Q4U: The Bucket List
Yesterday I was listening to Tim McGraw’s great song, “Live Like You Were Dying,” and it got me thinking about my proverbial Bucket List, the things I really hope to do or see before I die. I’ve already done some cool things like jump out of an airplane (parachute opened just fine, thank you) and hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up again. I would love to see the pyramids someday, and perhaps walk in an Amazon jungle. I hope to climb a fourteener or two (mountain peaks taller than 14,000 feet; in Colorado we have 54 of them). I want to take my kids to Europe while they’re still kids.
But I realize I may not be able to do all these things, or maybe not any of them. These days many of us are working hard to get through each day rather than nurture pie-in-the-sky dreams of pyramids and mountain-tops. So I thought more about the things I can do on a daily basis to “live like I was dying.” Tim’s song has a few lines that say it perfectly:
I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter, and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying.
I became the kind of husband, that most the time I wasn’t, and I became the kind of friend I’d like to have.
I finally read the Good Book, and I took a good long hard look at what I’d do if I could do it all again. And then… I went skydiving, I went Rocky Mountain climbing…
I think we all have things we want to do before we die, whether they’re spiritual milestones or experiential fantasies or simply wanting to be a better person.
So my question for you is, What’s on your bucket list? Let’s leave out the obvious like raising our kids well or seeing them get married. But what do you want to do? To see? To accomplish?
Leave your answers in the comments.
Wonderful blog post, saw on…
>Before I commence, I want to state from the top this is my bucket list and it is not intended to spark any kind of a political debate. I respect the views of everyone here, and politely request the same in return, without turning Rachelle’s blog into a debate room. 🙂
1. Win the right to a legally recognized, formal union with my same sex partner.
2. See one of my books hit the Amazon top ten list
3. Travel to the UK, USA and Canada at least once.
4. See more of Australia (Hardly seen any of it and I LIVE here!)
5. Be published in print with a larger scale publisher than I am currently.
6. Be more present in each moment (Live like I was dying)
7. Keep reading Rachelle’s blog and gleaning the wonderful insights and pointers she gives us!
>I blogged about this very thing a couple of months ago, as I was reading the book One Month to Live by Chris and Kerry Shook. Thanks for the reminder to keep this perspective!
I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and truly appreciate the information and expertise that you share. As I work to finish my nonfiction proposal, I especially liked your post “10 Things Editors Look for in Nonfiction”. Thanks so much!
>Wonderful song, and timely question to ask. Here’s my answers:
1.) Find someone to represent and sell my WIP once it’s finished. (No, I’m not a terrible writer, even though I’m my own worst critic. Just a taboo subject at points in my story.)
2.) Visit the Taj Mahal(in India, I think.), the greatest monument to love ever built.
3.) See and explore the pyramids in Egypt.
4.) Visit the actual Rainforests before they are totally destroyed.
5.) Meet Stephen King and Ozzy Osborne, my 2 lifelong inspirations.
6.) Grow old with my husband by my side. First good guy I’ve found in almost 40 yrs. (My Dad didn’t count in that way.)
>- Fall in love over coffee
– Sleep in a hammock on the beach
– Pull an all-nighter for a great meteor shower
It’s the simple pleasures for me.
>. . .Then again, what if I travel to the other side of the world without my laptop and my agent/publisher contacts me via e-mail about representing/publishing my book? AND I DON’T KNOW FOR A WEEK OR MORE!!!
>I’m so glad you posted this question. The key note speaker at my college commencement quoted the lyrics of that song.
Travel is my bucket list. I share the sentiment of many above. How important is it to experience things of the world? My indecision when it comes to my bucket list revolves around spiritual issues. Does God want us to fulfill our bucket lists? Or, as Christians, should we always be responsible and seek contentment where we’re at? Keep our minds on heaven, in other words.
When it comes right down to it, my family and the life I already have are my joy. Is it right for me to dream of more when I already have so much?
Sorry to answer your question with more questions.
>Tim McGraw is an amazing artist. I love that song.
Thanks for the thought-provoking post!
>I would like to become published within the next year…
I would like to visit Egypt and Isreal within the next 3 years…
I would like to get my Master’s Degree within the next 5 years…
I would like to open a therapeutic riding center for Autistic children in KY within the next 15 years (with the $ from my published books, of course)
>Don’t wait! Get started on your bucket list now. At the age of 30, I decided to live my dream. My husband and I took our children to Asia, where we lived for three years while I taught in international schools. Now I’m 38 and almost ready for another dream-adventure to come true! I just need to finish that manuscript first…LOL!
