It’s January! This is usually the month where everybody posts a recap of their previous year and talks about their goals for the upcoming year.
Yes, you read that right.
I’m not going to do a recap of 2018 (if you want to know what happened to me in 2018, read over all my old posts!)
I’m not going to post goals for 2019. I actually only made two official goals, and I’m keeping them quiet to avoid self-recrimination at some later date.
Because 2018 was all about making myself crazy with goals and beating myself up for not accomplishing more.
I was spread so thin through 2018 that it’s no wonder that I was so tired and had to take December off from everything.
I don’t want 2019 to be more of the same – I want it to be different. I want to cultivate a less stressed approach and multi-task less so I can be more relaxed and more focused. Anyway, that’s the plan.
Since I wasn’t doing the standard sort of blog post, I still wanted something appropriate for the start of a new year. That’s when I thought of the Reverse Bucket List.
This seemed like a perfect time to post it since it signifies everything I want for 2019 – looking back with gratitude and remembering everything I have done, and reminding myself of how far I’ve come so that I can be more relaxed about the work ahead of me and not push myself so hard.
I don’t know about you guys, but I get so obsessed with planning my future that I forget to reflect on the past and forget to relish the present moment, and that’s not the way to live.
Now don’t you just want to rearrange your life after hearing that piece of wisdom???
I swiped the idea for a Reverse Bucket List from my lovely friend, Livy Lynn – so thank you, Livy, for the inspiration. Go check out her blog guys! (after you finish reading mine, of course! *wink*
Please note, I really hope my Reverse Bucket List doesn’t make anybody feel like they’ve missed out. The Internet, sadly, is largely about comparison – and I really pray that that will not be found on Allison’s Well, that no one would walk away from me comparing. The truth is (I’m not proud to admit it!) late last year, I was struggling with comparison and making this list actually helped me. It got the focus away from the things I haven’t done and all the amazing things I have done. I’ve had so many adventures in my life and I am so grateful for every one of them.
And as for you, a lot of my blogging friends have done all kinds of cool things I haven’t done! One friend went to Europe, another competed in eight NaNoWrimo’s (I’ve only done one!). Some of you have your own Etsy shops, some of you speak another language. Some of you are aunties or have younger siblings (yes, I consider those great events). You guys have done incredible things!
Even if you don’t have a blog, I really encourage you to make your own Reverse Bucket List. It’s fun, encouraging, produces gratitude, and dispels comparison. I have had so much fun in my life so far and had so many amazing adventures!
And it’s only begun.
Note: This is by no means a complete list. I left off some things for privacy reason and other things because I forgot them.
THINGS I DID, BUT DON’T REMEMBER (or at least, not much)
1. Visited Sargent York’s House.
2. Visited Monticello. All I remember is a vague memory of a study and sunflowers that were way taller than me.
3. Visited Jamestown.
4. Saw Plymouth Rock.
5. Visited Mystic Seaport. This one just drives me crazy, because all I remember is a teensy image of the seaport, and the other part I remember is me and my twin playing in a stupid plastic boat, and fishing for stupid plastic fish so we could “cook them” in a stupid plastic kitchen. Apparently, my twin and me saw a play area and my mom couldn’t drag us away – so all three of us missed Mystic Seaport.
6. Was in a Japanese film documentary.
Okay, so what happened here is that my family was visiting a museum exhibit at the same time as a Japanese film crew. My siblings and I were running around and playing and the film crew asked my parents if it was okay if we were filmed and they said yes. So somewhere at some point in Japan, I was on television.
7. Visited Niagara Falls and rode past the falls in some sort of boat. All I really remember is a lot of noise, fog, water, legions of yellow slickers and getting very wet.
8. Visited the Thousands Islands. All I really remember of this is that our hotel balcony literally looked down into water so clear I could see fish. I remember squealing to my dad that one of the fish had whiskers and was astounded to learn there were something called catfish. I also remember looking out of our hotel window and seeing a submarine.
THINGS I DO REMEMBER –
9. Lived in four different states.
10. Moved seven times.
11. Traveled through, or visited 18 states.
12. Graduated High School.
13. Preformed for years at a nursing home and once at a “benefit / celebration” party thing given in appreciation for nursing home volunteers.
14. Danced with a WW2 veteran.
15. Published several books.
16. Created my own blog and website. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it.
17. Toured the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination traveling exhibit.
18. Made the jump to hyperspace in a recreated set of the Millennium Falcon.
Image Courtesy Of Google
19. Rode in a limo. Note: Never want to do it again, either. This is not as cool as everybody says it is. I was sick the whole time from the weird “floating” sensation a limo produces and most of the passengers were bickering and turning it into a fiasco.
20. Took singing lessons.
21. Took piano lessons.
22. Wrote a letter to Lois Gladys Leppard and received kitsch in the mail confirming that I was part of the official Mandie club.
