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." I ended up beating quite a few songs at this level. Here are 3 videos you can check out to see what I did  - 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. I have gone on to complete 15 octopi, 4 circular scarves, the turtle jacket, 5 toques and one home deco bag and it's only mid-July!  
  5. My 3 projects in the order I finished them.
  6. Support my community in the crisis - I am did a series of 20 Entrepreneurs and Covid-19 interviews with businesses in my community to help let people know they were still in operation and how. You can read them by going to the people tab and scrolling down. They are clearly labeled. 
  7. Write a piece of fiction. - One morning I woke up from a dream with a flash fiction story in mind. By mid afternoon it was still calling me so I sat down and wrote it.  As I work on cleaning and smoothing it, I'm thinking of submitting for publication. 
  8. Go zip lining - I chose to sign up for the 4 zip line adventure with Superfly in Whistler. What an amazing experience and I learned I have a need for speed. I Loved flying as fast as I could down the lines, feet pointed, leaning back, and crashing into the end with a bang. 
  9. Finish a 30 day writing challenge.
  10. An act of Charity - I knitted 50 part wool tuques. Half were sold, raising $500 which I donated to families in need over the holidays. The remaining 25 will be donated through an org still to be determined. 
  11. Take a cooking class to learn something new, preferably a recipe from another country using ingredients I am not familiar with. With COVID this was limited, so ended up taking on line class put on by 17 Black Events.  You can read about it here - www.oliobymarilyn.com/2020/12/home-school-cooking-series-by-17-black.html
Still To Start On! - 
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
Moving to my 2021 Challenge list - 
  1. Skydive using the buddy system . COVID has delayed this one.  When the weather was good it wasn't available, so delaying until next year. 
  2. 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! 
  3. 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. With the movie shut down, there were wasn't many opportunities. Hoping to knock this one off next year. 
  4. Train to run a 5k - not officially, just along the dike where I live. My body just wasn't responding. Haven't given up, but needed to move to next year for additional traning time. 
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