My Inverse Bucket List

I’m enjoying a scant four-day break between my first summer class and my second, which isn’t really enough time to do anything of substance besides clean my apartment, drink a few celebratory beers and slip a fresh notebook into my backpack before heading off to class again on Monday. I anxiously await and thoroughly enjoy the breaks I get between classes, but even my longest break, usually three weeks over Christmas and New Years, isn’t enough time to really sink my teeth into the other pursuits I dream of tackling.

I always have the greatest of intents, but by the time I catch up on all the household tasks that have been neglected for months, work my way through the backlog of magazines that haven’t been read, and schedule time with friends and family that have barely seen me throughout the semester, the time is gone and I’m back to class.

This repetitive cycle of anticipation, good intentions and eventual resignation surrounding my semester breaks has led to the creation of a kind of inverse bucket list inside my head. “Inverse” in that it’s not a list of things I want to do before I die, but rather a list of things I’ll get to do after I get my school-free life back.

This list functions as kind of a safety net for my sanity. I remind myself repeatedly that while, no, I don’t have time to get to that now, I will have time once I graduate, so I file it away on the list, snug and safe, so I can excitedly pull it back out later and devote the real time needed to see it through. Some things on the list are serious life pursuits that I’d also consider to be part of my actual bucket list, others are just silly or fun. But they’re all sitting there like a collection of rare artifacts, waiting to be pulled out and enjoyed.

I get excited thinking about my inverse bucket list, so I figured it would be even more exciting to write about it! The full list would be too long for the blog, so I’ve just pulled out a few highlights for your enjoyment. Here goes:

Serious Life Pursuits:

  • Write a book.
    This has been on my bucket list since I was in junior high. I used to write incessantly in junior high and high school. College got in the way of writing and then I went through a ten-year bout of writer’s block. I’m finally digging back into writing (this blog as the primary outlet), but just don’t have the time I need to devote to a book-length project.
  • Learn an instrument.
    I took piano lessons when I was twelve or so, which was okay, but I never felt I was very good. I had performance anxiety and the whole thing was more fear-inducing than enjoyable. As an adult, I’d like to learn something just purely for fun. Not to perform in front of groups or to start a band or to impress anyone, but just for me, for a challenge, to prove that I can. I’ve always wanted to learn the fiddle. Why not?
  • Art.
    I was going to say “start painting again” or “take a pottery class” or “go to a figure drawing session,” but I realized that what I actually want to do is get back into all kinds of visual art just for the joy of it. I love art for art’s sake and I’d love to do it again just for me and not for anyone else.

    My living room art. A constant reminder of the fun I had drawing naked people for college credit.

    My living room art. A constant reminder of the fun I had drawing naked people for college credit.

  • Read the classics.
    I love to read. I read constantly. I could probably read 24 hours a day and not finish all the books and magazines I want to read. Despite my busy schedule I still read at least one or two books a month as well as a few magazines. But nonetheless, there are ton of classic books I’ve never read and it shames me. I want to read them and after I graduate, I hope I’ll find the time.
  • Travel.
    First on my list is Australia. I’ve always wanted to go there. My hope is to take a trip to Australia and New Zealand as soon as I graduate, before I start my next job. After that I have lots of other places I’d love to visit: Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Japan, along with so many places in my own country I’ve never visited.

     At Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island, early morning. Photo courtesy of David Clarke's photostream on Flickr.

    At Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island, early morning. Photo courtesy of David Clarke’s photostream on Flickr.

Just for Fun Pursuits:

  • Build a bar.
    I’ve gotten really into the craft cocktail craze. I have amassed a great collection of liquors and liqueurs, old-fashioned glassware, cocktail-mixing tools, homemade syrups and other ingredients. These things are stashed all over my apartment and I dream of the day when I can build a bar to store, display and enjoy these things with friends. There will be subway tile.

    A small sampling of the items in my bar-less bar.

    A small sampling of the items in my bar-less bar.

  • Learn to brew beer.
    Brewing beer is quite a process and it involves time, equipment and space. It’s not a great activity for an apartment-dweller. I hope in the future I’ll have either a basement or a garage in which I can attempt this.
  • Learn to shoot a gun.
    Okay I’m mixed on this one. I’m not a gun person. I don’t want to buy a gun. I don’t want to have a gun in my house. I do, however, think the ability to handle and shoot a gun is probably a good life skill to have. I’m also a big proponent of sustainably- and humanely-raised meat, so I can see the possibility of learning to hunt. Maybe. Someday.
  • Take naps without setting an alarm.
    I just realized recently that I can’t even remember the last time I took a nap on a weekend without setting an alarm. I have so much I have to get done that I just can’t afford to sleep for more than about an hour. I miss laying down and waking up whenever I wake up. What a luxury!

Phew. That was fun. I could go on, but this post is already topping my typical word count. The clock is ticking, time is money, and we haven’t yet figured out a way to bend space and time to cram 25 hours into a day (dang), so I’ll wrap it up. I don’t want waste your precious time either. Ciao!

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One thought on “My Inverse Bucket List

  1. Pingback: The Very Brink of Insanity | Extra Credit Life

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