Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Drop in the Bucket

Fill it, don't kick it
For the longest time I avoided starting a bucket list. Sure, there are plenty of places I want to see and things I want to do, but bucket, as in "kicked the bucket" bugged me. I want to focus on life, not death. Eventually I came to see a bucket list as about making sure we wring every bit of fun, adventure, and learning from the time allotted to us.

I'm composing my list slowly. Some things I've talked about doing for years, like zip-lining. My 2012 trip to France reopened a long-shut door, and I can't wait to go back, so you know another visit to France is on the list. 

In a bid to live a long time, I'm making sure I've got things that will take months if not years to accomplish, like learning Spanish. Clever, huh? I can see myself at the pearly gates explaining to St. Peter it is necessary I return to earth to master the subjunctive tense. Think he'll buy it?

My goal is list of 100 or more items. Here are my first twenty--a drop in the bucket.

1. Learn better-than-basic Spanish. (This one's going to take a while, so I'd better get started.)

2. Go zip-lining. 

3. Walk at least part of the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage trail also known as The Way of St. James. It leads to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. Was I influenced by watching The Way, a movie made by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez? Si.

4. Visit The Cloisters in northern Manhattan, a museum devoted to art and architecture from the Middle Ages, including the Unicorn tapestries.

5. Acquire decent knife skills. I don't want to toss 'em in the air; I want to dice, mince, and julienne quickly and neatly.

6. Rent an apartment in Barcelona for a week. (Those Spanish skills, once acquired, are going to come in handy.)

7. Visit Yellowstone National Park

8. 5. Go kayaking

9. Revisit Flathead Lake, Montana A visit to Flathead Lake means I'm close enough for another visit to my much-loved Glacier National Park. (For a three-fer, I could kayak at Flathead Lake.)

10. Find a recipe for sangria that's not too sweet and has a kick. Lots of fruit, please.

11. Learn to make a souffle, then branch out to chocolate souffl├ęs and cheese souffl├ęs.

12. Visit Santa Fe

13. Visit Washington State's San Juan Islands (I could kayak there, too.) 

14. Learn to make sticky toffee pudding

15. Go to France

16. Go back to France

17. Visit France again.  

18. Learn to rewire a lamp

19. Visit Tulum (Spanish skills needed!)

20. Go to Alaska. See Denali, glaciers, moose, and the northern lights

That's it for are my first twenty. What about yours? Please share three things that are on your bucket list. Or tell why you hate bucket lists.


Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

Except for visiting Yellowstone and kayaking, I think I need to put those same things on my bucket list. Although going back to Yellowstone wouldn't be so bad. Kayaking is a lot of fun. I recommend the flat bottomed sea kayaks over the skinny river kayaks, though. The river ones are quite dangerous. Just my suggestion.

I want to learn that stand-up paddle boarding thing and to surf. It looks like so much fun. The problem with surfing is that oceans tend to be filled with sharks and I'm not too keen on that.

I'd like to learn Spanish but I don't want to spend the time practicing, so I guess that'll never happen.

My biggest item on my bucket list is to dance with Derek Hough on Dancing With the Stars. Probably never happen, but it's on the list anyway.

Good luck with your list. And good plan to keep it long, too, to ensure a very long life. I like how you think.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schimdt

Lark Howard said...

Some great items on that list, Pat! I have a lot of travel items on my list too.

1. Go on a photo safari in Africa.
2. Visit Morocco.
3. Visit Turkey.
4. Trek in the Himalayas (preferably staying at the Aman resorts!)
5. Make the New York Times' bestseller list.
6. Spend a month in France immersed in polishing my French.
7. Get a pilot's license.
8. Drive across U.S. in a new Boxster. (Maybe across Europe, too!)

I need to talk to you about Glacier National Park--part on my WIP is set there and I've never been!

Thanks for a fun post!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

I don't have a formal list, but your #2 and 20 are on mine! I've been to Yellowstone, and going back - this time for more than a day- is also on my list, as is ride in a hot air balloon.

Lynette M Burrows said...

Love this! You know I'm all about seizing the day. The first ten on my bucket list:
1. Finish this $#%! rewrite
2. Write a lot more
3. Attend a Margie Lawson Immersion Class (I'm going in October!!)
4. Go to Greece (not going to happen for a while, but it's still on my list)
5. Visit the states of Maine, North Dakota, and Washington so I will have at least put a foot in everyone of the continental states.
6. You guessed it, visit Alaska and Hawaii
7. Breed Yorkies and Miniature Schnauzers (yeah, I know it's not really compatible with lots of travel, but I can dream it'll workout somehow)
8.Visit New Zealand and Australia
9. Learn to ballroom dance
10.Learn to love to balance nutrition and exercise so I can be an active octogenarian :)

Coleen Patrick said...

