My Bucket List Has Been Kicked

Whether you write it in fine calligraphy and laminate it, scribble it on the back of a bill you’ve never paid, tack it on as an amendment to a never-ending New Year’s resolution list, or just keep it all “upstairs,” we all have some version of a bucket list. We started making these lists as kids, when the end of the world could come as soon as some boy circled “no” on the do-you-like-me note you passed him, the future was only as far off as the end of the school year, and our “must do” list consisted of Babysitter’s Club books we wanted to read and backpacks we wanted to save up for.

I recently found a few notebooks from grade school that contained some unfortunate handwriting along with a hilarious version of my 1990 list dramatically entitled, “Stuff I Gotta Do Before I Die.” My bucket list has evolved considerably since the days of “memorize the lyrics to ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’” and “visit Disneyland Paris,” but my flair for the drama never ceased – the moment I cross off one item I immediately must add another, because the second I have an empty bucket list I’m afraid I just might kick it.

Flash forward to 2011. Aside from a few crossed-out accomplishments (live in Paris, run a marathon, ski the Alps, watch Citizen Kane without falling asleep), my bucket list has remained relatively un-tweaked for the better part of a decade. As my list slowly dwindles without decent replacement “to dos,” I become fearful that my lack of diligent list upkeep will be my undoing.

I first started to get a little nervous when I finally attended a U2 concert in 2009 and felt I should immediately update my list but was too busy updating my Facebook page with “Mysterious Ways” lyrics. Then a few weekends ago I accidentally went bungee jumping and was convinced that after surviving four jumps head first into a creek dense with jagged boulders that I’d end up choking on a banana. Then just yesterday the ultimate blow came – I got invited to visit Club 33 at Disneyland (clearly I adore Walt). I’m now officially one Mickey Mouse shaped top sirloin away from having an empty bucket list. I’m just asking for it.

So now I have about a month to create a brand spankin’ new list of “Stuff I Gotta Do Before I Die.” This time I need to think a little bigger, a little farther ahead, and maybe even a little more outlandish, so I can happily go about my life without panic.

Here’s what I’ve come up with as a start:

1)      Become trilingual (two-thirds there)
2)      Spend Easter on Easter Island (would make for a fab egg hunt)
3)      Spend Christmas on Christmas Island (this is going to get crossed off first, I feel it)
4)      Change the national Thanksgiving food from turkey to lobster (long shot?)
5)      Watch Citizen Kane and like it (never gonna happen)

Think #4 and #5 will buy me a few good years. I feel better already.

About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
This entry was posted in Commentary, Humor, Life, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to My Bucket List Has Been Kicked

  1. andy says:

    I happen to take great umbrage at 5)!

    I think this harkens back to the Godfather thing — you just need a good cinematic tutor!

    • I can’t necessarily disagree with you…yet. Ok give me a top 10 of your “must sees.”

      • andy says:

        Your initial primer:

        Kane – YOU MUST STAY AWAKE!
        The Magnificent Ambersons – Welles’ forgotten masterpiece
        Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang – this decade’s most underrated picture?
        Dressed to Kill – the auteur, de palma
        Jaws – a genre masterpiece
        Dr Strangelove – Kubrick’s best
        The Third Man – Best British film ever?
        His Girl Friday / The Lady Eve – screwball, classic, fast-paced 40s comedies
        The Conversation – Coppola’s best, trumping Apoc Now/Godfather
        The Big Sleep – Bogie/Bacall/Definitive film noir

      • Ok I’m on it! Will keep you posted on progress. Love Bacall.

      • andy says:

        Love Bacall? There’s hope for you yet! 😉

      • I can’t find a reply button further down.
        Totally with you on the Kiss kiss, bang bang.
        Not so sure about some of the others.

      • andy says:

        You only agree with one of ten?! Every single film on my list is a bona fide classic!

  2. Cary says:

    I absolutely love this post! From my childhood list of trying to read all the Baby-Sitters Club books to also wanting to memorize the lyrics to “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (which I never did manage to accomplish), I can totally relate.

    Although, I haven’t reached the point where my list started to dwindle. My current list gets new items added a lot faster than I cross them off. And now after reading this, I think I may need to add spending Easter on Easter Island. Brilliant!

    Love your blog!

    • Hi Cary! I love that you can relate to my need to read all the Baby Sitters Club books, and I think I finally did get to them all back in the day – some twice 🙂 I think it’s good to have a list that just keeps on growing! So happy you’re enjoying my blog, thank you!!

  3. Hmm, unobtainable items on the list means it will never be completed. Does that mean you intend to never die?

  4. Dacia says:

    I completely support your movement to change the national Thanksgiving food from turkey to lobster! Let me know when you get a petition together, I will be the first to sign it. Well, I guess second to sign it, you would most likely be the first to sign it 😉

  5. missfitz63 says:

    Whilst I understand (and share) your adoration of Walt, please explain how one “accidentally” goes bungee jumping? If you ever do stay awake while watching Citizen Kane, please, please, please share how you manage that task. I studied the damn film in college, but was never able to watch it in its entirety! I still can’t stay awake…something about Wells’ voice just puts me to sleep.

    • First, I have to high five you through my computer for using the word “whilst.” Second, the accidental bungee jumping happened because a friend tricked (ok surprised) me with a bungee excursion. It was amazing but I didn’t see it coming!

  6. Bob Cloud says:

    I just finished reading your “my bucket has been kicked” and as usually happens when I’ve finished one of your vignettes, I caught myself smiling at my computer screen. You do good work.
    After reading this one, however, I felt just a tad concerned for you as in how do you make a surprise bungee jump? Four times.
    None of my business I know but might I suggest that maybe you should start drinking the better liquor.
    Anyway keep ‘m coming.

    The Signpilot

    • Yes the surprise bungee jump was definitely a shock on its own, but when I heard the instructor say, “so she’s going to do four?” panic ensued. I’m afraid of heights, but I have to admit that’s what made it fun 🙂

  7. armandpolanski says:


    Thank you for the Nice Post. Isn’t this things easy, you’ll be making another list next. Can’t find anything challenging? or Have you done everything that is challenging?

  8. Love your banner/header. May I ask what or where are Christmas Islands?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s