Friday, July 15, 2011

The bucket list...

As promised, after relieving some major aggression on the kitchen cabinets in the downstairs apartment I am remodeling, I sat down to write my bucket list last night.  In case you missed yesterday’s blog, I said I planned to make a realistic list of all the things I want to accomplish by the time I turn 30.  We are now down to 11 months and six days until the big day.  The list ended up being a combination of one-time projects I want to complete, personal goals I want to accomplish, habits I want to develop and personality traits I want to refine.  Some of them are serious, some of them are silly, some of them are too personal to give you any real details on, some of them will be very difficult for me and some of them I included just to insure I’d have something to cross off the list.  So here goes…
My Bucket list…
… Run a 5k in another state.  This is a simple one.  But for those of you who know me, you know that I enjoy running.  Not really long distances… just 5 and 10ks.  They are good stress relievers, don’t require a lot of training and are fun.  I’ve done them all over Oklahoma.  But now I want to do one somewhere else.  This will be an easy goal to accomplish because I have already signed myself up for one while I’m on a mini vacation in September.  Details to come… 
… Complete the Warrior Dash.  This is basically a 5k running event combined with an obstacle course.  I have wanted to do it since I first heard about it more than two years ago, but it just never worked out because of the travel required to do it.  But… they are bringing it to Tulsa this year.  My goal is to get a small group of friends together to do it with me.  Not for the competition factor, but more for the fun factor.  I mean, every participant gets a free Viking helmet with registration.  How can you say no to that?  J  If you want to join me, you can get details here. 
… Complete a marathon.  Now normally, I am not one to set a goal like this.  Don’t get me wrong… I like to run… but I have no desire to put my body through the torture required to run 26.2 miles.  The only reason this is on my list is because my friend Jennifer is organizing a marathon in February to raise money for the organization Orphan Hope International.  It is a group close to her heart and the money will go to build safe houses for orphans in Columbia.  So since it’s for the kids, and who wouldn’t be proud to say they completed a marathon, I’m doing it… Remember this list is fluid… I may just do the four-man relay… J
… Cheer my sister on as she walks across the stage to become Dr. Woods.  She will be graduating from the University of Arkansas in May with a PhD in Chemical Engineering.  Smarty pants… but I want to make sure I’m there to see it happen.  So it’s on the list. 
… See my little sister marry to the love of her life.  This is on here mostly because like the PhD, I know it’s one that will for sure happen so I’ll have something to cross of the list.  Congrats to Laurney Cakes and Walter Talkie.  J
… Take a beach vacation.  This one is on here for two reasons.  One, because I need it… really bad.  Two, because my sister is doing a destination wedding in Cozumel.  So it’s also pretty much a given.  J  I did go a little above and beyond though… I could have done the basic three-day trip to see the wedding, enjoy the beach for a day and head home.  But I went big.  I paid for the eight-day, seven-night, all-inclusive stay at the resort.  I also paid for a guest… not sure yet who I’ll end up taking with me… But I am sure that it’s going to be a good time. 
… Finish remodeling my downstairs apartment.  A little background… during the snowstorm in February, the hot water side of the kitchen faucet exploded pouring hot water into the apartment like an erupting volcano.  Because I got snowed in at a friend’s house and the apartment was vacant, the water ran in it for four days before it was discovered.  Since it was hot water and it was closed up, it was like a sauna in there and literally took the paint off the walls.  After I discovered the problem and got the plumber out to fix the faucet (or really just cut the water to it off), I decided to gut the place.  With that much water, I didn’t want to take any chances with mold so I ripped out carpet, ceilings, sheetrock, insulation, cabinets, everything… basically took the place down to the studs… or am actually still working on it.  But the demo is almost complete and it will soon be time to rebuild.  I plan to expand it a little bit and do some major updates including new wiring.  I hope to have this completed and ready to rent by the end of the year. 
… Finish the remodel of the living room in my house.  I told you about the house in a previous post.  I also told you about my September 15th, Netflix goal.  It’s going on this list too.  Things I still need to do in there are replace the old plaster ceiling with sheetrock, texture and paint walls and ceiling, paint window sills, clean fireplace, stain pine wood on accent wall, refinish hard wood floors, move furniture in, hang pictures on walls, connect internet and cable. J  At this point, this is the top priority on my list.  I will get this done in the next two months.  I will.