I like bucket lists. You make me want to dig up the one I wrote more than 10 years ago! Like you I want to see Alaska and Yellowstone. I didn't like kayaking, but mostly because we were in the FL gulf water and I couldn't see what was below us. My control freakery got the best of me.:) I also want to go leaf peeping in New England, which we might actually get to do this fall.

Anonymous said...

It's good that you want to learn Spanish - Mark Twain once (allegedly) wrote that one should always speak Spanish to God, French to men, Italian to women and German with your horse.

Don't worry too much about the subjunctive in Spanish, most speakers actually try to avoid it.

Also, Pat, remember when you get to Barcelona that Catalan is the preferred language there!

- Patrick

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patricia/Jansen,
"My biggest item on my bucket list is to dance with Derek Hough on Dancing With the Stars. Probably never happen, but it's on the list anyway." Oh, Patricia, that's a great item!

I'll bet you'll be good at paddle-boarding. The surfing will take more practice, but you'll get there. (Surf with folks from Mexico and Central America and practice your Spanish at the same time.)

Thanks for the tip about kayaks. My plan is to start in a calm river. Is a flat-bottomed kayak on a river the equivalent of riding with training wheels? Sounds good to me!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Lark! You're talking adventure travel. I admire your fearlessness.

Glacier is beautiful, although the glaciers have almost disappeared. Parts of the Going to the Sun Road don't open until mid to late June because of the run-off from melting snow. Try to time a visit after the road reopens but before the summer tourists arrive.

A Boxster? You lend dash and class to my ordinary life.

I, too, want to spend a week in France. You and Steve are invited to visit me and Ted.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Jennette,
Yay for zip-lining and Alaska! A hot-air balloon ride? I want to do that, too.

I'm glad to know you want to return to Yellowstone. That's the best kind of recommendation.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Lynette!
I've heard nothing but good things about Margie Lawson's (writing) immersion classes. Good for you! You're investing in yourself and your craft.

Greece, raising Yorkies and miniature Schnauzers, and ballroom dancing? If I didn't already know and like you, I'd like you based on your list.

Write on, Lynette!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Coleen,
Hope you get to see the leaves turn in New England this fall. Boy a flat-bottomed kayak is sounding better by the minute. I have to tell you, though, if I can't see into the water, I assume it's filled with benign Disney creatures.

It'll be fun to look at that ten-year-old bucket list.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patrick,
So, when I get to the pearly gates, I should tell St. Peter I must return to earth to learn Catalan? I can do that.

How different is Catalan from Spanish?

In English, the subjunctive is disappearing, too. If I were in charge, I'd insist students learn it.

Sheila Seabrook said...

A bucket list is something I've never gotten around to making, Pat. I've read the book, seen the movie, and yet whenever I think about writing one, I find something else that needs to be done. Hmmm, I wonder if I have a little bit of your "kicked the bucket" syndrome. :)

Top of my list would be Hawaii, then Maine, then Alaska. I've been to the Canadian side of Glacier National Park, but I would love to visit Montana and see the US side of the Park.

So most of my list would be travel here, travel there. :)

Alarna Rose Gray said...

I'm with you on the Spanish theme, and kayaking! But I will admit, I have a dread of lists. When I was a kid (granted, I was strange) I used to write daily lists of tasks to do that was invariably too long to achieve. Ever since then, lists have had the opposite motivational effect!

Anonymous said...

Well, Catalan is a language in its own right, not Spanish or a "mixture" of French and Spanish as some people claim. It was once very prominent in the Mediterranean area.

Don't you remember the chapter Les Catalans from Dumas' The Count of Monte-Cristo?

Language was strongly repressed by the Franco government (1936-1975) in Catalonia and Valencia but is now the official language there and its always appreciated if you can say a few words!

BTW, its the official language of Andorra if you ever get there on your bucket list!

- Patrick

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Sheila,
I'm not going to bug you to write a bucket list because I resisted doing it, too. I will say, though, writing down my numbers one through twenty changed those things/experiences from vague wishes to concrete to-do's.

I've always wanted to go to the Canadian side of Glacier National Park.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Alarna,
I'm guessing you've challenged yourself all your life, hence to-do lists you could never get through. My bucket list is made up of things I KNOW I can do. There are other things I want fervently but didn't put on my list, because getting them isn't in my control.

Anyone who wrote lists as a child is a list-maker. You may not commit your to-do's to paper, but you carry them around with you.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patrick,
I'm relieved to know Catalan is a romance language. If it were Basque, the consonants would defeat me. Now I'm up for learning a few phrases in Catalan.

As for The Count of Monte-Cristo, I never read it. There are big gaps in my background.