>See my kds get married 🙂
See my Grandchildren
Go on Honeymoon with my husband of 20 years—Hoping to go on an Alaskan Cruise
Find a Cure for my disease
>Live in France for four years
Visit Long Ma, China
Meet a friend I have made blogging
who lives across the country from me
Christmas time in New York
>If I knew I were dying next week, I suppose my bucket would be a lot smaller. It depends on how much time I have left, but then, I’ve gotten to do many things on my wish-to-do list already, so here’s some more things as I live and breathe.
1. Learn to scan photos on this here new-fangled all-in-one HP. I’m still not sure why it is so much harder to figure out than the old one.
2. Do Dr. Richard’s #3. That would be fun. Not much chance of that happening, however, but it would be awesome. I would want a whole bunch of witnesses, too.
3. Live in a log cabin and watch stuff like birds and deer in between reading anything I want to for several months–maybe 6 months. Food would be brought in daily by an Italian cook, alternating with a Southern cook like my Aunt Linda.
4. Be a real editor for a whole week. Find that “gem” fiction author and sign him/her.
5. Find my Cherokee ancestors’ stories.
6. Finally accomplish mastering the guitar and play on stage with our band. (Have played the bass guitar with a band and sung in front of audiences, but this is different.)
7. Draw the portraits of everyone I love. In a cartoon strip that runs for 52 weeks.
8. Ride a motorcycle to 49 states. Find friends in each one.
I have more, but ran out of time…cough…cough.
>Soul-plunging stuff, Rachelle…
Makes me think…
What’s the way to live through this life-blink?
How do we live ready to die?
It’s not probable. I’d too like the African safari, visit Israel, but it’s not likely… nor hiking the heights of the Himalayas, swimming out into dazzling blues of some South Pacific grotto, sitting under the Sequoias listening to the song of soft rain.
I wonder: Are there places that must be experienced before one is ready to exit stage left?
I once sat beside a woman at the hairdresser’s, and noticed in her hands the title “1000 Places to See before you Die.” Is that it?
I think He made us to long for beauty. And that is the essence of who He is.
So for me, I think the list has just one thing on it… that which will be the struggle of a lifetime, no small challenge to live well in common time:
to daily and viscerally experience the expansive glory of God in my small life.
Because I’m willing to bet that that is the only way to live big.
Oh, I think I took my bucket and wandered off here, Rachelle, but grateful for your gracious hosting of a rambling place…
>1. Get published in a wider area than I have.
2. Go on a missions trip.
3. Work successfully in a faith-based ministry.
There are some others but they relate to myself and my family.
>It has been great to read everyone’s lists….
1. I’d like to visit the Greek Islands.
2. Visit Alaska and see the Northern lights.
3. Tour around Scotland and Wales.
4. See my grandchildren grow up.
5. See our church is a beautiful new building.
6. Celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.
7. Go back to Africa and visit friends there.
>I would like to go to the moon and then eat jelly beans for breakfast.
>1. See my name on the spine of a book. (I’m starting to consider just using my label maker…!)
2. Go back to the Isle of Skye (my first trip was wasted on a 17-year-old!)
3. Finally own a horse and ride daily.
>Lovely to hear. I’m glad I didn’t somehow offend anyone.
As for the previous comment, I babbled about my list for a bit and then asked what yours is?
>Kristy, I have not deleted any comments and very rarely do, even when people flat-out insult me. However, Blogger sometimes malfunctions so that’s probably what happened.
>We just had an amazing series at my church (http://www.cvcwired.com/) based on this song.
1. See the Aurora Borealis in person
2. Sponsor a child
3. Walk beside an abused woman as she journey’s toward healing
4. Have the resources to give more to causes I am passionate about: AIDS, sexual abuse, and social injustice
5. See my family in relationship with Jesus.
Thank you for this blog. As a writer, I find your advice so helpful. As a Christian, I find your words sometimes thought provoking, sometimes inspiring, and sometimes humorous.
>Just wondering if I said something in my post that necessitated it being deleted?
>Interesting question, Rachelle. Here are a few of mine:
1. Visit Australia and New Zealand
2. Go to Hawaii
3. Take the inside passage cruise to Alaska
4. Get Crystalens implants
5. Go back to Guatemala, this time with my husband
6. Go to Chile
7. Hit over 1,000,000 books in print (I’m over halfway there)
Obviously, get published.
Then, improve my Spanish and learn French and Italian. Maybe German, but that’s a tough one.
I’d love to visit Rome.
