B is for Bucket List

by melissakiefer

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credit: via (pinterest) vi.sualize.us

My go-to first day of school activity as a teacher has always been to make my students create their bucket lists. I wanted them to do something meaningful. I wanted them to think. And I wanted them to keep it, to someday dig up what they doodled down in their Justin Bieber and Twilight notebooks and realize that what they penned as sophomores might have been their purest dreams from their truest selves before rationality and responsibility crept in and stole away from them. But I have a confession: I have never made my own bucket list. This tease of spring has me restless and overwhelms my desire to do it all, see it all, and learn it all during my one wild and precious life. I want to suck that marrow. I’ll probably “kick the bucket” by sucking so hard that I choke on the bone.  Perhaps I’ve been encouraged too much in my life. Am I delusional, punch-drunk on dreams and hope and “Yes, I Can”? Am I a failure if I don’t accomplish what the world thinks worthy? I panic as thoughts whirl wildly. While contemplating cereal choices in the grocery, I wonder if crossing items off a bucket list can be as simple as drawing a line through a shopping list. While researching random summer jobs to supplement income, I wonder if a retail job–hands on clothes–will fill me like hands on human hearts can. So many expectations, but what are mine? Some so big, some so simple, some so silly. But the purpose? To make me come alive again.

*Revised 1/1/13

-Be in a play again
-Speak in front of a huge audience
-Direct a play
-Go on a girls’ trip
-Go on a trip with our oldest, dearest friends and their beautiful families
Write for a magazine 
-Publish a book(s) of creative nonfiction
-See that book in bookstores
-Go to Italy, England, and Ireland
-Go to Greece
-Go to Hawaii
– Go to Australia
-Eat lobster in Maine
-See Vermont in the fall
-Fish in Canada
-Go back to Dale Hollow Lake
-Line dance in Texas
-Catch a really, really big fish
-Be a mama
-Own horses
Bottle feed a calf
Have lab puppies (a kennel, possibly)
-Sleep under stars
-Have a big wrap-around porch, a screened-in summer room, an old fashioned bear claw tub, a fireplace, a library nook
-Do a writing retreat with Natalie Goldberg
-Earn my MFA in Creative Writing
– Make a foundation for Meniere’s disease
-Make pottery on a wheel
-Fill my house with beautiful art
Write meaningful letters, give meaningful gifts
Bring others to Christ (it’s what life is all about, people)
-Baptize someone
-Start a library in my name in a poor foreign country
– Have my own brand of stationary or greeting cards
-Own beautiful quilts
-Go on a trip with my sister and cousin Elise (NC or SC, possibly–because that trip is long overdue)
-Someday own good furniture
-Teach college literature or writing
-Speak at the NCTE
-Start and host a book club
-Own a cool, quirky, cozy cafe (I have so many ideas for this)
-Own a real photographer’s camera. Learn photography.
-Have an amazing flower garden (learn to grow beauty like my grandma could)
-Have an outdoor dining area, host fall and summer dinners
-Read to nursing home residents
Take dance lessons again

I’ll let you know when I add or cross off. What’s on your bucket list? Share with me.

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credit: (via pinterest) mindlesskids.tumblr.com