My Reverse Bucket List


Trying new things is empowering.  I can do it!


Now, That’s Cold!


I just checked off another item on my Life Resume—a polar bear swim on New Year’s Day. If you are unfamiliar with a polar bear swim, it is an unlikely event where you jump into a freezing cold body of water during the middle of winter—in other words, you do it someplace in a northern clime where people don’t normally gather in the hope to get warm.


A cold winter swim.I never wanted or planned to do a polar bear swim.  In fact, if truth be told, I considered the idea as something akin to a bad winter cold—that is, something to avoid at all costs including kicking and screaming if necessary. For years, I steered clear those who dared suggest to me that events like this were fun and even doubted their sanity. So why did I take the cold plunge this time around?


I see two possibilities: (1) Either I’ve finally gone over the edge myself, or (2) I’ve reached that point in life when I’m starting to wonder how much time I have left and what kind of things I still want to accomplish before I kick the bucket.  While I’m sure there are a few who might say I belong in the first category, I’d like to believe it’s the latter.


Speaking Of Buckets


A few years back there was a movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman called “The Bucket List”. The premise was to make a list of all the things you wanted to do but haven’t done either because of lack of time or you’ve been procrastinating. Basically it is a positive list of things you want to achieve before you run out of time to do them.
I started of list of things I thought I never wanted to try.


A Bit Of A Twist


My “Reverse Bucket List” is similar concept, but the premise here is to add all the things you have definitely avoided and thought you didn’t want to do, either out of habit, fear, or ignorance. For me a polar bear swim was one such an event. I didn’t need or want to do it, but I kept asking myself why.  Why was I so adamant about it? Sure, I thought it was crazy, but I have done many crazy things over the years, so why draw the line here? I honestly couldn’t answer the question with anything other than it had been on my “Don’t Want To Do That” list for so long that it hadn’t occurred to me that it could come off.


My First Success


Last summer I competed in my first triathlon. It was a big thing for me not because I actually finished it (which felt really amazing), but because I allowed myself to do it in the first place. For thirty plus years I have said that people who do triathlons are nuts.   I was convinced that I wouldn’t do one because even though I will do some strange things, I am not without standards.  To me, swimming followed by a bike ride and a run just seemed silly—it was over the top.  Plus, realizing I had some fear of failure over the swimming portion of the race, made avoiding it easy.



Something’s Different


I’m not sure what happened, but something must have changed.  Through some unlikely combination of events, one of which must have been anticipating my 55th birthday, I decided to give a “tri” a try. I was scared and worried once I committed to doing it, but the funny part is that I loved it. It was so amazing to finish it and say “I DID IT!”  In fact, I did another one a couple of weeks later, and if the summer had been longer I would have done even more.


After doing those triathlons I came up with the idea for my Reverse Bucket List.  Now I began to ask myself how many other things have I failed to try simply because they have been on my “not going to do it” list for so long I forget the reason they were there in the first place?


There’s A World Of Opportunity


It’s amazing to realize how many things I have delegated to the untried list out of habit.  Yet with a couple of victories tucked away, I’ve decided to challenge myself and try more things this coming year. I don’t expect hang-gliding or bungee jumping to appear on my “been there/done that” list anytime soon, but when somebody asks me to do something I thought I never wanted to do before, I am going to try my best not to reject it out of hand and then decide whether it’s Reverse Bucket worthy.



2 Responses to My Reverse Bucket List

  • gweny duke says:


  • connie says:

    What a fine idea………….(the reverse bucket list). Your accomplishments this year are truly impressive!


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