I stumbled upon a blog the other day that I have absolutely fallen in love with – BohoBerry by Kara; a blog about living an inspired life.
While I was originally drawn in by a post about meditation and mala beads, I found myself digging a post about a “Reverse Bucket List: An Exercise in Gratitude.” The idea of reflecting on what I’ve accomplished instead of focusing on what I have yet to do seemed super welcome. Because honestly, the older I get, the more people I lose, the more pressure I feel to do and see and be everything I’ve ever wanted while I still have time.
But the fact of the matter is: I’ve lived a really great life so far.
As Kara says on her post:
When I sat down to write out my own reverse bucket list, it took me hours! Not because I haven’t done awesome things, but because I kept editing myself. I would cross things off thinking “Nah, that’s not special enough” or “Everyone has done that“.
It wasn’t until I approached my reverse bucket list from a gratitude perspective that it really started to take off. I began to realize that just because an item didn’t sound like a big deal to others, that didn’t mean it was not special or important to me. Once my list was done, I reflected on it for a while and realized how grateful I am for the adventures I have had and how proud I am of my accomplishments.
I went back through journals and notebooks from my 20’s to find lists I’d made and maaaaan did I seem to think Accomplishments = Money. Maybe because at the time I had no money?
Now that I’m a little older, and slightly wiser (?), it’s hopefully no surprise that my priorities and accomplishments aren’t monetary.
So here is my Reverse Bucket List – And yes, this was way harder to compile than I thought it would be. In absolutely no particular order:
Met and married my Soulmate
A part of me knew who he was as soon as I met him. Nearly 12 years later and he’s still my favorite soul on the planet – there is no existence more precious. Our wedding day will forever be one of the most amazing days of my life for so many reasons, but first and foremost because I shared it with myVince.
Had an incredibly wild night with my best friend that cannot be discussed in polite company
A night that started innocently, got crazy, and ended near dawn with us talking about life, love, loss, our reasons for existing and our plans for being together for the rest of our lives. Cody, you know what night I’m talking about and it was recent! No photos for obvious reasons!!!!
Traveled to Europe – Bonus: Both in ULTIMATE luxury and super-local style.
Our honeymoon was the perfect excuse to lavishly explore Italy, as well as pretend to be locals in Barcelona for a few days. Watching sunrise from our private solarium in Italy on the Norwegian Epic was, well, epic. Enjoying wine, cheese, and cigars purchased in a pop-up open air market on the balcony of our apartment in Barcelona was everything else.
Realized how small, fragile, and beautiful my existence beneath a full moon on the cliffs of the Caribbean Sea
I think travel is probably on everyone’s bucket list, and sitting on the cliffs of the Caribbean Sea is amazing. Duh. But sitting on those cliffs at 4am with a full moon, more stars than I’ve ever seen, my now-husband by my side and 30 friends laughing and playing and swimming in the cove below led me to a philosophical epiphany I couldn’t have had anywhere else in the world.
Received recognition for my professional accomplishments
The moment my name was called in front of 100 people, acknowledging my contribution to my business and my expertise in my profession. THAT moment confirmed everything I’ve worked for and validated me in ways I never knew I wanted.
Stood beside my best friend while she married her Soulmate
I never thought I’d say “Being a Maid of Honor” would be on my bucket list, but looking back on “Being a Witness of Honor” at my Grace’s wedding was, without question, a milestone in my life and a #lifegoal for our friendship.
Listened to soul shattering music beneath flashing lazers in the middle of the ocean in the dead of night
If you had asked me 10 years ago if hearing an epic Pink Floyd cover on a cruise ship at 2am with a shit ton of lasers would be a life changing bucket-list-worthy experience, I would have been like “huh?” Fast forward to JamCruise 2016, Electron playing Dogs, one of the sickest lightshows I could ever imagine, all on the back of a cruise ship pulling up to Miami. I was 100% sober and totally sobbing my eyes out at how unique and special that moment was.
Rescued a little soul from an Animal Shelter
My Jersey Girl Annabell BoPeep P*****ki. My baby. My muffins. The little soul who exists only to love and please me. I didn’t mean to keep her, but she is the love of all my lives.
Made my Daddy the proudest man on the planet
I actually accomplished this one several times, probably more times than I even know. But the big ones: When I graduated from college and he got to cheer me on. When he walked me down the isle and danced at my wedding. When I told him I got a job at a Fortune 500 and my salary was nearly as high as his was at the end of his career. And since he’s passed I know he’s been proud of how I took care of our family, how I still support Mia, how I’ve continued to progress my career, how I survived losing him.
Scored my first tattoo
Two tattoos and hopefully more to come! 🙂
Saw a US President and FLOTUS speak in person – And actively campaigned on their behalf
In 2008 I traveled to Jacksonville to see the Democratic candidate for POTUS speak, in person. That was before smartphones were a super huge thing, when I wasn’t quite sure if I supported Barack Obama… but the crowd, the tone, the speech were all so positive and supportive and diverse. I was blown away. Four years later in 2012, Vince had the pleasure of doing sound for Michelle Obama in Daytona. Like her husband, she spoke so eloquently, so beautifully, and I was sitting on a raised platform in the middle of a sea of people to see her. Later that year I found myself knocking on doors to get out the vote in Florida because regardless of which party folks cast their vote for, we ALL deserve to have our voice heard and participate in democracy.
Now that I’ve gotten these down I have to say, I could keep going. A million little moments I’m proud of that suddenly seem like awesome accomplishments now that I’ve taken the time to reflect and just… be grateful…
Silly things, like hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner for family, going to my first festival, seeing Madonna and Cher (living legends!), moving to a city where I knew nearly no one and starting from scratch, picking up a hobby and teaching myself what I want to know, going to workshops all by myself…. So, so many moments I’m proud of.
Sure, I don’t have over $100k in savings, I don’t own a home yet, I’m not going to be a Vice President under 40. But I’m happy with these seemingly innocuous moments that make-up the greatest accomplishments of my life.
Next up: Maybe I’ll write a new bucket list that has nothing to do with travel, money, career, or possessions… I wonder what that could look like.