… Finish the remodel of the two bedrooms and closets.  This will be a much easier project to complete.  The walls, ceilings and windowsills in the bedrooms have already been done, complete with texture and paint.  We replaced the plaster in the closets with sheetrock already but have yet to texture them.  I have been waiting until we get that muddy mess out for the living room to do it all together.  Same goes with the hard woods.  I have been waiting to do the bedroom floors until the living room is ready to do so I only have to rent the machine once.  So since the living room will be done in two months, this also will be done in two months.  It will be so nice to have the large majority of the projects in the living areas done so I can start focusing on the bathroom, utility room and kitchen and have a finished place to sit and make new lists for them.  J  
… Become a lifetime member of the NSU Alumni Association.  This is really something I probably should have done seven years ago when I graduated.  If you add up the money I have paid every year since then for an annual memberships, I could have already paid for the life membership, so this year, I’m doing it. 
… See at least one new movie in the theater each month.  I used to go to movies all the time.  It’s one of those things I really enjoy.  But I haven’t kept up with that very well.  So I’m putting it on the list.
… “Discover” at least two new music artists that aren’t mainstream, buy their albums and memorize every song on them.  This is something I used to do a lot.  I have a huge iTunes library of songs I love by people you’ve never heard of and I love it.  Music is such a love in my life and sometimes the stuff the radio provides you, even Pandora or Sirius, doesn’t even scratch the surface on what amazing talent is out there.  So this year I plan to find at least two artists to add to my library.
… Spend more time with my family.  This one is pretty broad and hard to measure so I’m going to break it down a little farther…
… Hang out with my mom once a month.  Sometimes I get annoyed with myself that even though my mom only lives about 12 minutes from me, I let my life get so busy that I don’t make time to visit her.  So I’m making a goal of hanging out with her at least once a month.  By hanging out I mean for the sole reason of spending time together, not working on my house or her house or my sister’s house (we all have major projects on our hands)… we can do dinner, go for a walk or just sit and watch TV, doesn’t really matter to me.  It’s just something I need to be better at.
… Same goes for Sarah and the kids.  Sarah is my older sister, who also lives in Claremore and also has a construction project going.  She is the mother of my beautiful nephew and niece.  I want to add them to the once a month list.  I need to spend more time with all of them.  Sarah to give her a break from her busy world and the kids to get to see them grow up.  So I plan to hang out with Sarah once a month (maybe even combine this with the mom visit from time to time for some mother/daughter/sister bonding) and take the kids somewhere once a month, both to give Sarah a break and to get to see them grow up so someday they don’t look back and say “We like Aunt Cassie okay, but we never really got to see her much.” 
… Visit Lauren in Fayetteville at least twice this year.  Lauren in my little sister.  I’m ashamed to say that since she moved to Fayetteville three or four years ago, I have only visited twice.  L  So this year, I plan to go at least once each semester.  In the fall to do her favorite thing… cheer on the Razorbacks in a football game, and in the spring just to visit and maybe help with wedding stuff.
… Go visit my dad and Kim.  They live in Seabrook, Texas, now.  They used to live in California and I got in a bad habit of never going to visit.  Now that they are closer, I should make it a priority.  So I’m adding this to my list.  I will go visit my dad and stepmom in Seabrook at least once before I turn 30.
… Go to one OSU football game.  There is no real reason for this being on my list, except that it’s something I really enjoy.  I very rarely make time for things I enjoy anymore.  Last year I missed the one game I had tickets to because I let something I enjoy less take precedence.  This year, I will go.  I will cheer on my Cowboys just like old times.  Go Pokes!
… Start teaching again at NSU.  Since I got my degree from NSU, I have periodically taught undergraduate classes within my department there… everything ranging from Speech to Mass Comm to Web Design.  I really enjoy doing it.  The pay isn’t spectacular, but I take pride in it and it gives me a little fulfillment.  The semesters I don’t do it, I always end up wishing I had, so this year, I’m getting back in the classroom.  It is my goal to teach one section in the fall and one section in the spring.
