Why should you have a bucket list? One of the main reasons is that the whirlwind of day-to-day activities can consume one's time if there aren't personal goals and plans in place.
Without plans, days can pass by and there's not that sense of accomplishment or working towards a goal (or goals). Having a bucket list reminds you of what’s truly important so you can act on them.
The purpose of a bucket list is to maximize every moment of our existence and live our life to the fullest. It is a way to help remind us about the things we want to achieve during our life, so that instead of wasting our time in pointless activities, we are directing it toward what matters to us.
The list below is grouped by category (e.g., travel, hobbies). I've put the categories in alphabetical order only because it is easier for me to find it at a later point.
So, at this point in my life, these are things I still would like to do:
(Note: Items that I am no longer interested in were crossed off on February 19, 2020.)
- Go on a canopy tour (traverse between trees on a zip line). (DONE: July 10, 2014)
- Help save a species from extinction
- Mush a dog sled. (DONE: February 24-25, 2014)
- Watch sea turtles hatch and help them to the ocean. Volunteer through Sea Turtle, Inc. in South Padre Island, Texas.
- Get a complete makeover once I do the fourth hair donation. (DONE: January 2015)
- Take make-up lessons with a make-up specialist given that my skin is not the same as it was when I was in my teens or twenties. (DONE: January 2015)
- Revamp my wardrobe by donating clothes that I no longer wear, and getting clothes that fit well and that I enjoy wearing.
- Witness and be present at significant moments of Sophia's and Olivia's lives.
- Be a foster parent once the girls graduate from high school. Focus on teens who are "aging out" of the foster care system who need the guidance about how to live on their own.
- Create a home with an inviting, joyous, comfortable, loving atmosphere.
- Meet my grandchildren.
- Write a letter to Sophia and Olivia telling them what I want them to know about my life and the lessons I've learned.
- Read The Complete Life's Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown Jr. (This book contains the advice that a dad wrote down to give to his son when the son was going away to college. It can be used as inspiration to create an advice list for Sophia and Olivia as well as their children).
- Get out of debt completely so all expenses are paid with cash.
- Create a source of passive income.
- Create trust funds for Sophia and Olivia.
- Build retirement accounts.
- Have all of the insurance that is needed (e.g., disability, life, car, home, long-term health care).
- Determine how to effectively deal with degenerative disk disease - look at and try an inversion table, therapeutic massage, and an infrared sauna as options.
- Find a good, non-painful way of exercising with degenerative disk disease.
- Do a 5K race (walking...not running....because of my back). (DONE: May 2014 - Walk for the Animals; September 28, 2014 - Women Run the Cities; October 25, 2014 - Halloween Fearless; and November 9, 2014 - Veterans Day Race.)
- Grow African violets. (DONE: January 5, 2013.)
- Learn glassblowing.
- Try at least one new recipe per week.
- Grow a Bonsai tree. (DONE: July 2013.)
- Learn how to make earrings.
- Make memory quilts (ones that have the girls' clothes when they were babies and toddlers; one that has some of Dad's clothes).
- Plant a flower cutting garden. (DONE: October 2014 - planted tulips, crocuses, and other spring-blooming flowers.)
- Take an inventory of all the trees that are growing at the farm. Then plant other varieties of trees so that there are at least 25 different types of trees here.
- Have the gardens all "fixed" so they are at a good starting point where I can more easily maintain them.
- Write in my nature journal at least once a week.
- Continue keeping some form of a daily/weekly journal.
- Learn to knit.
- Learn more crochet stitches.
- Create engaging lessons and activities that inspire Sophia and Olivia to want to learn. (PARTIALLY DONE: With Sophia - May 2019. Still homeschooling Olivia.)
- Continue homeschooling Sophia and Olivia until they graduate from high school. (PARTIALLY DONE: With Sophia - May 2019. Still homeschooling Olivia.)
- Implement the ideas for improving the home (that was built in 1890) to deal with water/air quality issues with the hope that it resolves asthma and allergy issues:
=> Get a dehumidifier for the basement. (DONE: September 2012.)
=> Remove wood shelf from the basement and all old paint cans. (DONE: May 31, 2014. Did the paint cans, but left the wood shelf.)
=> Re-grade around the entire house (hopefully correcting the problem so drain tiling and/or gutters aren't needed). (Didn't do this because we put gutters on the home. Summer 2014: after continual flooding, we now have to do drain-tiling which is a more costly process.)
=> Re-plant all the shrubs and flowers around the house to other locations.
=> Address plumbing issues under the kitchen sink. (DONE: February 2014.)
=> Re-plaster small area in closet.
=> New windows in Sophia's room, upstairs bathroom, family room, and dining room. (DONE: June 2016.)
=> New windows in master bedroom, downstairs bathroom, and living room by TV.
=> Re-tile the upstairs bathroom floor. (DONE: August 15, 2014. Also gutted the entire bathtub area and had it re-tiled because of extensive water damage.)
=> Use a dehumidifier temporarily in the upstairs bathroom. (DONE: September 2012.)
=> Re-do all caulking in the bathtub/shower area.(DONE: August 15 and again on October 8, 2014)
- Get a sauna to help with muscle issues and degenerative disk disease.
- Build a pond in the backyard with a little stream.
- Re-learn American Sign Language and have a signing "vocabulary" of at least 400 signs (not including finger spelling).
- Sit among the orchestra and listen to a piece (or more) of my choosing that the orchestra would play.
- Play in a handbell choir.
- See Robert Robinson perform.
Out of Curiosity...
- Get my palms read.
