Oh man. I was so excited putting this together. I was first inspired by my amazing friend, Valerie, who posted a before-I-turn-thirty bucket list to Facebook not too long ago. Valerie is the epitome of a supermom. She works, she cooks, she reads, and she runs, with her two boys strapped in a double-jogging stroller no less. And the ultimate admiration- she has seen her sweet hubby through multiple deployments to Afghanistan and now shares him with their community where he is a police officer. If there is a woman anywhere who gives 100% of her heart to everything, it’s her. I can honestly say I am eagerly awaiting her updates, because I know she is going to nail the crap out of her bucket list in a super big way.
Her post got me thinking. How fun! I should write a bucket list. There is so much I want to do! And my 30th birthday is coming up…how exciting. I could totally do a before-I’m-thirty bucket list. Except that I am not exciting or adventurous. And what started out as a way to channel my inner-adventurer turned into a when-I-can-get-to-it Saturday to-do list. Somehow, “screen-in the back porch,” or “regrow the tomato plants” aren’t quite what I had in mind for a bucket list. So I asked Valerie for advice.
“It is a to-do list!” She reminded me. It is supposed to be stuff I want to do. She also told me she shared her list with her hubs and went through several revisions. Some of the things on her list were wild and adventurous. And some of them were more mundane, but things she personally wanted to try. So I took her advice and went at it again, this time with a different spin. My final goal was a list of things I’ve always said I wanted to do but didn’t do, and things I may never have wanted to do before, but feel compelled to do now. And the exciting part? I’ve already done one of them 🙂
Drumroll, please… now, presenting my bucket list, in no particular order, all of which I hope to complete before my thirtieth birthday, which occurs in 2017.
- Learn to play the ukulele. Because it’s fun, somewhat exotic, and most importantly, reportedly easy.
- Write a book. Something along the lines of what I do on this blog. Because I love writing, it’s cathartic, and hopefully, if you’re reading this, you won’t mind buying a small volume of my delightful anecdotes.
- Learn another language. This is ambitious. I may rewrite this one to say “become conversational in another language.”
- Start a podcast project. Because the only thing I love more than writing is the sound of my own voice. I kid, I kid.
- Go on a road trip. One with the kids, one with the hubs, and one with a girlfriend.
- Get a pet for all of us to care for. Which happens to be a MUCH bigger step than you might think. We are essentially not animal people, but are becoming more open to the idea.
- Go a whole year without buying clothes. Personal challenge. I’m betting I can do it- so long as I don’t count stockings or underthings as clothes. Being practical here.
- Grow an organic garden. Read: how not to kill every living plant you touch.
- Take a woodworking class. And then create something useful.
- Visit an old friend.
- Go to a concert.
- Make a list of must-see movies and actually watch them.
- Find a date night routine that actually works.
- Join a book club.
- Make a quilt for a stranger.
- Sing in a wedding.
- Pose for a boudoir shoot.
- Teach my children to play a musical instrument.
- Find a regular volunteer opportunity for me and the hubs, with all four of our children.
- Transition more chores/household responsibility to the kids.
- Record advice from my grandmothers.
- Go on a romantic getaway.
- Craft a “life wish list” with the hubs, and see what we can accomplish.
- Write love letters to my hubs and my children. For a year.
- Make a tribute to my parents.
- Sit with a friend who needs me, without searching for a way to be productive.
- Give a heartfelt apology.
- Listen without giving advice.
- Try a new food/cooking style.
- Paint a personal masterpiece.
And since it’s Valentine’s week, I’ll let you in on a secret. I already did the boudoir shoot. My incredible friends Kim and Joel over at Viruet Photography came out to my house and took some amazing photos for a sweet surprise for my hubs. I really did this as much for myself as I did for him. After four kids, it’s so easy to get in a rut filled with stretch marks and self-loathing. I don’t feel sexy or exciting in any sense of either word. I’m not terribly interesting, and I’m definitely not in the best shape of my life. But I’ll probably never be in better shape than I’m in now, and if I waited till I felt like a vixen, I’d probably never do a photo shoot like this one. So I had some champagne and let go of the inhibitions for a bit, and guess what?
It was basically the best idea ever. Instead of feeling self-conscious and embarrassed, I felt like a supermodel. Or maybe just a regular model. But it was pretty awesome nonetheless. The version of me in those photos is the one I want to remember forever, especially when I’m feeling less-than-attractive. My hubs is always saying he wishes I could see myself the way he sees me, and y’all, if he sees me the way these photos show me, all the butt-pinching and neck-kissing (sorry, mom) suddenly makes a lot more sense. If your self-esteem could use a boost, I highly recommend having a fancy-schmancy photography session. I was so excited to see what they put together, even if I felt ridiculous posing in my altogether. Kim and Joel are so talented, and totally put me at ease, and afterward, they worked their magic and gave me over 100 images to put into an amazing professional photobook for my fella. I am completely overwhelmed with how beautifully everything turned out.
Ultimately, my thinking behind the photo shoot, and the bucket list in general, is that we only have today, right? A sweet 83-year old lady shared some amazing advice with me (and about 14 other ladies on a retreat):
You’re richer today than you’ll ever be, because you have right now. Stop waiting. You’ll always want to wait- wait for the house price to come down, wait for the kids to be a little older, wait for your job to slow down, wait for those last few pounds to drop off. Stop waiting. Do it today. Buy the house, take the kids with you, work fewer hours, pose for the pictures. You’re not guaranteed anything, but you have today.
And since I can’t say it any better than that, I’ll leave it right there. Happy Valentine’s Day!