Bucket List

west wales beach

While I don’t believe in a mystical power of attraction, whereby writing down a list of things I want to do before I die will make these things happen through some vibrational magnetism or something… I do believe that we can make things happen by letting other people know of our desires, and by regularly reminding ourselves. I think it’s kind of like how we come across a word or an idea repeatedly after learning about it for the first time. We probably were surrounded regularly enough by the idea, but we had no reason to take notice. Suddenly, we are more aware and feel like the idea is chasing us, like magic, like there are no coincidences, and we lend this synchronicity great meaning. Similarly, when we consciously make note of a goal, we will be more likely to notice opportunities to fulfill it.

I had a bucket list on my blog many years ago, inspired by Mighty Girl Maggie Mason, and was able to check quite a few things off the list. Sometimes, others volunteered to help me do so, like when I visited my dear friend Katie in Kalamazoo, Michigan and her close friend had put together a basket of supplies to make pesto, to help check an item off my list: Make fresh pesto. So sweet of her!

If you can think of something I should add to my list, or you want to check off an item with me, or you want to sponsor the checking off of an item, or you want to share your own list, comment or email me!

My List of Things to Do Before I Die:

  1. Finish rewriting my will, and giving funeral instructions. (This should be on the top of everyone’s list.)
  2. Take my love to Britain, including the spot in the photo above, and the place where her grandmother was raised in Ireland.
  3. Visit the person who lives in the white house on the cliff in the photo above, bring them a gift, and ask if they feel up to giving me a tour of the house I live in regularly in one of my fantasies.
  4. Go scuba diving some place colourful.
  5. Become fluent in French.
  6. Become conversational in sign language, Italian, Danish, and maybe German.
  7. Go clamming at the Oregon coast.
  8. Go sand boarding and ride the sand dunes at the Oregon coast.
  9. Have essay published in Modern Love column of New York Times.
  10. Tell a story at The Moth (in Seattle?).
  11. Help my son become the Victoria Youth Poet Laureate.
  12. Attend the fireworks festival in Vancouver.
  13. Attend the Pride parade in Vancouver.
  14. Meet Oprah.
  15. Finish and publish my children’s book that is 1/3 done.
  16. Finish and publish its follow-up.
  17. Visit Venice, which I could have visited when in Italy, but which I saved to visit with the love of my life.
  18. Become a foster parent.
  19. Become a Big Sister.
  20. See or experience an actual ghost.
  21. Write and illustrate and photograph a guide to enjoying Victoria.
  22. Create a cook book like I need and would use, give it to friends, and sell it.
  23. Create a line or two of greeting cards.
  24. Learn to surf and go as often as possible and never get eaten by a shark.
  25. Learn to play tennis.
  26. Learn to roller blade.
  27. Learn to ski.
  28. Go parasailing.
  29. Learn to make cheese.
  30. Go to lunch with Arlene Paré.
  31. Learn to make at least eight excellent boozy drinks.
  32. Learn to sail and learn to love it almost as much as Lynne does.
  33. Catch my own crab and make a garlicky, buttery crab pasta that night on a beach, with fire.
  34. Make <3 on a sailboat on the open ocean.
  35. Get really drunk and sing karaoke for the first time ever. Record it. Howl with laughter and embarrassment the next day and forever.
  36. Get Lynne to do #35.
  37. Host my own magical wedding full of surprises and handmade touches.
  38. Make miso soup.
  39. Perfect making butter chicken (see if Astha in Red Deer, Alberta will give me their recipe—hard to believe Red Deer could have the best Indian food I’ve ever had, but I’ve had it all over, including Wales, and while Wales was phenomenal, Astha might be just a titch better).
  40. Make my own non-toxic candles.
  41. Sail to Salt Spring Island and eat and drink all the quintessential Salt Spring things.
  42. Take hip hop classes.
  43. Do pilates classes and get my core so strong that I become the world’s most annoying core strength evangelist.
  44. Lose money as a concern and be able to take care of friends and needy strangers.
  45. Finish knitting Liam’s baby blanket. I mean, really.
  46. Learn how to knit socks.