>Oh man! I parachuted too and it was AWESOME! But hubby vomited and passed out, so I’m not sure that I’ll ever go again. LOL
>I really don’t have a “bucket list” per se. No bulleted list of things to see or places to visit or experiences to enjoy. My goal is simply to live life in such a way that when I’m long gone my legacy will live on. That I will have changed a few lives, impacted a few people, made some memories.
>Oh, you know, I didn’t mention this, but number one on my list is to have lunch with Rachelle. 🙂
(Am I good at sucking up or what?)
Before I Die, I Would Like To:
1) Get my book published (something that I seem to have in common with many other people. Hm. Fancy that.)
2) Live the journey from point A to point B–also known as from *here* to Italy–as well as the journey back. About 37 hours of “not-in-a-bed-ness”, I’m told.
3) Italy goals–Lie on the floor of the Sistine Chapel, get a picture with one of the guys guarding Vatican City, ride in a gondala, take a picture of the Colloseum…etc, etc
4) Visit the UK. I’m told that family lives there.
5) Be happy, no matter what happens.
6) Use my abilities to their furthest extent, and the way that God would want me to.
7) Beat “Sweet Child O’ Mine” on Guitar Hero 2 on “Expert”.
8) Live a long and successful life, and get a beaming smile from my Father when I get into heaven.
>1. Solve one problem – either for an individual or a group.
2. Own a condo on the World ResidenSea so that I can travel the world continuously and learn more about life as I go.
>Take an Alaskan cruise
See Niagra Falls
Learn more about photography, and travel around the US taking pictures of everything I see.
Visit Carlsbad Caverns
>1. Write a book.
2. Rewrite that book.
3. Repeat #2
4. Impress an agent who believes in me.
5. Sign with agent.
6. Have the wisdom and patience to listen to my agent.
7. Develop a marketing plan for my book.
8. Have the wisdom and patience to listen to my agent and my editor when it comes to the marketing of my book.
9. Pray that my mother isn’t the books only buyer.
10. Start the process over with the next book (If my agent is totally awesome, I’ll skip #5.)
11. Repeat the entire list until my heart stops.
>If money is not a problem… I’d like to take a Mediterranean Cruise… aaa pure bliss!
>Before I die I’d love to:
1. visit Israel
2. hear that I’ve been used by God to draw others to Him, by whatever means
3. (and as long as we’re dreaming) be a missionary in Israel and see Jews come to faith in their Messiah
P.S. If you like jumping out of planes, you’ve got to do a sky dive (not just a static line jump). There’s nothing as exhilarating as hurtling toward earth at 120+ mph, and nothing as serene as floating to earth under an open canopy.
>This post makes me think that I should start dreaming more. In the past I dreamed so much, I accomplished very little. So I try to stay in the moment now. Maybe it’s time for a bit more balance. But for now, my list is:
1) Be present each day for my hubby and son. Really enjoy them.
2) Have my own book published.
3) Be used by God in someone’s life today and tomorrow and the day after that and…
By the way Richard, I am going to look up that Alice in Wonderland quote. I love that!
Thanks Rachelle. I don’t comment a lot but I LOVE reading your blog.
>1. to see my fantasy novels published
2. to eat crab legs in Alaska while sitting on a glacier
3. to eat chocolate while in the Swiss Alps
4. to attend the Academy Awards or Oscars when my daughter gets nominated for best director. 🙂
5. to dance with abandon around a gypsy fire with an old friend.
6. to have lunch with Terry Brooks, a fantasy author who has inspired me.
7. to spend a week in a house on the beach all by myself.
8. to see the great pyramids in Egypt.
9. to see the medical profession find a cure for seizures and/or autism. My oldest daughter suffers from both.
10. to travel our great country and see all the tourist sights along with all the local hangouts.
11. to tour the castles in Ireland and Scotland.
12. to eat fettucine and drink wine in Italy.
>1. To publish a novel.
2. To publish a novel.
3. To publish a novel.
4. To publish another novel.
What can I say? I have clear-cut goals.
Have a great weekend Rachelle!
>I made a list like this when I was in high school but it is so different now.
Go on a mission trip with my husband (I went to Vietnam for my first mission trip last year but he wasn’t able to come)
Write for a living
Get to the point in my career where I can also help new writers, with guidance, with editing or with getting published
Climb at least five more 14’ers
Go sailing (even though I get seasick)
>I assume everyone here would put “have my novel published” at the top.
My wife and I actually wrote some things down once. We included:
1. Take our kids to all 50 states (13 done so far)
2. See the Northern Lights
3. Get a hole-in-one
>I am 64 years old. God has blessed my life so much if He came for me today I would have no regrets . . . except.
