My grandmother died of ovarian cancer. It's a nasty, brutish thing. My best friend is battling breast cancer, the inflammatory kind, and it's a sword of Damocles, hanging over both of us (her more than me, clearly, but the worry is constant for all who love her, too). Just Ask! is a group dedicated to helping families create awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. And they have a lulu of a giveaway, creating publicity for their organization. They are asking people to list 15 items on their bucket lists in a blog post. Here are mine:
Kissed Jimmy Osmond. (Don't hate.)
Had a backstage pass to a rock concert.
Married the man of my dreams.
Worked dream job.
Went to Ireland with the extended family.
Went to Hawaii with the other side of the family.
Went to Disneyworld with the kids when they were young enough for the magic to be real.
New Year's Eve in Times Square. (Once is enough but I'm glad I did it.)
Drove the California coast in a red convertible Mustang.
Paid someone else's bill for something they couldn't afford. (It was anonymous, so no more details here, but: if you can do this, ever: DO IT.)
"Breathed" underwater on a helmet dive with my mom. (Most people dream of flying. I dream of breathing underwater, and every time I do, I wonder why I freak out so much about it, because it's really not hard at all.)
Raising kids in the town I grew up in, giving them experiences I loved and ones I never had.
Asked Stephen Colbert a question he clearly loved answering. (We went to a taping of his show in Philadelphia and before they started, they ask the audience to submit questions. They chose mine as one of the ones they'd use to warm up the group. The question was: What's your favorite Sunday School lesson to teach? And he was totally psyched to talk about it, which was really fun. The answer is: when Jesus told the apostle Peter to walk on water in the storm. Peter did, then actually thought about it, and then sank in the water. "It's the only example of physical comedy in the Bible," he quipped. True or not, he had us in stitches, describing the lesson.)
Oh, I am almost embarrassed to be posting this. I am so, so lucky to have had these chances and opportunities to make these choices. But I believe in the power of dreaming things in to life. Most of these experiences started as a vision and morphed in to reality over time and with effort. Oprah & company call it "the Secret." I'm not so sure I believe in "the Secret" hook, line, and sinker, but I do believe you have to have an idea of what you want if you want to get it. Sometimes you get what you want. Sometimes you don't. (note, for example, the lack of "see a taping of the Oprah Show" on this list.) And sometimes, you get something even better. (see Stephen Colbert, above.) But every one of those ideas started as just that: an idea. So I'm entering this because all of the prizes are things that either my kids (Universal!) or I (ski Park City!) would love to do. Hence, the 15 bucket list items.
Much of the rest of my list is travel too:
I've been to 45 states and would love to make it to 50 by age 50. (That gives me just over 7 years. Should be possible, right?)
-New Orleans with my hubby
-Alaska cruise with my family
-Montana with my friend Nina
-and New Mexico and Oregon somewhere in there.
Outside the US: Iceland. (No, I don't know why.) Australia & New Zealand. Asia (specifically China, Japan, and Vietnam. So, you know, a week or two. HA!). More of Europe. London with my kids. The Galapagos and Antarctica.
Closer to home: See a taping of Saturday Night Live. Host a Wednesday Spaghetti for my block. Create a storywalk in my town. Either run a 5K fundraiser or do one of those 2- or 3-day walks. Get the whole extended family to go bowling. See Lora in an improv performance. And divide the family photos among folks who would care.
There are more, but they are so universal (I think) I hate to mention them (like "live to see my grandkids" for example). But I do think that writing things down makes them more likely to happen. Not unlike my weekly menus, it's good to have a written guide to go back to. What's yours? What's keeping you?
This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to TodaysMama.com to get the details.