Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Bucket List

This semester, I am taking a freshman seminar titled "This I Believe," (after the wonderful NPR program) about personal narratives and statements of belief. For one of our first assignments, we had to write a list of one hundred things to do before we die. Here is mine (organized by categories my professor suggested):

  1. Write to the President.
  2. Write to my Congressman.
  3. Have an editorial published in the WSJ.
  4. Vote at all major elections.
  5. Serve on some sort of decision-making board.
  1. Publish a novel.
  2. Learn to play the guitar.
  3. Publish an album on iTunes.
  4. Perform a big concert.
  5. Publish poetry in a big magazine.
  6. Conduct an orchestra or choir, performing a piece I composed.
  7. Be in a musical.
  8. Learn to play the cello.
  9. Be in a band.
  10. Get an essay published on This I Believe.
  11. Sing opera in public.
  12. Participate in Story Corps.
  13. Participate in NaBloPoMo without missing a day!
  14. Paint a picture I am proud of.
Friends or Friendships
  1. Don't be afraid of strangers.
  2. Don't withhold compliments.
  3. Smile at random people.
  4. Show genuine interest in people.
  5. Be a better conversationalist.
Spiritual Life (or values)
  1. Have mighty, sincere prayers.
  2. Read the Old Testament.
  3. Have a smile for everyone.
  4. Fulfill my Patriarchal Blessing,
  5. Always be willing to serve in callings.
  6. Go to the temple frequently (once a week, if I am close).
  7. See my whole family in the temple.
  1. Never be overweight.
  2. Always keep the Word of Wisdom.
  3. Exercise daily.
  4. Take vitamins.
  5. Ride my bicycle places, even when it's far.
  6. Be a vegetarian for a week.
Helping, Service, Civic Action
  1. Serve a mission (senior or as a sister missionary).
  2. Work as a poll worker.
  3. Volunteer at various organizations.
  4. Give a bunch of cheeseburgers to hobos, like Chris McCandless in Into the Wild.
  1. Learn to make clothes.
  2. Sew a decent dress.
  3. Learn to make Foccacia and other bread from scratch.
  4. Have a "famous" recipe for something.
  5. Read to kids.
  6. Bear testimony to kids.
  7. Teach kids to be responsible.
  8. Have pictures of Christ all around the house.
  9. Have a musical family.
  10. Read the scriptures every night as a family.
  1. Learn Swedish, French, and German.
  2. Learn to compose music really well.
  3. Be a great, coherent writer.
  4. Be a ham radio operator.
  5. Finish The Brothers Karamazov.
  6. Read Crime and Punishment.
  7. Consistently read different books out of any general type.
Love or Love Relationship
  1. Fast and pray before marriage.
  2. Marry a return missionary.
  3. Marry in the temple for eternity.
  4. Write a song with my future husband.
  5. Do whatever I can to make my spouse happy.
Money or Standard of Living
  1. Be able to stay at home with my children.
  2. Make a living composing or writing.
  3. Live in a house with lots of windows.
  4. Have well-designed furniture.
  1. Paint a mural where I live.
  2. Have a "park day" with other moms and kids in my neighborhood.
Play or Recreation
  1. Get really good at tennis.
  2. Learn to play ultimate frisbee.
  3. Learn to waterski.
  4. Live on Gotland for at least a year.
  5. Drive a fast car, fast, on Gotland Ring.
  6. Visit Charne in South Africa.
  7. Play with lions.
  8. Swim with dolphins.
  9. Go on the big roller coaster at California Adventure, overcoming my fear of roller coasters.
  10. Skip around New York City, especially in public places.
  11. See the Pyramids.
  12. Go to Israel and Jerusalem.
  13. Go to Australia.
  14. Go to Spain and speak Spanish to real Spaniards.
  15. Pull one all-nighter. Then never again.
  16. Hike Timpanogos.
  17. Visit all fifty states.
Relationships with Children
  1. Give birth.
  2. Teach children about the gospel.
  3. Make sure they know I love them.
  4. Have great Family Home Evenings.
Relationships with Relatives
  1. Be patient with uncles and aunts.
  2. Write letters to grandparents.
  3. Be the future host of Cousin's Conference.
  4. See grandchildren often.
  5. See great-grandchildren.
  1. Don't be afraid to take risks.
  2. Smile at everyone.
  3. Overcome phobiae.
Work and Retirement
  1. Work at a radio station.
  2. Be a professional musician.

This is flawed; some of the "Home" stuff belongs in "Relationships with Children," but for me, those will be basically the same thing. Plus, these aren't all exactly concrete. That is, I can't check them off the list in the near future. I guess I've made it more like a list of goals I'd like to accomplish in the long run. Anyway, I'm sure I will edit and add to it in the near future, and I'll keep you updated when I do.
A note to Madelyn: can you configure your blog so that I can leave a comment? As it is, I will just have to say here that I have never seen a Beanie Babie with the seam ripped; now I wonder what's in one. :) Ha ha ha! I miss you a lot, and when I get back, we will have to go on some kind of adventure. I am glad you're having fun in school; re-read what I wrote in your yearbook if you need me to reiterate how wonderful you are!
Another thing: you all need to log on to Skype more or Google Chat or something. And write something new on The Brown Dirt.
I think that's all. :)


  1. Well, I updated some of my settings and stuff, so try to comment now. I think it should work but let me know if it doesn't.