Thursday, October 1, 2015

Put It On The List

This year, my birthday gift to myself was to get my hair cut short and colored in shades of blacks and reds. It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time. The next day, while I was squinting at myself in the bathroom mirror trying to decide if I liked my hair or not, I thought Boy, I just do whatever I want anymore. This could get dangerous. I meant dangerous in a good way (Is that a thing?) I've had one adventure after another this year and I like it!

In August, I ran a 180 mile relay race with 11 other people through the Teton Mountains. It's not the type of thing I ever imagined doing and while I don't think I'll ever do another relay, it changed my parameters when it comes to running and what I'm capable of. Prior to that race, I'd never run more than six miles at a time. Now I'm looking at saying "A half marathon through Zion National Park? Sure, let's do it!"

My husband running in the Grand Teton Relay

These new realizations of my capabilities (with my hair and my running) have led me to re-evaluate my Bucket List.

I've had a Bucket List for years. I started it after watching The Secret and becoming enamored with The Law of Attraction and gratitude. I figured if there were things I wanted to do, I should write them down so I could focus on them. Occasionally I'll encounter someone else who has a Bucket List, but I've never met anyone else who keeps a physical list with them. I write my list at the back of whichever notebook I'm currently using for writing, which goes with me everywhere. That means every couple of months I have to transcribe it into a new book. It helps me remember what's on there and why, and it prompts me to think about how I can make some of those things happen for me.

Playing roller derby was on my Bucket List. I made that happen. As I've discussed before, derby was a powerful force in my life that showed me I can literally do anything I want to. That was the first thing I ever crossed off my Bucket List and let me tell you, that's an awesome feeling! This January I crossed another item off my list-a visit to Mount Rushmore.

A few weeks ago, my husband told me he's going to make his own list. I responded first with raised eyebrows, because of course I have been trying to get him to do this for years, but I quickly threw in words of encouragement! He explained, however that he doesn't want to call it a Bucket List. First of all because it implies he's going to kick the bucket and he doesn't like to acknowledge his own mortality (okay...) but mostly because Adventure List feels like a more fitting title for him. I like that idea.

Of course, my hubby's attitude caused me to re-think the title of my own list. I do kinda internally cringe at the thought that what I'm saying is "Hey, here's a list of things I want to do before I die," even though I know that's exactly what it is. But then again, isn't that what all of life is, really? I don't know that I want to change the title of my list so much as re-purpose it to Bucket List as in I want to fill up my bucket of life, instead of kicking over an empty bucket when the time comes.

Me running in the Grand Teton Relay
It has taken me a lot of time, tears, therapy and trial and error to find this "dangerous" adventurous part of myself and welcome her. It's certainly not something that can be perfected. Some days are happier and easier than others. During that relay race, which went for 36 hours, I didn't get any sleep and I pushed my body past its limits. Near the end, my feelings were hurt by something a teammate said. I cried and said "I'm done." I let someone else run my last leg. I was done and I couldn't push myself any more. It was not my best moment. Some of the other people on the team asked my husband "Isn't she going to be disappointed? Won't she feel bad about herself for not running the last leg?" and knowing me as well as he does, he reassured them that I was going to be just fine.

Am I disappointed I didn't finish my final leg? Yes and no. I ran as hard and as fast as I could for my first two, one of which was at 4am. I'm proud of that. I was more reactive than I like to be by getting upset, but that was real. That was me as raw as I could be, in front of a bunch of strangers. It wasn't pretty, but it was me and I don't feel bad about that.

Running a relay wasn't on my Bucket List but I kinda want to put it on there just so I can cross it off! That was a huge accomplishment and a hell of a life experience!

Now whenever I think of something I want to do or have or a place I want to visit, I turn to my list. I want to own a tank of sea horses, drive a race car and have a beer with Dave Matthews. What do you want to do? Just put it on your list!

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