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How one little list changed my life.

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

At the beginning of summer last year (2021) I was going through some big changes in my life. I felt like I had been missing out on life a little bit and was determined to make the most of my summer. I chose to make a bucket list because 1) I love lists, and 2) I love checking things off lists. I didn’t realize how impactful my little bucket list would be though.

Disclaimer: I think technically a bucket list is defined as a list of things you’ve never done before, but when I do up my bucket lists there are repeat items. You only live once folks. If you love it, do it. I create a new bucket list for spring/summer and fall/winter. Here’s how my little list(s) have changed my life.

Meet new people

One of the great things I found by creating my bucket list was the opportunity to meet so many new people and develop so many awesome new friendships. I actually shared my bucket list on my Instagram account and a number of people reached out to say they could help me knock off an item on the list.

Okay, truth be told, I have seen a lot of true crime documentaries and I’ve made it my life’s mission to NOT end up on Unsolved Mysteries or a true crime podcast (Eileen I know you feel me on that). I actually only hung out with women who had messaged me re: the bucket list. Listen guys, there are fewer female murderers out there than male murderers, just saying! There was only one guy I ended up ticking a lot of my bucket list items off with, who is now my BF (awwww!).

The fun thing about dating someone new with a bucket list is that the bucket list items are GREAT date ideas! James and I did a TON of the bucket list items as dates; sunsets on the beach, beach bonfires, the drive in, picnics, going to the driving range, sea-dooing, Island Hill Farms, apple picking, and apple pie baking to name a few!

New experiences

I had such an action-packed and fun-filled summer with my bucket list last year, and this summer is shaping up nicely too! I have tried so many new things since I started making these lists, and have had so many new experiences.

Here are a few of the things I have had on my list(s) that I’ve tried for the first time since last year: paddle boarding, wake boarding, sea-dooing, and kayaking. I’m seeing a trend here now that everything is written down - a lot of water related things!

Of course, I tried lots of non-water new experiences too: One Wheeling, Kite Boarding, camping on the beach and most recently, I drove a moped. Exciting times you guys.

Life becomes more interesting

It’s so easy to get caught up in the monotony of every day life. After I wrote down my list, I looked at it constantly (I put it up on my fridge so that I was literally looking at it constantly. You would be surprised how often I am in the fridge). I tried to fit in something from the list every week, which does sound like a lot, but with a little planning I made it happen!

I would always have something to look forward to and that’s such a good feeling. I felt like my life had become more interesting – I was meeting someone new and having a new experience each week – and if that’s not interesting, than I don’t know what is!

I discovered things I didn’t know I would love, and realized I didn’t like things I thought I’d be obsessed with. For example: I liked wake boarding waaaaay more than I thought I would. I discovered that I didn’t love kayaking as much as I thought I would. It's harder than it looks too (for me anyways – hot damn I banked that kayak soooo many times, Rebecca do you remember?!)

Feel like you accomplished something/spent your free time well

I know not everyone is like me, but I’m your classic fear of missing out kind of gal. I absolutely love a night in and am a bit of an introvert, but I really do hate missing out on fun experiences. If it’s a nice day, I feel like I should be outside enjoying it too.

Trying new things helps me feel like I’m living life to the fullest and being an active participant in life. You know I love lists, so crossing something off my bucket list is satisfying too. In my experience, completing things from these lists have lead to feelings of gratitude, joy, happiness, satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment… and better sleep.

Learn new skills

I learned a lot of new skills as a result of my bucket lists. I never baked a pie from scratch before (it turned out amazing too)! I also started developing some skills with board sports. Prior to One Wheeling, I had never been on a board of any kind - skateboard, snowboard, wakeboard, kiteboard etc. However, my experiences on the One Wheel have allowed me to pick up wakeboarding easier AND I'm hoping it translates to kiteboarding too.

Other items on my list that were skills-related were; learn to change a tire, learn to be a better cook, and learn to be a better swimmer.

Learning a new skill can increase confidence, and help manage fear and anxiety about that ‘thing’. You’ll feel empowered teaching yourself (or having someone teach you) something new. Learning new skills helps keep your mind engaged and increases adaptability. So fingers crossed my adaptability is top notch at the moment because I just made the switch from Android/PC to an iPhone/Mac!

My 2022 Bucket List ~ there are technically 2 (one for me & pals and one for me & James, but I’ve combined them here).

- See a show – comedy, music

- Wake boarding

- Beach campfire

- Camping

- Pro sports game

- Dinner date at the Dunes

- Skinny dipping

- Learn how to change a tire

- Horseback riding

- Put the board on – kiteboarding

- Beach sunset

- Holman’s ice cream

- Driving range

- Music Festival or some other fun, music related event that involves dancing

- Visit the Maggies

- Go to Blue Mussel Cafe

What's on your list?! What should I add to mine? Let me know in the comments section below.

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