  47. Weave a wide wall hanging for over our bed.
  48. Finish creating our family’s “All You Need is Love” video.
  49. Learn to hold a handstand for at least 30 seconds.
  50. Learn how to make a perfect cup of coffee, with latte art.
  51. Make my own kombucha.
  52. Make my own broccoli and such sprouts.
  53. Drink some really expensive, smooth scotch.
  54. Create my own magazine.
  55. Embroider a super cool piece of art for Adria.
  56. Become a more skilled potter and make a set of dishes.
  57. Get my bowl I made fixed using kintsugi.
  58. Repot my shamrock plant that I’ve had since I was about 17… that’s been in the same soil for almost as long. I know.
  59. Finish my stamp art piece and coat it with encaustic wax.
  60. Make a magical video for a poem I’ve written.
  61. Animate a video of Lynne retelling one of her dreams when she wakes up.
  62. Learn and remember five GREAT jokes.
  63. Get a burger named after me somewhere. Obviously, I would also get to pick the ingredients.
  64. Speak at a TED conference.
  65. Visit La Sagrada Família in person.
  66. Attend the lantern festival in Thailand.
  67. Take Lynne to a May Erlewine concert in Michigan.
  68. Plan a great 40th birthday for Lynne. (Shit, better get on this.)
  69. Write and learn to play my own song. Doesn’t have to be good.
  70. Spend a Christmas in Quebec City.
  71. Stay in the ice hotel.
  72. Live in Cortona, Italy with Lynne.
  73. Figure out the stock market.
  74. Learn to code my own software.
  75. Learn the phonetic alphabet.
  76. Play base in a band performance.
  77. Be in two plays: one drama, one comedy.
  78. Write a play and have it performed.
  79. Make French onion soup from scratch.
  80. Try squid ink pasta.
  81. Create a podcast.
  82. See all my kids graduate from university.
  83. Replace my Canon 5D Mark II I had to sell.
  84. Track down a pair of Birkenstock Gizeh’s in the Tiffany pattern I wore from 1994-2007, in a size 38. Highly unlikely, but putting it out there.
  85. Get Lynne to try and enjoy lobster and coffee. (Only because she’s willing.)
  86. Drink a Guinness in Ireland.
  87. Pick a fresh peach off a tree and eat it.
  88. Send Julie a bunch of sea glass.
  89. Find red, pink, and purple sea glass.
  90. Curate and edit a book of non-fiction stories of perseverance.
  91. Create my app to help suicidal people.
  92. Have some really lovely boudoir or nude photos taken for Lynne while I’m still youngish.
  93. Increase my water intake so much that I have more energy and see my skin look less prematurely crepe-y.
  94. Have a baby elephant curl up on my lap for a cuddle.
  95. Spend an afternoon smothered with kittens and/or golden retriever puppies.
  96. Build my own artsy cottage from scratch.
  97. Make something that I sell at Land Gallery in Portland and at The Milkman’s Daughter in Victoria.
  98. See the salmon run at Goldspring Park in Victoria.
  99. Attend the Fringe Festival in Victoria.
  100. Become a grandmother.
  101. See all my kids happy, living the lives they want to live, without any undue outside pressure pushing them toward anything.
  102. Write exquisite letters to all the people I love most.
  103. Race a car.
  104. Cook and eat a fish I’ve caught and gutted and filleted myself.
  105. Try to help my kids only date nice people who treat them well and who have good communication skills.
  106. Give my kids skills to combat shame and always settle quickly upon feeling deeply worthy despite their mistakes and flaws.
  107. Do improv.
  108. Print a book of my favourite Instagram photos.
  109. Print a book of my most important Facebook photos.
  110. Catalog and organize all my sentimental papers and art from the kids, and childhood artifacts.
  111. Learn how to swim really well.
  112. Have plants that I think are pretty naturally displayed in my home, have room for them, and keep them alive. First on the list is String of Pearls, which I have loved since seeing it in my aunt’s home as a child.
  113. Have a cuddle-and-tickle session underwater with some seals.
  114. Make Ava a book (secret) before she graduates high school.
  115. Become better at plating food nicely.
  116. Increase my vocabulary with meaningful words I’ve been needing.
  117. Try paddleboard yoga.
  118. Take the kids kayaking.
  119. Go white water rafting again.
  120. Have a collection of only socks that make me excited, and only underwear that fit properly and look cute enough.
  121. Make it through menopause one day, mostly unscathed.