Long Lost Bucket List

IMG_0119A lesson to my younger self after finding a decade old bucket list.

I was amused and nostalgic to stumble upon my old bucket list today. While I was entertained by my aspirations from my early college years, I was more than amazed that it had followed me all these miles, over countless moves. I can’t tell you how long it has been stuffed in my notebook, or when I put it there, but it somehow hid under the radar while most of my belongings were abandoned in a Michigan basement and attic.

I laugh reading through the haphazard list that I obviously penned spontaneously, fearless of judgement, and without categorization. I recall finding this list in the presence of my older brother and then-boyfriend, and the following jokes and self-consciousness I felt after sharing…probably why I tucked it away for hiding, and most likely when I added ‘break someone’s nose’ as the last entry on the list. With those feelings churning in my chest again, I decided to own this list and be proud of my adventurous spirit and personality that are fused in this comical double-column-two-sided-sheet of yellow legal pad.

‘Is it ok to change my bucket list?’ I thought. Am I giving up on dreams, betraying my younger self? This list is more than 10 years old! I really wish I had put a date on it, but it’s somewhere around there. I was surprised I didn’t have more destinations on there, but then remembered I was at the beginning of my college career, and while I had interest in linguistics and international business that would pay me to travel, I had no clue where I would be in 10 years. Of course I wanted to see every major tourist destination around the world, but I think deep down I never thought travelling like I hoped was feasible. My parents didn’t vacation, it cost money. Camping local was our vacations, and spring break was out of the question. Later, at the time this was written, I was living off of pasta and spaghetti sauce with diminished hopes of ever seeing the world.

Reading though my list, I was able to check off a number of things I had done unaware that I was adhering to my list, but I also saw how many things I hadn’t yet accomplished. My life experiences were different, my priorities have changed. My dreams and goals now include a husband and aren’t as self-oriented as they were allowed to be. Some things I simply have no interest in anymore, while, in contrast, I see how much of my personality and life-long goals have remained.

In order to be honest with my former self, and have a little fun with this, I shall dissect and justify necessary changes. This is merely the first step before revising and adding to my bucket list for this decade, but at the risk of another round of ridicule I give you Project: Revising my Outdated Bucket List! A bit lengthy, so feel free to revisit at a later time! #TLDR



Sky Diving- Not only was it at the top, but I’ve done it twice now.

Nuremburg, Germany- I’m proud of my former self for singling this out as my major travel destination. With emotional ties from my pre-memory childhood as an army brat, I carried many emotions visiting the city, Neuschwanstein Castle, and our old apartment building where I recreated playground pictures from my childhood.

Lay on Fremont Street- Not only have I done this but recently ziplined it as well! I guess I’ve seen Fremont Street from above and below.

Swim in the ocean- Before 2014 I had only gone in the ocean up to my ankles- there’s scary stuff in there! Armed with the GoPro my family took me miles out in the Atlantic and made me jump off the back of the boat. Needless to say, my knees were to my chest as I tread water, and I wasn’t in there for very long.

Drive original Route 66- This is kind of half checked off. While I didn’t do the whole stretch from Chicago to Santa Monica, I did see much of the original route and towns, even stopping for a picture standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. Such a fine sight to see!

St Thomas First Look

Plan a wedding- As I got older I realized how much less I actually wanted this. As a banquet manager, I had enough of this before I ever got to my own. As you’ll later get to read in my progressing piece on my destination wedding, we flitted off to the Virgin Islands to start our life with an adventure.

Plant a garden- With the help of Pinterest and my handy husband, I’ve only accomplished this in the past year. Notice it doesn’t say grow a garden. The unforgiving heat here in the Keys proved I didn’t inherit my Papa’s green thumb, but did yield a nice variety of hot peppers!

Brazilian wax- I’ll save this entertaining story for a more inappropriate time…


Graduate college!- After changing my major too many times (as you can see by this list “I don’t want to do one thing, I want to do it all!”) and taking time off to find my way, it was an emotional feat when I received my degree. I could point out a huge section of the Breslin Center that hosted family and friends at the ceremony. Your support system will always get you through the challenging times.

Get my masters- On the same note, something I am immeasurably proud of. I love to learn and continual education will always be a priority to me. I have to credit the support system again, and add my wonderful, tolerant husband in this one.

Eat liver and onions- Not a very exciting conquest considering I’ll try any food or beverage you put in front of me.

Run a restaurant- Before my Radical Sabbatical I’m blessed to have been a part of a growing brewery & restaurant in which I was able to learn, grow and falter, giving me experience and confidence while I put my skills and decisions to the test.

