Before getting sober, over nine years ago, I struggled for survival. I slept on a lot of peoples couches, but after being sober for six months I was homeless. No one was willing to take me In anymore. I was losing hope. All my old friends were gone. I eventually understood that there weren’t friends – they were just drinking buddies, but it took me awhile to understand that. Feeling lonely, I continued to lose hope. I was sleeping on park benches, in bushes or anywhere else I could get a little shelter. At that point my life was over. There was no future for me…just death. I would look at the really bad off homeless people who were passed out all day, sunburned and unshaven. I envied them. They had finally given up. No worries anymore. Just slowly wasting away until they die. I was sober. I didn’t understand why all this was happening. Shouldn’t my life be getting better, not worse?. I didn’t understand, at that time, that I had undiagnosed, untreated bipolar disorder.
I had no future. I knew I’d die with nothing to my name. There must have been a small ounce of hope in me or I would have killed myself. I finally got my life on track for a little while, but it wasn’t until I began treatment that It got better. It was slow at first, but eventually my life became a country song played backwards, I gained hope again. I felt that I was going to finally have a future and I do.
With hope and joyful expectation in my life, I decided to make a bucket list. Bucket lists seem to be the craze nowadays. Back in my day we just called them a list of things to do before you die, but Bucket list is the new catchphrase. I never thought I would live this long, so it’s exciting for me to be able to make such a list. None of these are way out of reach, so I think they are all doable before I die. I’m excited to get started.
Here, in no particular order, is my bucket list:
Train trip across country in sleeper car
Get my weight down to 160 pounds and become a lifetime member of Weight Watchers.
Run a 10k
Take my daughter to Hawaii
Go water skiing
learn to play tennis
Become fluent in Spanish
Buy a house
Learn sign language
Learn to play a flute
Attend a 30 day Buddhist silent meditation retreat
Take a cruise/trip to Alaska
The Northern Lights (the Aurora Borealis), polar regions
Vacation in Egypt
Vacation in St. John, US Virgin Islands
Visit Hearst Castle
Visit Winchester House
Take Maurice to the Biltmore House.
Earn a bachelors degree in Religious Studies
Earn a masters of divinity degree
Become a chaplain
Get a home with a meditation/prayer room
Write and publish a book
Ride in a hot air balloon
What are the top items on your bucket list?