My Bucket List Rediscovered – Ten Years Later

I’ve read quite a few blog posts in recent months about people’s “bucket lists” – a collection of things they want to do before they die.  I hadn’t thought of writing a list of my own, but then last week I discovered I already did – ten years ago.

My bucket list isn’t this pretty!

I was going through old files from two computers ago, looking for something completely unrelated, when I stumbled upon a file called “Wish List.”  It peaked my curiosity and as soon as I opened it, the list started to look vaguely  familiar.  Slowly, I realized it was a list I partially took from a book of the same name – similar to One Thousand Places To See Before You Die, this was a book that listed a gazillion different things to do in one’s lifetime.  I recall that I plucked what I liked from that book and then added some of my own.  I couldn’t recall for the life of me when I started this list, so I checked out the properties and saw the last edit date was January 1, 2001 – almost exactly a decade ago!

So what was on my list? And more importantly, what can I check off?

  • Pay off my credit cards. (checked off several years ago)
  • Create a computer database for my family tree. (I am a genealogy nut and have been working on this since around 2004 – I have everything organized thanks to Family Tree Maker software)
  • Rediscover old friends. (thank you Facebook!)
  • Attend all of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments.
US Open 2005
  • Run into my high school crush and find out he really liked me too. (ok, not quite, but I think making out with my 6th grade crush at my high school reunion kinda counts)
  • Learn to be at ease speaking in public.
  • Be a good friend to my friends. (I try!)
  • Stay in touch with my two closest friends from college – Krina and Erica.
  • Visit Scandinavia. (ok, I’m just a third of the way there – still have Finland and Sweden to go)
  • Accept that it’s okay to be me.
  • Watch a Centre Court match at Wimbledon. (finally checked that off this summer!)
  • Attend the women’s finals at the US Open.
  • Run a marathon. (I’ve run four since 2008!)
After the Minneapolis Marathon in June – my 3rd!

What have I kicked off the list altogether? And what was I thinking with some of these??

  • Try out for MTV’s Real World. (um, yeah, a little old for that now…)
  • Read War & Peace in Russian. (haven’t managed to finish it in English)
  • See all the Oscar-nominated movies back to 1927. (this was a law school pastime that has long since been abandoned)
  • Run for Congress and win.
  • Be mentioned in People magazine.
  • Negotiate a treaty.
  • Live on the 30th floor or higher of a high-rise.
  • Ski in South America. (this was something I decided I wanted to do in high school but frankly, I really just don’t enjoy skiing that much anymore)
Never made it to the mountains of South America, but I did hit the slopes in Austria!

What am I still working on?

  • Fall in love with the right guy at the right time for both of us.
  • Finish paying off my student loans.
  • See my alma mater win an NCAA basketball championship.
  • Love my job.
  • Live without regrets.
  • Visit Russia.
  • Travel to all of the “’stans” – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. (I was surprised to see I had thought of this 10 years ago!)
Central Asia is calling my name!

And finally, what would I add now?

  • Travel long-term or live overseas.
  • Be a good aunt to my niece and nephew.
  • Go on an African safari.
  • Travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
  • Hike the Annapurna Circuit.
  • Visit Tibet.
  • Run a marathon overseas.
  • Learn to speak Russian near fluently.
  • Write a book.
  • Write my family history.
  • Start my own business.

I have to say, stumbling across this list was a trip down memory lane and really sent me back to 2001, when I was in my last year of law school and on the verge of moving to Chicago to be a tax attorney at a large law firm.  It was nice to see that I managed to check quite a few things off the list even though I forgot about it altogether – especially the travel-related items since at the time I had never even left the country!  And it was interesting (even disturbing!) to see some of the things I thought I wanted to accomplish at the time.  Running for Congress? Trying out for the Real World? Really??
 

Do you have a bucket list?  What’s at the top?  Is there anything you’d remove now that some time has passed?

 
Photos: chris_hertel, cod_gabriel

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19 thoughts on “My Bucket List Rediscovered – Ten Years Later”

  1. Haha, I think everyone who went to high school in the 90’s wanted to try out for the Real World. I cringe when I think of that on my high school “bucket list”. What were we thinking?!

    1. I think you’re right! Back before it got all crazy and was still normal people just looking for a fun experience…

      1. It’s a good idea to revisit old lists stored away somewhere on your computer and to sit back thinking why did you even want to do some of the stuff you had listed!

  2. I tried out for Real World in college! It was the season where they went to Hawaii which was right around the time it changed from interesting people to fame whores.

      1. I just went to the open casting call at a bar in Champaign so not far at all. After standing in line for 2 hours and missing my classes for the day I saw that it was set up with 10 people around a table talking at once. I’m not a loud-talker so I knew I had no chance of getting noticed.

  3. Great list. I loved the whole MTV entry, classic! I had a bucket list post last year, but haven’t looked at it since. Now I’m tempted to go back and see what was on there. I’m not sure if I’m actually making a dent in it though… LOL

    1. Definitely go back and check it out! It’s amazing how at one point in your life you might be totally focused on certain things but things happen and your perspective and priorities totally change. There were so many things on my list (many I didn’t even share here ’cause it was really long!) that I just looked at thought, god, what was I thinking?!

  4. I started writing a bucket list a few months ago, it’s incredibly unrealistic with sky-diving, bungee jumping, etc… Things I know I would never ever be brave enough to do in real life! 🙂

    1. It may seem completely unrealistic, but you never know! When I made my original list, I included running a marathon as a goal even though I had never run more than about 2 miles – I was not a runner by any means! Yet here I am 10 years later and I’ve finished 4 marathons in the last 3 years. Anything is possible!

  5. Maybe we can run a marathon overseas together?!?! You have done so many amazing things! Good luck with everything yet to come!

    1. Definitely! Well, maybe definitely. I think I am still recovering from Chicago this fall – so it may be a while before I’m up to another one! 🙂

  6. This actually happened to me recently too. I found an old bucket list I’d made years ago and found it folded up in my wallet when I was cleaning it out. I found it amazing how many of the things I had done on it. Although some of the things on there I didn’t really want to do anymore. But still, bucket lists are evolving things and it’s fun to add or take things off of it.

    1. I’m impressed you had yours in your wallet – mine never even got printed! But now that I’ve published an updated version for the world to see, I figure I’ll pay more attention to it. 🙂

  7. It’s awesome that not only you re-discovered your bucket list, but the fact that you subconsciously did a lot of the things on your list! Good luck with the new additions to your list!

  8. You kind of hedged your bets by saying you wanted your alma mater to win an NCAA basketball championship. Which one will win it first?

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