Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cross it off the Bucket List

I celebrated another birthday yesterday, one year older, one more rotation around the sun...and a lot has happened in that time. A new job, an international trip to visit my family, a new roommate. It's amazing how much can change in 12 months.

As I was reading through all the messages on my timeline feed, I saw one from a good friend who is traveling abroad in Australia and New Zealand -- where I was just six months ago. She posted that she had scuba dived in The Great Barrier Reef, checking something else off the bucket list. It made me think about something another friend said at my birthday party last night. She had just celebrated her birthday and said she didn't manage to cross anything off her 30 things before 30 list.

Our lives are packed with daily responsibilities and obligations, it's difficult to find time for ourselves, to do something for us, that will make us happy. After hearing both my friends' stories, I did a mental checklist of everything I had done in the last year to make sure I crossed something off the list...and, luckily, I did. I went to New Zealand.

It may only be one thing, but that's better than nothing.

Color Run Chicago
Looking back over the last year made me realize I haven't accomplished as much as I had hoped by this time. It didn't help that I happened to be looking at the Jetsetter page on Pinterest at the time, which has a Bucket List board, featuring all these incredible places and things to do in each destination. I scrolled through the images, adding more things rather than removing them. When suddenly I saw a pin of a large group of people throwing colorful powder into the air. The Color Run. Amazingly enough, I ran that this morning. I never would have considered it a bucket list item, but it is a different experience, something offbeat and exciting. So maybe I've done more than I think.

I'll admit that much of it requires money and time, two things that can be hard to come by, but some things don't. There have been some small triumphs this year that I can be proud of. I set a personal record in the Shamrock Shuffle 8k, finally ran the Soldier Field 10 miler and ended on the fifty yard line, took a road trip to Door County, visited Seattle, painted a room for the first time all by myself. Sure, they aren't bucket list worthy, but these little victories are something to be proud of, something that made my life better.

But I hope to cross more off the bucket list before I celebrate my golden birthday. And I have 12 months to achieve that goal...and this is what's next!
Cave tubing in Belize

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