Fill-the-Bucket List

Maggie Banks over at Northern Expenditure (who gets points already for naming her blog after one of my favorite shows while growing up) had a great idea when she turned 30 in 2016: a fill-the-bucket list. As she put it, 

“Life is full of opportunities, changes, and unpredictability and it’s all about experiences and filling your bucket so that by the end of your life, your bucket is full. Instead of making a list of things you would like to see happen in your life, a fill-the-bucket list focuses on the opportunities you have had and the things you’ve taken a chance and done.”

Genius. While I think I’ll still work on drafting a list of the changes I’d like to work on as I enter my 4th decade, Maggie’s idea shifts the focus and promotes gratitude for what is and has been. Here’s a first few bucket-filling things

I got a PhD.

As you know, this wasn’t an easy process, but few things showed me how tenacious I am or could be like finishing that sucker when about half of my cohort decided it wasn’t for them and left altogether.

I biked down a volcano in Hawaii.

We started by watching the sun rise at the top, and then rode the switchbacks down. Sure, I took a header as we came to a stop, but as someone who’s only sort of physically adventurous, this was both exciting, terrifying, and ultimately beyond amazing.

Sunrise over Haleakala, Maui
Sunrise over Haleakala, Maui
Just recently I started taking kickboxing/self-defense classes.

It’s so much fun. I hate doing cardio in most forms but this? I really like it. I hope I stick with it.

As a 3a of sorts, I once took a bellydancing class. I was in my mid-20s and it was me with a bunch of much older ladies from my Boston neighborhood. It was a hoot and I had no idea until then of the ways one could move their torso muscles.

We spent a week in Italy in 2008.
Italian countryside
The view from where we stayed in Italy.

What was particularly special about this was that a) it was our first trip to Europe and b) my uncle lived there. Not only did that make the trip less pricey but it also meant we got to stay in a village and meet all these people and be part of their community, ever so briefly. That was almost as good as seeing Roman ruins.

I think this is a good start. 40’s now around the corner.
 

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5 thoughts on “Fill-the-Bucket List

  1. Love this idea. I just turned 40 myself. I need to write up a list of the amazing things from the past decade as well as some things I’d like to accomplish in the decade ahead.

    And yes Northern Exposure was amazing!

  2. These are awesome achievements – well done.

    Getting a PhD must have been so much work and dedication – I’d love to do it one day, but probably could not hack the academic rigour.

  3. It was….a lot. Not all PhDs require the same things, of course, and take different amounts of time, but I worked on mine from 2000–when I began coursework–to 2007, when I finally defended my dissertation, a 300p+ behemoth. Then we got on a plane to Italy, all of two days later.

    I threatened to quit a lot at the beginning and the Mr. said, “Don’t–you just started.” Then I threatened to quit a lot at the end, to which the Mr. said, “You’re so close.” Bahahahaa. So I finished.

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