Bucket list distraction
Written by
Jen Knox
October 2013
Written by
Jen Knox
October 2013

Do you have a bucket list?

While trying to create my bucket list, I got distracted, got distracted again, and got distracted once more. Finally, I sat and made myself write, but I ended up with a short essay on death and a realization instead. My mind was getting stuck on the motivation behind the list. Appreciate the life I have, right? Appreciate it by living life to the fullest because I will, absolutely, undeniably, die. This thought is sticky, hard to get past.

When I read my essay, I was happy because I'm writing creative nonfiction again, and I haven't touched the genre for a long time, but I wasn't going to leave it at that. I had to try again. I researched online bucket lists, found an anti-bucket list even, and I realized I didn't have to put so much pressure on myself to get the right things on there. This list is not a sentence. I decided to just find some cool things I wouldn't mind doing and list those. Here's what I came up with:

Learn and memorize a dozen really funny jokes
Visit the Tunnels of Light in Japan
Go on a writing retreat outside of the US
Write a book that calls attention to Toledo, Ohio
Learn enough Spanish to hold a conversation; same for French
Read a book in Spanish (any suggestions?)
Read a book in French (any suggestions?)
Zipline over the San Diego Zoo Animal Park
Read the 150 or so books I have on my to-read list, beginning with the classics because I haven't read enough of those
Run a 10K as an adult
Continue to teach, in some capacity, forever
Help, in some real way, a young woman who went through similar obstacles as I did
Live outside of the US for at least six months
Write a book that will change its reader
Dress up as Tina Turner and sing "Simply the Best" (I'm doing this tomorrow, so I thought I'd cheat and put it on the list so I have something to cross out tomorrow.)
Stop being hard on myself, but not completely
Find people who will play chess with me
Read more poetry
Learn to implement all the neat relaxation techniques I know
Be more supportive of friends
Laugh more--laugh at myself more
Work on my dog training skills

This list is nowhere near complete, but it's a start. If you do have a list of your own, por favor comparta.

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