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The List That Started It All

June 18, 2020

When I first sat down to write my bucketlist, my marriage was falling apart, a close friend had recently passed away and I didn’t know how I ended up here. I was in debt up to my eyeballs barely scraping by with my wife and I working double shifts and even illegally working triple shifts to pay for the three bedroom house, the two nice cars and our AKC registered dogs (no mutts allowed in the white picket fence dream).

I was beaten down by life at twenty-two years old!

The rug was pulled out from under my fantasy, my wife left me and I was left in the deepest depression of my life. Suicidal thoughts for a guy like me was unthinkable. I was the happy guy, the one who had it all. In my head at the time I had two thoughts: The first, Suicide. The second option was to live life as crazy and fun as I possibly could with no fear. What did I have to fear? I was living in extra innings. This was overtime and I could do whatever I wanted.

My perspective had changed. My marriage ending was the catalyst I needed to make a big change in my life’s direction.

What did I want to do? In my mind I might as well do whatever makes me happy. I had cried until I was dehydrated and dizzy, I deserved to do what would make me happy again.

So I started writing a list. “The 100 things to do before I die”. It took me three days to write with constant interruption from the fear section of my brain telling me I couldn’t do the things I’m writing and to shoot for something more reasonable. “Don’t write trek through the jungle on an elephant, just write trek through the jungle” “Don’t write have a million dollars in investments, write to have $250K.”

Constantly my brain told me I wasn’t good enough to get those things or I didn’t deserve it. Why should I live that life?  That life is for someone else with more money, not me.

I can tell you right now, three years and 77 bucketlist items later, that voice was wrong!

I was a divorced caregiver living in a town of less than 3,000 people who had never been out of the country. When I told myself I deserved to live The Bucketlist Lifestyle, I believed it.

That voice is still there, telling me I can’t do it, telling me I’m less than the people who are on this same path. I’m proud to say that the proof is in the pudding. Fulfillment comes when you tell that voice to shut up and keep on doing whatever it told you to fear. Here is the original and only bucketlist in its entirety, unedited. Feel free to take ideas from it, it has brought me more joy than I could have imagined.


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