Reverse Bucket List

Lake Erie mist
Growing up beside Lake Erie shaped my love of nature

We need to dream, but how often do we count our dreams fulfilled? Last month I blogged my bucket list, a list of things I want to do before I die. But Nora Dunn at Wisebread recommends starting with a reverse bucket list of worthy things you have already done. Reviewing the most meaningful life experiences may help in choosing which dreams to hold onto. Here are some events and accomplishments that have deeply moved me or influenced who I am. Some unpleasant things have also had a big impact, but I will stick to the positive.

  1. Lived beside one of the Great Lakes
  2. Planted an herb garden
  3. Learned to play the piano
  4. Studied the night sky free of light pollution
  5. Sailed solo
  6. Cruised the Inside Passage at midsummer (and saw orcas)
  7. Raised a cedar waxwing and enjoyed his company for 14 years
  8. Spent a summer surveying the ecology of Ontario’s Carolinian Forest
  9. Achieved a Bachelor of Science in biology
  10. Fell in love a few different ways
  11. Camped on the beach at Pacific Rim National Park
  12. Attended a powwow
  13. Attended the births of my two daughters
  14. Came out as a gay man
  15. Participated annually in the Breeding Bird Survey
  16. Finished NaNoWriMo twice
  17. Built a life together with my partner
  18. Explored the Maritimes with my daughters
  19. Self-published a chapbook of my poetry
  20. Composed a piece of choral music and participated in its performance
  21. Helped build the 31-stop pipe organ at St. James Anglican Church Dundas
  22. Learned to weave

These are arranged very roughly in chronological order. The list actually reached 35 points, then I tried to cut it back to 20, but clearly I cannot find two more to prune out. This exercise gives me a sensation of having lived a full life already.

It reminds me what a rich and varied country Canada is. I had to cut numerous other important travels out, but they were all important. I do not need to venture far to learn even more about nature and myself. Still travel affects me deeply and I would like to pursue my dreams of visiting new places and cultures.

Do your own reverse bucket list. Post it as a comment, or post it on your own block and provide a link back here so I can read it. What do you learn from it?

2 thoughts on “Reverse Bucket List

  1. 1. Met the man of my dreams
    2. Had 3 beautiful children
    3. Moved and lived in Vt. for a year & learned you had to have $$ to keep warm for the winter
    4. I also learned to weave & spin wool, but do not weave anymore, but I miss it.
    5. Met 2 teenagers from Germany, studying to be clowns in S. Dakota & they turned us on to the game Uno
    6. Saw the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon.
    7. Flew in a helicopter over Niagara Falls. fun 🙂
    8. Slept in the desert & wondered why everyone left the campground in the am
    9. Learned to make white wine from a old timer who owned a vineyard in CA
    10. Learned organic gardening & sold our veges in Santa Rosa, CA
    11. Camped on Lake Superior & saw what we thought was our 1st ufo, but who knows
    12. I also went to a pow-wow, & talked with a Sioux Indian Chief sitting outside a general store in S. Dakato
    13. Lived in campground in Santa Rosa, CA with 2 kids for 3 months
    14. Attended the birth of my 6th grandchild last yr
    15. Planted our organic garden to make food for the winter
    16 .Learned to knit
    In writing down key points of things that I have done throughout my life, I realize that I have had a very interesting life, with stories that are still floating around in my head. Even though I haven’t traveled anywhere lately, it makes we want to get back into that free spirit being that I was before. There is still something inside me that wants to let go of the status quo & be adventurous once again.

    1. Hi, Linda. Thanks for sharing your list. You have had some great adventures. Camping in the desert (or at least visiting it in the spring) is one of my dreams.

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