Maybe I should start that story I said I would never write while my parents were still living.
Dad died in August, Mom died two years before in May. And when I came home after watching him die, I knew I had no more excuses.
God is working with me on my first novel, deepening it. And I am seeing where a follow up novel could include the cult thing.
My second novel is almost finished. Does God want me to put it on hold and go with this third one?
Waiting on Him.
>Apparently there was a glitch with the link I provided. Let’s try this:
>I’ve gotten quite a lot accomplished, but there are some things left:
Get a novel published (not POD, either!)
Shoot my age in golf (I’m 58 now)
Cross the equator
Get north of the Arctic Circle
Do at least one more really tough endurance event like hike the Appalachian Trail, climb Kilamanjaro or compete in the Ironman Triathlon.
That ought to take care of it for now.
>1. Do something spectacular for the Lord.
2. Become a successful author
>1) Start playing piano again, or pick up a more portable instrument. Become proficient enough to entertain myself and non-discerning friends.
2) Learn to fix my hair in ’40s pin-up curls. Have the guts to wear aforesaid hairstyle in public.
3) Paint my walls an absurd color I love (peacock blue, perhaps?)
4) Go to a Francophone country and chat with the locals before I loose all my French (talking to myself in the car–not challenging enough).
5) Read the enire Bible–and not skip to the exciting parts this time (Leviticus, I’m sorry I’ve ignored you).
>Love that song. Makes me think. And I think the hardest thing sometimes is to live with no regrets.
I’d love to visit Tuscany and the island of Curacao.
I’d love to take my entire family, grands and all, to Disney World.
I’d love to have a great vegetable garden, and have time to tend it.
And I’d love to be prolific published author!
>1. Take a trip around the world. And collect keychains from as many of those countries as possible.
2. Buy lots of land and build my dream house & garden on it. And live there and nest.
3. Become a lobbyist for pet owners and for animal welfare. <- Lobbyists aren't always slimeballs with money laundering schemes. The best way to get the right laws passed is to have people with loud voices and passion pushing a cause.
*** And in the middle of all of that, the usual aspiration. I want to be the next Rowling. :]
>And by the way, that video on Deborah’s website is wonderful. Watch it!
>Wow, reading all of these items makes me think my list is really small. At the end of last year, I spent a morning making a list of things I would do if I knew I was going to die the next year. My list is pretty humbling compared to some of yours:
1. Spend a day baking bread
2. Go for a weekend with my hubby to the Flint Hills & ride horses there.
3. Visit my grandma more
4. Go fishing with my dad
5. Read a really good book totally for pleasure
6. Spend a week with my oldest daughter in Phoenix
7. Go garage sale shopping
8. Play monopoly
9. Go for a long walk with the dogs every night
10. Have a wiener roast.
For anyone who wants to hear Tim's
song again, I have a video on my blog where a gal rides a horse without a bridle or saddle set to this song. Brings me to tears every time. Here's the link:
>Love Tim, Faith and that song.
Just saw The Bucket List this past weekend.
1) I wanna see my kids have kids
2) I wanna watch them grow
3) And take them all to Disneyland – and teach them all I know
4) Oh yeah, and get books published
>As I approached the big four-0 a few years ago, I knew the thing I wanted most in the second half of my life was to write, and I began to pursue a writing career. It’d been a dream when I was younger, but circumstances had led me to give it up. Whether publication lies in my path or not, the journey has already been incredibly rewarding. I look forward to making progress and meeting challenges, hopefully for a long time to come. Honestly, everything else pales in comparison (except the obvious family stuff).
>1. Start (and win) one game as a major league pitcher. (Not with the Texas Rangers–I said MAJOR league).
2. Get back to Germany and stay in the little hotel in Freudenstadt where the waiter in the dining room spoke English to Kay but made me speak German. Walk in the Black Forest and not get lost this time.
3. Get a hole-in-one on a 185-yard par 3, using a 7 iron.
Wasn’t it one of the characters in Alice in Wonderland, the White Queen maybe, who said she made it a habit to believe three impossible things before breakfast? I’ll stick with these three.
>I love reading all these lists. Unfortunately many of the items are making me think, “Oh yeah, that too!” Guess I’d better get moving.
>Great topic, Rachelle! I had to really think about this b/c on the surface, I don't aspire to much beyond the obvious besides getting a novel published. But then I realized I secretly did. 🙂
1. Visit Israel, Italy, and Australia.
2. Cross-country road trip in the US.
3. Meet at least one of my many role models.
4. Open a B&B retreat.
>I’ve learned that life is about people…family, friends, neighbors.