- See a psychic.
- Get a tarot card reading.
- Have a specialist read my aura.
- Get an astrological chart made.
Personal Development (Ongoing - most are not one-time, finite activities)
- Discover my life purpose.
- Develop greater self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Kick negative habits (e.g., drinking pop). (DONE: December 2012.)
- Improve time management skills.
- Do the year-long Wellspring program. (DONE: June 2013.)
- Visit the Herbert Hoover National Park in Iowa and see the statue of Isis who is the Egyptian goddess of life. (Herbert Hoover was a Quaker who was given this Belgian-made sculpture by the children, refugees, and soldiers of Belgium in gratitude for his famine relief efforts on their behalf during the First World War.)
- Continue learning more about St. Francis and the life he led.
- Go on a horseback riding day or multi-day trip. (DONE: July 8-13, 2014)
- Go rock climbing on the North Shore. (DONE: July 12, 2014)
- Go kayaking. (DONE: June 2013 and sea kayaking on Lake Superior on July 12, 2014.)
- Drive a speedboat. (Done: July 8-13, 2014.)
- Learn and practice yoga.
Take a 365-Day Challenge
- Write in my journal every day for a year. (DONE: During 2013.)
- Write down 5 things that I'm grateful for every day, for a year. (DONE: June 29, 2014. Modified it to be write 1,000 things I'm grateful for by my birthday.)
- Learn a new word every day, for a year.
- Read for 20 minutes every day for a year.
- Put three dollars away every single day for a year. At the end of the year, invest the money in the stock market or buy bonds.
Travel - Domestic
- See all 50 states. Ones I have left include: Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Ohio. (PARTIALLY DONE: Saw Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana in March 2015.)
- Take an RV across half the country to retrace Lewis and Clarke's journey.
- Go to the Apostle Islands.
- Go back to Grand Marais at least every other year. Take at least one canoe trip using a map that Dad used. See if I can figure out the routes he took. (DONE: June 2013 and July 2014.)
- See the Grand Canyon in Arizona. (DONE: July 2017.)
- Take a tour of the White House.
- See the sand dunes on southern shores of Lake Michigan in Indiana.
- Go to the tulip festival in Holland, Michigan.
- Got to the Taste of Home headquarters and see the test kitchens there.
- Visit all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder museums and historic sites.
- See Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills again.
- Stand at Four Corners (where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico meet).
- Go to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Travel - International (the likelihood of seeing these places is slim. However, they are still places I would love to see)
- Travel to all 7 continents. The two that are left that I haven't been to yet are Africa and Antarctica.
- Go to Banff National Park in Canada. It's Canada's oldest national park.
- Go hiking in a rainforest in Costa Rica.
- Go to Italy and see Assisi, ride in a gondola, see Mt. Vesuvius, go to the ruins of Pompeii, see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and go to the Colisseum in Rome.
- See Victoria Falls (between Zambia and Zimbabwe).
- Travel the Silk Route which is a network of trade routes across the Asian continent. It connected Asia with Europe and Africa. The route has been used for almost 3,000 years; and gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade during the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD).
- Visit Bhutan which is supposed to be one of the happiest countries on Earth. Nestled in the Himalayas, it is a small, landlocked nation between India and Chinese-occupied Tibet.
- Go to the Galapagos Islands.
- See Mout Fuji in Japan.
- See The Parthenon and Acropolis in Greece.
- See the Statues of Easter Island in Chile.
- See the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
- Go to Stonehenge in the United Kingdom.
- Explore Machu Picchu in Peru.
- Travel to France to see the Eiffel Tower.
- See the Panama Canal.
- Try on a costume that was used during Carnival in Rio and/or have one made just for me.
- Travel to Brazil again.
- Travel to China again, and take the girls to the cities where they were born; visit the orphanages where they lives for almost the first year of their lives; and volunteer to work with the pandas.
- Complete the 12 in 12 project that Sophia, Olivia, and I are doing in 2012. (DONE: December 2012.)
- Create a library in Lesotho, Africa through the African Library Project. (DONE: December 2012.)
- Determine and do a year-long volunteer project that Sophia, Olivia, and I can do together in 2013. (DONE: January-December 2013 - volunteer at a nearby nursing home. Continued in 2014 and 2015.)
- Continue doing yearly volunteer projects with the girls until they graduate from high school. (IN PROGRESS: 2014- nursing home. 2015 - nursing home and Northwoods Humane Society.)
- Help build a Habitat for Humanity Home.
- Make loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries through http://www.kiva.com. (DONE: Made two loans during June 2014.)
- Volunteer time at an animal shelter. (DONE: On November 29, 2014, Sophia played the harp and I pet dogs and cats at Northwoods. It was interesting to see the impact that the combination of music and human touch had on the animals in terms of relaxing them and lowering their anxiety levels. We continued doing this in 2015 and will volunteer in 2016 each month.)
- Make a difference in someone’s life. (DONE: During 2013-2014. I was told by one of the residents at the nursing home that he considers Sophia, Olivia, and me his family.)
- Perform a kind deed to at least 10 strangers without expecting anything in return. (DONE: During June 2014 I did 48 Acts of Kindness for my 48th birthday; and reached more than 10 strangers with acts of kindness.)
- Read and then implement some of the ideas in: The Difference a Day Makes: 365 Ways to Change Your World in Just 24 Hours by Karen M. Jones. (DONE: January 2013 - most were things that we already do.)
- Write and publish a book.
- Write about food (e.g., a cookbook).
- Publish a book of poetry.
- Write a memoir.