Two years before Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman made “the bucket list” a household term, I participated in an activity called “100 things I want to Do-Be-Have-See-Accomplish-Experience before I die.” It was a life-skills class taught by a dear friend Mary to a group of teenage mothers attempting to earn their high school diplomas.
The objective, Mary stated, was to expand their possibilities. She stated that the mere fact of writing them down would drive the girls to accomplish many of the items on their lists. She asked the girls for 100, warning them that while the first 20 or so would come easily, finishing the list could take a lot of thought.
She was right. While I set my goal at 50, by the end of the class period I had only written down 33. I put the folder away.
Fast forward six years. I found the folder a few days ago while looking for a tax document. As I read over the list, I found that I’ve already accomplished eight of the items on the list, and after having learned more explicitly decided against doing one of the items. Checking off 9 out of 33.
What was first on my list? Write and publish a novel. “Spend a summer as a camp host” was number 18 on my list. And just so you all know – skydiving is not on my list. I still have no intention of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.