Catching up on wishes – my bucket list

Posted By Pamela on Jan 1, 2014 | 20 comments

Holy expletive, Batman – I just logged into my old Livejournal account to look up a 2004 bucket list that I posted. (copied here)

I was looking it up because I wanted to see how my goals have changed, and see where I’ve succeeded in the nearly 10 years since I wrote it. All in all, I have to admit, I’ve done not too bad.

Bucket List from March 2004
First there are the practical goals:
1) Pay off all my credit cards
2) Pay off my car (completed 12/10/2004) and outfit it with the “toys” I want (skid plate, fog lights, roof rack, solid doors, new paint).
3) Buy a house or condo (purchased 07/03/2006)

Then there are the desires that may require money, but also require even more work on my part
1) I want another horse(bought 12/2008), and I want to be able to ride it well enough that I can jump 3 foot fences and canter without fear(more days than not since 11/2012)
2) I want a black belt in a martial art
3) I want to become a published book author (at least trying to publish the fiction book floating around in my head and started on my Palm Pilot)

And finally there are the things crazy ass “Places to go, people to see” things:
1) I want to go to New Orleans during Mari Gras
2) I want to hike the narrows of Zion
3) I want to explore Alaska – a whale watch cruise, off-roading through the wilderness.
4) I want to circumvent the Mediterranean, seeing Vatican City(10/2011), the archeological sites Italy, Greece, and Turkey, exploring Jerusalem, and than walking in the halls of kings in Egypt, and bartering in Casablanca.

Well, it’s a life list. Not everything get’s done in just 1 decade?

It’s now New Year’s Eve – 31 Dec. 2013 – and like everyone else I’m doing my fair share of reflection. I’m determined to make 2014 something that, even if it’s not better than 2013, is something that I at least work to shape for myself. As part of that, I’m working to come up with goals, and I’m trying to define what’s important. Part of that means both defining short term tasks to accomplish and behaviors to adopt, and also defining my longterm bucket list – that list of things that define what I have to do now so I can get to these goals in some distant then.

Ten years older … here is my circa 2014 (non-professional goals) bucket list. (And I still have no desire to learn how to fly a plane)

Bucket List 2014
First there are the practical goals for 2014:
1) Pay off my credit cards (I am such a typical American)
2) Lose enough weight that my size 12 wardrobe of awesome fits perfectly (and give away my cheaper, bought as temporary, larger cloths)
3) Sleep & exercise more consistently (Jawbone UP be my witness)
4) Show my horse over cross rails
5) Complete NANOWRIMO

Then there are the longterm, while I am young, goals that will require a lot of work to earn/do
1) Learn how to jump a horse (my horse?) over 2ft fences, and then consider 3ft
2) Take yoga or martial arts
3) Get fiction published
4) Establish myself as a (regularly hired) narrator of fiction stories and documentaries
5) Perform for The Moth
6) Give a TED Talk

And then there is the “before I die” bucket list of things to accomplish and things to do that require effort but mostly cost money and time
1) Own a Friesian and learn Dressage through level 3 (For when I’m too old to jump horses)
2) Go to Venice for Carnival
3) Hike the narrows of Zion
4) Travel Alaska – a whale watch cruise, off-roading through the wilderness.
5) Circumvent the Mediterranean (not on a cruise ship), exploring the archeological sites Italy (Pompea, Hercilaneum), Greece, and Turkey, exploring Jerusalem, and than walking in the halls of kings in Egypt (Luxor), and bartering in Casablanca.
6) Travel from the southern tip to the northern tip of New Zealand
7) Take an equestrian tour of Ireland or the Roman wall in the UK
8) Drive all of route 66 in a convertible (Jeeps count)
9) Drive the route from Neil Gaimen’s American Gods
10) See the Northern Lights from someplace amazing, for instance in Scandinavia

My bucket list has grown – my goals for myself have grown – in the past 10 years. Here’s to aiming for continued steady progress!

(image credit Niels Linneberg)


  1. Happy New Year!

    Wow, a decade-later follow-up. Cool to see you’ve hit many of your goals.

    Two quick comments:
    1. That credit card thing – you might like Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Uni – – I’ve listened to his podcast and it’s helped a lot of folks kill off their credit card debts.
    2. TED talk – you should totally do one! Contact the TED folks and let them know!

    All the best!!
    (We met at TAM Australia – )

  2. Wow I have a few similar goals (some variations) done northern New Zealand, bay of islands is amazing on a catamaran, south is yet to come. Drive around Australia with my wife. And other goals with a similar flavours.

    May I suggest as a martial art – aikido, it’s very gentle and peaceful with excitement reserved for sparring. i’ve tried my hand at 4 martial arts and stuck with aikido the longest, 6 months only :(. It was most similar to the dozen or so yoga lessons I’ve done while on holidays at resorts. If time permitted me a hobby in normal hours I’d happily take up aikido again. Now with only having free time after 8:30 pm I’m happy to have astronomy as my hobby for the last 7 years.

    Ps I think you’d do an AMAZING TED TALK. can I nominate you.
    Respectfully a friend you’ve never met.

  3. Cruises to Alaska are actually really easy to do. The sweet spot is to book between 21-60 days out. At T-60 days, the cruise lines start to panic (seeing tons of empty cabins), while the airfares are still reasonable until T-21 days out. The cruises can be amazingly decently priced, depending on the ship and how empty it is. Get an itinerary that visits both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay National Park (the two jewels of a Southbound itin).

    Book a flight that goes into Anchorage. Use your FF miles if you can, and go a day or two before. Go to and get the AKRR to either Seward or Whittier on departure day. Get an inside cabin, and put the financial balance towards your excursions (you’ll remember those more). Leave your cell phone 100% off for the entire time, and just get into the moment for the next 7 days. 7 days later you end up in Vancouver. Fly home from there (optionally stay a day or two).

    Later in the season (August) you will get more bad weather (rain). Earlier in the season (May) there will be more snow visible on the scenery. The end of June is great. If you can time it with a ship that arrives in Vancouver on Canada Day (July 1), you’ll get a nice bonus surprise celebration. And go see Fraser when you are there: the BC Ferries take you right over to Victoria.

  4. Oh yes, a TED Talk, please!!

  5. One of my long term goals will happen this month…open an improv theater! Our grand opening is scheduled for January 31st, 2014.

    One of the things we are doing is having guest celebrities join us for shows. I hope that on a future trip to Tucson, you can be one of our guests (don’t worry, no improv skill required…Tucson’s Mayor was one of our guests last summer…if he can do it, so can you!)

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