Paint a mural- Sure my niece’s bedroom counts! It’s special to her, thus to me.

Wear a size 6- See above for running a restaurant…in fact I think I ended up below a size 6.

Be on TV & Radio- Interviews promoting the restaurant, and beer brands during the Grand Rapids Art Museum Beer History Exhibition.

Own a pool- Does the 3’ deep cheapie in our side yard count? It’s saved us Midwesterners on some of these brutally hot Florida Keys days.

Eat clam chowder in New England- St. Patty’s day in Boston, brewery tours, Freedom Trail, and a broken, no dilapidated, budget; this story is for another day.

Own a black cat- Strange I know, but since childhood I’ve been a witch for Halloween almost every year, and I’ve always wanted a black cat to go with my costume…. a friend had to give up her Phoebe due to a living situation, and we took in the sweet little kitty, giving our previous rescue a little sister.

3-19-12 487Snowboard- Conquered the bunny hill and busted my ass.

Spend a month camping- An entire summer at the rope swing fulfills the requirements.

Create a recipe- My mom calls them throw-togethers, my husband calls them dinner.

Vote for a president- Although I’m not ver313710_2431033333367_1010644745_ny politically knowledgeable, I do understand its importance.

Rob an Orchard- Wedding party, trolley bus, orchard photos, potty break, fresh apples, quick snack.

Hide N Seek in the Cornfield- Beyond the corn mazes, there’s lots of ways to have fun in a corn field.

Items That Made the Cut (in original thoughtless order). I began to justify these, to whom I’m unsure, until I realized I am justified.

  • Bungee Jump
  • Swim with Wild Dolphins
  • Go to Birthplace
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone
  • Oktoberfest
  • Backpack Europe
  • Cubs Game
  • Walk the Mackinac Bridge
  • Waterski
  • Parasail
  • Have Babies
  • Live in a Big City
  • Own a Cabin
  • Hike in the Mountains
  • Hold a Snake
  • Learn to Play Poker
  • Become Multilingual
  • Ride a Cow
  • Have a Dinner Party
  • Have a Grand Piano
  • Live in Another Country
  • Visit Each US State
  • Run a Marathon
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Fly a Plane
  • Teach a Course
  • Sing with a Band
  • Be Foster/Adoptive Parent
  • Salsa Dancing
  • Be a Great-Grandma
  • See Bahamas
  • Go to a Nude Beach
  • Base Jump
  • Africa
  • Learn Guitar
  • Learn Saxophone
  • Master Nana’s Recipes
  • Learn to Fish
  • Spontaneous Road Trip
  • Shoot a Buck
  • Rebuild a Cuda
  • Compose a Piano Piece
  • Hitch Hike
  • Oil Painting
  • Rock Climbing
  • Take a Ballet Class
  • Volunteer Work
  • Drive Test Hill
    See a Tornado
  • See a Ghost
  • See AC/DC
  • See Les Miserables
  • See Rent
  • Volksmarch
  • Make a Family Tree
  • Plant a Tree
  • Trapeze Lessons
  • Hike from Ludington to Manistee
  • Climb a Watertower

To my former self, there are a few items that didn’t make the revised list for several reasons. Possessions and the hopes to own them is not a priority. There are more important things to spend your money on. Some things just aren’t going to happen. You’ll never sleep through a thunder storm, you’ll never see Michael Jackson in concert, and your photos will never be organized. Other things I merely have no interest in like join a soft ball team, or becoming a backup dancer. Lastly if you have to break a window, save someone’s life, or tell off a stranger, you’re having a bad day. Let’s not root for that; you are strong and independent without trying to be a badass.

To those of you in need of revising your own, be honest and fearless in yourself and who you were. I won’t be disappointed on my death bed if I fail to achieve everything on this list, but yet be inspired in my former self’s ability to dream. My career goals have changed and developed in the last ten years, I strive now to be a Cicerone, to touch in education and program development in Hospitality. I am planning a Hawaii and RTW trip, constantly researching travel and tourism. Although I miss the girl that wrote this list, I’m proud to be the woman to edit it. I hope to revisit in another decade and see what life has given me.


One thought on “Long Lost Bucket List

  1. Haha, I loved reading this. While I did, I couldn’t help but think about how I want to do many of these myself. So, I guess We will have to do some of them together. I love and miss you so. Have fun in paradise, and hopefully I will see you soon. Give Tone a hug for me.


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