23. Was sort of, kind of, in a *play.* I played an indignant Colonial woman whose house was about to be searched by a skinny British soldier with an attack of the giggles. Funny note: While waiting backstage with three other kids for our cues, I started making jokes and getting everyone laughing so that the lady in charge came over and told us to be quiet. Even at 9 I was entertaining and being too rowdy.
24. Been in a real life recording booth twice and cut four songs.
25. Went jet skiiing and tubing. I couldn’t move the day after I went tubing, but it was fun at the time.
26. Slid down a fire pole.
27. Visited the Creation Museum.
28. Visited the Ark Encounter.
29. Went zip lining on the Screaming Raptor Zip lines. I had to be pushed off the first platform because I was frozen, but after that I was fine.
30. Dressed up in a Darth Vader suit and performed awesome dance moves for a highly appreciative audience.
31. Talked to one of my favorite actors on Facebook (don’t break out the fan girls yet, he’s 80 years old).
32. I got into a museum after hours. It was deliciously creepy – especially the snake display.
33. Been to a planetarium / observatory and seen Saturn through a telescope.
34. Been bitten by a crab.
35. Went boogie boarding in the Atlantic ocean. (I can’t steer – as two women found out, too late).
36. Been inside a USPS sorting station. Anyone who doesn’t know how cool this is has never been in a sorting station. It’s a wonder we ever get anything in the mail.
37. Visited St. Augustine: Stops included the famous St George Street, the Castillo de san Marcos, Flagler College, and the Panama Hat company.
38. Visited Williamsburg. Stops included Mount Vernon, the George Wythe House, the Benjamin Powell House, The Courthouse (I was a jury member during a recreation of an old trial), The Magazine, The Governor’s Palace, Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum the and Jamestown Glasshouse. Highlights include seeing reenactors “Fire in Christmas” with cannon fire, nightly torchlight processions of fife and drums and touring Williamsburg trade shops at night.
39. Owned 4 American Girl dolls.
40. Met a famous-ish singer. He heard me practicing and came up to talk to me and I only realized he was famous-ish after I left.
41. Started The Storyteller’s Marketplace, a Facebook group with over a 100 members designed to help authors and creators market their products.
42. Blogged for two years.
43. Sort of wrote songs and score. They were really lame little dribbles, but it actually was sort of music.
44. Been to the ocean multiple times.
45. Owned 3 library cards for three different counties which I’ve used all at the same time.
46. Met Ken Ham.
47. Stayed at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
48. Visited the Gaylord Opryland in MD.
49. Holidayed in Destin, Florida.
50. Met 10 online friends.
51. Attended a Cowboy Festival featuring a Native American dance troupe and cowboy reenactments.
52. Visited a monastery.
53. Saw my local city’s boy’s choir perform a Christmas concert.
54. Attended numerous plays and concerts.
55. Started a writer’s club with my siblings that has been meeting nearly every week for the last fourteen years. We recently celebrated our 400th meeting!
56. Made several home movies and starred as Indiana Jones in one of our movies.
57. Learned how to sew by hand and on a machine.
58. Visited historic Cocoa Village. The only highlight there were the cruise ship slips and seeing the cruise ships in the harbor.
59. Took a freezing ride on an old-fashioned paddle boat.
60. Learned how to knit. My hand was in a cast for a month.
61. Participated in NaNoWrimo and several Camp Nano’s.
62. Beta read for several friends.
63. Visited a maple syrup factory.
64. Visited the Biltmore Estate.
65. Learned how to weave baskets.
66. Participated in various blog tours.
67. Discovered several new ice cream flavors.
68. Joined social media.
69. Was published twice in a magazine.
70. Sang at the Fabulous Fox Theater. Not exactly an official performance, it was just a round of Happy Birthday so that we could say we sang at the Fabulous Fox. That counts, right?
71. Saw the Broadway tour production of Aladdin.
Wrong Disney movie, but whatever
72. Visited Fort Ticonderoga.
73. Visited the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory and got a bear.
74. Visited the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in AL.
75. Stood at the foot of Mount Washington. *gnashes teeth* I was little and chickened out of going to the top and I could slap myself for it now.
76. Sat in the parking lot of the Kennedy Space Center.
77. Took a river cruise of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga.
78. Visited the Cabot cheese factory and nearly made myself sick on samples.
79. Saw a baby bear outside of the zoo. While visiting family in rural New York our family drove up to what we thought was a hairy black dog, only to realize it was actually a baby bear who ambled off the road, put his paws on a tree and turned to stare at us, causing us to ooo and aah over how cute he was. A glance at a ravine running parallel to the run revealed several more cubs wandering around. Somewhere in the middle of squealing over baby bears, it suddenly occurred to us we were less than ten feet away from one of the babies and the mother couldn’t be far behind, so we left in a hurry.
