30 Day Writing Challenge Day 7 - The 2020 Year of Marilyn Bucket List!


2020 - the year I hit another birthday milestone.  I am really struggling with this number on many levels. In my head I still have a young 30-something image hanging around.  A chance viewing of myself in a mirror in a store or mall can be jarring as I don't always recognize that older person as me.  That image just doesn't match the picture in my brain.

When I had my last significant birthday, I published my first book - what an amazing experience - and celebrated by organizing a big event with performances by an African drummer and dancer, a drag queen, a Tahitian dancer, a singing duo and a burlesque dancer.  It was a huge party that was offered as a thank-you to the community who supported me on this crazy writing journey and I had a blast thanking them.

This time I found myself at a loss for what to do to mark this moment that feels both vibrant and exciting. In fact, I'll be in Kingston, Ontario, on my birthday visiting my very pregnant daughter, so the options are a bit limited. Fortunately my brilliant daughter found something to try that is outside the box - axe throwing. Sounds kickass to me.  I hope I can at least hit the target once.

However, I feel I want to do more to celebrate not only this milestone, but this time in my life.  I am here. I am alive. I have my health. I am filled with gratitude. I have said goodbye to many who passed too young and have others struggling with physical challenges that limit their options.  I am determined to seize the moment and do things that inspire and even scare me a little while I am able.

In honour of this decision, I decided to start a bucket list of possibilities.  I don't' know if I'll get to them all as some are a real reach, but I'm still putting these ideas down in an article to motivate me to dream big and follow through on as many as I can. And who knows, as I get moving on them, maybe other fabulous bucket list ideas will arise for me to embrace.

I tried to pick at least some things that are totally outside my comfort zone - like running. I have never been a jogger. I can sprint, but plodding along in a trot just never worked well for me. So that the bucket list item would be a huge achievement. If I don't make it - oh well. But I'm going to at least give training a try.


Others are very doable, but require persistence, focus and for me to deal with my issue with procrastination. A few are just life choices I need to implement. One I wanted to add was to attend a Holi celebration, but this year the dates are when I'll be flying to visit my daughter, so not possible. That will have to go on a new list for 2021.

The lettering on my list is red for now.  As I complete an item, I'll change it to black to show it accomplished.  That will be a very visual reminder to keep my eye on the prize and see how much I can cross off. Hopefully it will motivate me to keep going. And I may add more bucket list items if I think of more.

Finished! - 

  1. Axe throwing (Try Something New) - Tried this for my birthday and it was a total blast. My viking blood boiled. Def need to do this again. 
  2. Get through one 3D Quest Beat Saber Game on the Expert Plus level - (Do Something I Thought Impossible). I found myself saying, "Well maybe at my age it just isn't possible for my mind and reflexes to respond that quickly." So proud I have now beaten 3 songs at this level - Natural, I'll Be There For You and $100 Bills
  3. Write and send a letter Note - I am an immigrant living far away from family and friends, so used to send a yearly Christmas letter to catch everyone up. This inspired me to send a new one. Didn't get pics in time, but sent 12 snail mail typed "winter" letters with handwritten notes personalizing each and sent another 5 of these by email with personal additions. 
  4. Knit and/or crochet 3 projects (face procrastination) - over the years I've started and abandoned numerous projects. This is the year I will start and finish 3 - proving to myself I CAN stay the course.  Pics are coming, but the 3 I finished are a knitted scoop neck shrug/jacket, a circular knitted scarf and a crocheted stuffed octopus.  
  5. My 3 projects in the order I finished them.
  6. Sew Something - I used to sew a lot of my clothes simply for the cost savings. Then I sewed dance costumes professionally. Unfortunately the last left me burnt out. It's been over 5 year since I touched my machine. I used the corona virus to spur me on and cut out a bunch of surgical masks. Here is my first. 
In Progress - 
  1. Finish a 30 day writing challenge.I think I've finished 18 already.
  2. Support my community in the crisis - I am doing a series of Entrepreneurs and Covid-19 interviews.
  3. Train to run a 5k - not officially, just along the dike where I live. I'm in week 4, but still doing the week 1 training, so not sure how far I'll get by the end of the year. You can check out how I am doing it HERE!
Still To Start On! - 
  1. Skydive using the buddy system . I'm not sure I really want to learn to parachute on my own and do it regularly, so using the buddy system allows me to get a taste of skydiving without hours of training. Perfect. 
  2. Train to run shorter race - say 3 or 5 K. Whether I actually run is not the point here, the focus, commitment and training are. If I do decide to actually run I find the idea of a 5K Color Run appeals to me the most as it warms up with a dance party and then you get coated in colour as you run! Interested? Here one in Seattle happening May 2020 -  https://thecolorrun.com/locations/seattle/#event-info.  Here is another  - Color Vibe that will have races in many cities  across Canada, dates till TBA - http://canada.thecolorvibe.com/locations.php.
  3. Publish my 3rd book (finishing 2 more would be even more fab, but committing to just one is more realistic). I have the material, it's just harnessing my focus and sitting down every day to work on it. I can do this!
  4. Write a piece of fiction. It can be just a short story published on my blog. I have always wanted to write fiction, but haven't had the courage or a great idea. It's time to face that insecurity just once, no matter how short the story is, and see if I feel like doing more. 
  5. Get my body back to a healthier place. Not sure how I want to define this yet. I need to come up with specific goals. I'll add them when I decide.
  6. Go zip lining.  I really want to do this, but want to do it somewhere spectacular with a long zip lining trail - not just a single line from one place to another. I'd love to travel to a foreign country, but that probably won't happen in 2020, so looking closer and found 2 options at Whistler that might be just the thing for my first time out. https://www.viator.com/tours/Whistler/Zipline-Adventure-in-Whistler/d618-3701ZIP
  7. Be an extra in a movie.  Being an extra is HARD work with sometimes long and difficult hours, so not a career I want to embrace.  But I think it would be amazing to do it once and write an article on it.  I'll have to see what strings I can pull. Offering to write an article about it might be just the trick to open a door.
  8. Try a new physical activity for exercise. I'm thinking martial arts of some sort, but not sure. One place nearby that interests me is Paradigm Shift Martial Arts. I met the owner and his focus is really unique, more about self integration than learning to fight. http://www.jointheparadigmshift.com/ Note - already did axe throwing as something new, but want to embrace a few more.
  9. Take a cooking class to learn something new, preferably a recipe from another country using ingredients I am not familiar with.
  10. Create a travel bucket list of places I hope to visit. This can't be done in one year, but I think it's important to lay it out so that when an opportunity arises to travel, I have a list ready to choose from. 2 I know right away - eat croissants in Paris and visit Machu Picchu. e.
  11. Go 1 week at home with no TV watching. I do this all the time when I travel - longest was 3 weeks. But when I come home it becomes my white noise as I struggle to sleep. This will be a challenge. 
  12. An act of charity 
I hope this article will motivate a few of you to start lists of your own.  No matter what your age, you never know what the road ahead holds. Never wait too long to realize your dreams.

Note put up this poster on my FB feed and it is getting a lot of positive responses so adding them here as a postscript for any who want to make a 2020 Bucket List but want ideas that are more do-able. Some of these are included in my list above, some are not.  So may be adding one or 2 to my list. 
  1. Break a bad habit
  2. Learn a new skill
  3. Visit a new place
  4. Read a difficult book
  5. Face a fear
  6. Try something new
  7. Take a risk

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