After watching the movie The Bucket List a few years ago, I've always wanted to start a bucket list of my own. If you haven't seen the movie or heard this particular phrase before, a bucket list is a list of things you'd like to do or accomplish before you keel over, die, or as the name implies…kick the bucket. As I mentioned before, I'm trying to stop and smell the roses more. I want to enjoy life, take it day by day (as much as I can), and appreciate the little things.
Part of that smelling the roses bit I'm working on is realizing what in life is most important to me. I've already "achieved" some of life's biggest moments: graduating college, becoming a mother, marrying the love of my life, owning a home (and selling it). But there is so much more to life than just those moments. I want to look back at my life when I'm old and gray (and I'm talking old and gray, not like….30, ha), and be proud of the things I've done. I want to have memories that will last a lifetime.
So I've started compiling my bucket list. It's not very long—only eight things so far—but it's a start. Some things on my list won't be that hard to accomplish but others will take a lot of work. Or luck. Possibly both.
8. Ride in a hot air balloon. I absolutely hate heights, but I think this would be amazing. Especially if this ride happened above the Grand Canyon or some other beautiful landscape.
7. Ride a horse. Crazy as this may seem, I've never ridden a horse before. I know, right? Again, the whole height thing is sort of a deterrent, but riding along the beach on horseback would be pretty spectacular.
6. Swim in the ocean. I've lived in the Midwest my entire life so I've never been anywhere near an ocean. It's something I think everyone should experience at least once.
5. Swim with a dolphin. This one ties in with number six, but I think it's big enough to warrant its own spot on my list. Dolphins are amazing creatures, and swimming with one would be an unforgettable experience.
4. Visit the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is the symbol of our country's freedom. As an American, I cannot help but think of the statue and be proud to live in this great nation. I would love to visit the statue to see with my own eyes that first glimpse of America many of our ancestors had.
3. Visit all 50 states. Traveling is like a drug to me. I haven't had the opportunity to do so often, but each time I do, I become more addicted to it. I want to see everything our country has to offer—though that would be impossible. So I'll settle for visiting every single state in our great nation, and taking a small piece of what it has to offer with me.
2. Publish a novel. I've touched on this before so it should go without saying how very important this one is to me. Writing has been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember. If life would slow down a little, I could finish writing my first novel, which is about 2/3 finished. The process to publish a book can be long and grueling, and may never happen. But is by far one of my biggest goals in life.
1. Visit Europe. This is absolutely, one-hundred percent the one thing in life that if I accomplished, I could die happy. There are so many places in this world that I want to see and experience, but the history and culture of Europe would render me speechless. I want to explore a real-life castle. I want to be awed at Stonehenge and feel sorrow at Auschwitz. I want to see Roman ruins and the Eifel Tower and the stunning blue Aegean Sea. The most amazing thing about it is that it could happen! As in, I could maybe see all of those places. With Michael being in the military, there is a distinct possibility that we could be stationed in England or Germany—Mildenhall RAF in England is my hope. Living there for two or three years (or even longer) would give us more time to experience what that area of the world has to offer than if we just had a week or so to visit. Who knows where the military will choose to send us, but I can cross my fingers and wish on every single star.