80. Visited Longaberger’s headquarters back when Longaberger was a thing and saw the big basket.
Image Courtesy Of Google
81. Visited Cedar Point: “Roller coaster capital of the world.” Unfortunately, I was too little to ride most of the coasters, but I did get to ride this one. It makes me feel a bit queasy just watching this . . .
(not my video – courtesy of YouTube)
82. Attended the Glory Writer’s Retreat.
83. Got snowed in at my house.
84. Visited Washington D.C. twice. Stops included, the Library of Congress, the Washington monument, the Lincoln memorial, Union Station, the American History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the WW2 memorial and the National Mall’s reflecting pool. (I walked up and down the National Mall more times than I care to recall) I also rode on the subway and fell in love with public transportation. Other highlights include sitting in the observation section of the House of Representatives while the House was in session and I nearly got lost in the United States Capitol – but guards and my Twin won’t let you stay lost for long. We also filmed a recreation of two scenes from National Treasure while sitting on the Lincoln Memorial steps and standing in front of the Declaration of Independence. I played Riley and my older sister played Ben. That was definitely a nerd moment.
85. Met David Barton and got to handle several historic documents.
86. Visited Amish country in PA.
87. Got caught in a tornado.
88. Learned how to swim.
89. Learned how to ride a bike.
90. Visited Tombstone, Arizona.
91. Visited Old Tuscon, AZ and got to see memorabilia and sets featured in movies by dozens of Western movie stars, including John Wayne.
92. Visited Kitt Peak Observatory.
93. Visited Lowell Observatory.
94. Visited the Grand Canyon.
95. Attended Linden, TN’s WW2 reenactment.
96. Raced Go Karts.
97. Steered a boat with an outboard motor around a lake. Hey, I didn’t crash us into the shore, I consider that an accomplishment.
98. Helped plant a garden. I got to plant, weed, water, and later harvest various vegetables. Note: You would not believe how much force it takes to pull a potato out of the ground.
99. Visited the Tennessee Aquarium.
100. Visited the headquarter’s of Echo. This is such a wonderful and practical ministry and I highly recommend that you check out their website!
101. Visited Thomas Edison’s house – and I’m pretty sure that’s the hottest I’ve ever been in my life.
102. Saw a Disney on Ice production of Toy Story. I do remember a smidge of the skating, but what I mostly remember is several friends crawling through the aisles and breaking glass doors so that we ended up stepping through doors instead of opening them all evening. Yeah . . . don’t ask.
103. Went to numerous Imax and 3-D movies. I still remember my first 3-D movie because a dolphin “tapping” me on the nose caused me to leap out of my seat in shock.
104. Tennessee homecoming.
105. Went strawberry picking.
106. Performed in numerous piano recitals. Talk about traumatic. 🙂
107. I’ve eaten buffalo and venison – both were delicious.
108. Visited several caves – including Mammoth Caves in KY and Ruby Falls in TN.
109. Started a Youtube Channel. You can check out my most popular cover below. #ShamelessPlug
110. Took a self-paced course in a professional editing program. This was the software used to edit such movies as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Happy Feet, Enchanted, and Courageous.
112. Have learned how to bake such treats as bread, doughnuts, muffins, cake, cookies, macarons, etc.
113. Connected online with people from around the world and made friends with dozens of amazing people!
HISTORY MAKING MOMENTS –
Flew before 9/11 and saw that event change the world.
Watched in live time the first vertical rocket landing in history, a revolution in technology and utterly mind blowing to witness. If you don’t follow Space X, you should.
Saw the live dedication of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. After decades of Presidents promising to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognize it as Israel’s capital – setting an example for several other countries who afterwards moved their own embassies to Jerusalem.
Israel was so overwhelmingly grateful, they issued a special coin to honor our President. No foreign leader has been this honored by Israel since King Cyrus.
I had tears running down my face as I watched the live dedication. I am sure, beyond a doubt, that this move was a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. I felt so honored to be witnessing this history-making moment.
Watched part of Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding. This was history-making because, after defeating Britain in two wars, America is now launching a subtle invasion of the British monarchy so that the United States will eventually rule Britain.
I also saw William and Kate’s wedding, but I don’t consider this significant, since it doesn’t have anything to do with the American Takeover of Britain. (kidding!!!!!)
Witnessed a solar eclipse.
Witnessed a lunar eclipse
And those are some of my adventures, my friend. Now I want to talk about you. What incredible things have you done? Have you visited a foreign country? Become an auntie? Have you danced in the rain or stayed up all night until dawn? (two things I’ve always wanted to do, by the way). And if you do the Reverse Bucket List on your blog, please drop a link to your post in the comments below so I can check out your bucket list!
Tell me everything – let’s be amazed together!