often so it is in the top running condition.

      Love you!

  3. If one of you gets into a work/ study/language situation in Europe that would be three things done simulataneously.Once you are based in Europe for a few years you can travel very easily around to different countries by car. In Amercia you drive 500 miles and you are in another state while in Europe you can pass through entire countries.As you travel you will make friends who will invite you to visit and stay with them in their countries. To keep costs down you can stay in hostels or camp. It is amazing how many people and adventures you will have. My neice lives in France and works for L'oreal. In the mornings she goes to French langauge school before work. France is ow the homebase form which she travels to see the rest of Europe. My neice Maraika lives in Dubai and travels just about anywhre else on a $200 plane ticket.These are just afew ideas to help get you going with your quest for adventure. Good luck! Helena