My bucket list? (recently I’ve been able to check some things off)
1. sail a boat (check)
2. my writing published (check)
3. hold a grandchild (check)
4. see, maybe touch, a wild whale
5. go to Alaska
6. go to Paris
7. manage a camp with my hubby
8. learn to play the oboe
9. go to a writer’s conference
10.live in a log cabin, on a lake
>1. Publish my book
2. Travel to Japan and see in person the small village where much of my novel takes place (instead of just seeing pictures online)
3. Go on a mission trip to Japan (If I can find one…for some reason, there are very few that go to Japan)
3. Learn a small amount of Japanese
4. Travel to the small village my mother’s grandparents came from in Slovakia
5. Go on a an archeological dig (a dream of mine was to become an archeologist)
Wow, most of those are travel related…:P Never really realized that before!
>Ooo! African safari! I forgot about that. I want that, too. 🙂
>An African safari. With my hubby and girls.
>Ok, I am not a major country fan, but this song is amazing. I’d heard it a while back. I think I’m gonna have to download it to my i-tunes today. Such a great message.
My bucket list?
1. Go on a mission trip. Doesn’t have to be to a third world or anything….just a weekend even.
2. Go to Mexico (Rocky Point) on a house building trip to help build a house for someone who doesn’t have one.
3. Publish a book.
4. Watch my hubby complete his first full Iron Man.
5. Visit Paris and London.
That’s all I can think of for now.
Great topic today, Rachelle. Have a good weekend.
>I really had to think about this, Rachelle. Aside from the obvious, I want to write a WWII novel based on the girlfriends left behind. My mother, and my two aunts. Rent a car, tour the UK countryside and stay at their bed & breakfast inns.
>1. Write a book that gets published.
2. Go to Hawaii.
3. See great American destinations, (Mount Rushmore, Statue of Liberty, etc).
4. Spend an entire day at a day spa (shallow, yes, but I want it).
5. Appear on the Today Show, speaking about my book.
>1. Run a marathon (Last summer I trained up to 22 miles, and then had a gig on the actual marathon day. Grr!)
2. Keep learning so I can write a great book and get it published sometime in my 30’s.
3. Go back to Europe, only now with my kids and husband.
4. Buy a house in the woods with a wrap-around porch and a big “school room” for all my favorite books, journals, and papers.
5. Visit my sister in India.
6. Take some cooking classes for fun. I love cooking.
7. Go back to South America–this time to minister to Latin American Women instead of studying Latin American Women Writers.
8. Become a midwife after my kids grow up and leave. Or else just be a writer. Maybe write about midwifery. 🙂
Fun post as usual, Rachelle.
>1. Learn to fly an airplane
2. Play a round of golf in Scotland (with Tiger Woods if at all possible)
3. Learn to dance (not with Tiger)
4. Go scuba diving
>1. publish a book
2. live in vienna for a year
3. perform on a stage again (i miss it!)
4. spend the rest of my life w/my husband
>We have been checking off items on our list as we travel the world. We didn’t know it was a “bucket list” until we saw the movie. We’ve Been to 6 continents including Antarctica. We planned and saved for this for many years (kids are not expecting an inheritance).
The neat thing is seeing God’s footprints everywhere we go.
Still on the “bucket list”: writing a book that will touch hearts and souls.
>Sorry, forgot number 7.
7. See Barrow, Alaska–way north where the sun doesn’t rise for months in the winter or set for months in the summer. It’s always fascinated me.
>Great topic, Rachelle. These are heartfelt, I hope not too obvious–
1. Write my stories.
2. Find a home for those stories with a bit wider distribution than my flash drive or my crit partners’ email inboxes.
3. Be happily married for at least forty years (we have fourteen and a half down already).
4. Hold a grandchild in my arms and experience the instant, overwhelming love my mother still talks about–twelve years after her first grandchild was born
5. Spoil our grandchildren with abandon
6. Most of all, hear my Savior say “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
>Well, I would like to be an immortal writer.
I would like to earn lots of money and help the suffering people with it.
Get rid of Asthma.
Manage my marriage successfully.
See the world.
There might be more, but these are the major ones.
>1. Spend a night on the island of Unst
2. See the UK (all of it)
3. Tell the story of the ex-Amish and do it well
4. Learn how to upload a blogger template that will work the FIRST time
5. Find that very special orange creme pastry that I had in a coffee shop in Landstuhl–or at least the recipe
6. Visit all my friends and family to laugh and talk for hours and hours and hours
7. Get rid of all allergies
8. Make it through menopause and live to tell about it