Welcome to Amazing Words Wednesday, the day we enter the labyrinth of language and see what we can find.
On the first Wednesday of the month, I share my own words — something I’ve crafted from our vast-yet-finite number of words in the English language. Since it’s the very first of the year as well, I wanted to talk about writing a bucket list.
What’s a bucket list?
Some people prefer to call it a “life list,” since the connotation of kicking the bucket makes it sound like you’ve got one foot in the grave. Yet, plenty of young people write bucket lists, or rather wish lists of what they want to do in their lifetime.
I’ve called my own list the 40 After 40, because I wrote it at age 40 and included 40 items. I’ve knocked out a few, but not as many as I’d like.
Here are my tips for a bucket list of any kind:
- It must include items you have control over. Stating as a goal “get a book contract” doesn’t work, because that decision doesn’t belong solely in your court. Whereas “submit manuscript to ten agents” is a goal in your hands.
- It should include items that don’t require money. On my list are a few high-priced items, like vacations and purchases. However, if everything on your list requires that you get rich first, you may never get any traction. Try to include some activities that are cheap or even free. They may require contacts and effort, but not cold hard cash you may not have.
- It should run the gamut of experiences you desire. Some may be small items, some large, but all things outside of your normal. Still, you’re looking for a range of experience that will enhance your life.
- It should include others. Not every item must include other people, but find things that involve your closest loved ones. You’ll enjoy some activities far more when you can share them with people dear to you.
And now my words — my list.
- Shop for a wedding dress
- Travel to the Holy Land (Israel, Egypt)
- Write a novel
- Own a gazebo
- Participate in a musical
- Learn to tap dance
- Teach a women’s Bible class
- Ride in a small private plane
- See another opera
- Sing at a karaoke bar
- Go on a cruise
- Attend the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York (tennis)
- Write a blog
- Take ballroom dancing
- Host a costume party
- Read the Bible all the way through again
- Read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- Attend another ministry conference
- See Shakespeare in the Park (again)
- Record songs I’ve written
- Shoot a gun
- Go on vacation by myself
- Sing the national anthem at an event
- Ride in a limousine
- Learn military phonetic alphabet
Yes, that’s only 25 of the 40, but some items are a bit personal and others would require explanation. I’ve knocked out several of these, including writing a blog (obviously), teaching women’s Bible class, reading War and Peace, and shopping for a wedding dress which I wrote about here. My Texas friends will be happy to learn that I did go to a shooting range over the holidays, and this born-and-bred Texan has finally fired a real gun. (No, not at anybody. Paper target, y’all.)
I plan to check off several more items in 2014!
So what’s on your bucket/life list? What tips do you have for writing such a list?