… Attend at least one concert a quarter.  I briefly mentioned that I am a music fan.  But it may be a touch more extreme than I let on… I particularly love concerts.  I have seen a wide range of musicians live… Carrie Underwood, Heart, Nickelback, Lady Antebellum, Ozzy Osbourne, Chicago, Taylor Swift, Boyz to Men, Shinedown, Brad Paisley, Hinder, Three Dog Night, Miranda Lambert, Bon Jovi, Saving Abel, Tyler Hilton, Brandy, REO Speedwagon, Mike Posner, Eric Church, Keith Sweat… just to name a few.  There’s a good chance I’ve seen vastly more people in concert then most people my age.  I spent a chunk of my life going to concerts on at least a monthly basis.  Not even because I was big fan of whoever was taking the stage, but just because I love concerts.  As you can tell by the few that I named above there is no particular genre of music I prefer.  I just like concerts.  While I still go when there is someone I really like playing, I haven’t gone to as many as I would like to… this goes back into the category of doing more things I enjoy simply because I enjoy them.  So I will go to AT LEAST four concerts over the next year.
… I will wash my car at least every other week.  When I first got Kit I was so good about taking her to the car wash once a week.  But when she still had crap on her from the February Snowstorm in late March and the Memorial Day bugs from the drive to Little Rock didn’t get washed off until my birthday, I realized that I have seriously been neglecting my baby.  So I’m adding it to the list.  What’s the point of having nice things if you don’t’ take care of them.  So Kit will get a bath every other week and she will be parked in the garage every night that I stay at my own place. 
… Get a new phone.  I still have the old iPhone 3GS… and it is sucking my will to live.  But I hate to spend money so I have been putting off buying a new one.  But I will.  I will do this before I turn 29 and a half.  It will be done in this calendar year. 
… Read at least 12 books.  This averages out to one a month, which is absolutely doable.  I enjoy reading and it’s better for my mind then TV or Internet, so it’s going on the list.
… Tithe a set amount each week.  I know the amount but you don’t need to… that’s between me and God.  But it’s on the list because I need to make sure I am accountable to myself where this is concerned.  Sometimes I forget, sometimes I just choose not to… this year I will tithe each week.  I always feel good about it when I do give, so this is a chance to feel good on a weekly basis.  J
… Get rid of three specific personal items I don’t want or need anymore.  I have three items in my possession that I at one time paid over $1000 each for and while they no longer serve any purpose or have any emotional or personal value to me, I haven’t been able to get rid of them based solely on how much I paid for them.  Stupid reason… it’s time to do the housecleaning I should have done a long time ago.  This year I will either sell them or donate them.  I need them gone.
… Have girls’ night once a month.  I have tried to do this in the past, but I always end up falling back into old habits.  All of my friends that live in Claremore and I routinely hang out with are guys… which is great because there is little drama and they are fun.  But every girl needs girlfriends.  So I am making a point to set aside at least one evening a month where I spend time with girlfriends only.  It will probably be different girlfriends each month, but it will be nice to catch up with all of them. 
… Attempt to make amends with a few select people.  I have a small handful of people in my life that for a variety of reasons there have been conflict with that has caused anything from minor awkwardness to major tension.  I am making it a goal to at least attempt to make amends with those people.  While with some of them I have already attempted this, I can put forth a better effort with some of the others.  So I will.  And if by the time the big birthday comes around, they haven’t come around, I have to make the choice to write them off.  It requires far too much energy to try to walk on eggshells with people.  So I will do everything in my power to fix the relationships between now and then and if I can’t I will let them go.
… I said earlier that some of these goals were too personal to give you details on… this is one of those.  But just for the sake of having it on my list as a reminder to myself I’ll say this… I will let go of past issues… I will forgive all the mistakes, including the ones I made… I will make a decision about my future in regards to this… and once I do, I will force someone else to do the same.  I have already made great strides toward where I want to be in regards to the first two items of this goal, but the last two parts of this are going to be the hardest.  But it’s a huge part in my happiness and will be required for me to reach my overall life goals.  So it definitely needs to be done before I’m 30.
… I will be debt free at the age of 30… with the exception of my house, which isn’t scheduled to be paid of until I’m 38 and my student loan which isn’t scheduled to be paid off until I’m dead… other than that, I will have no debt to my name when I reach the magic number.
… Get a dog.  For those of you who had the privilege of knowing Dotti, my precious baby I lost to a heart tumor earlier this year, you know how hard it will be for me to ever find another dog that compares to her.  She was so smart, well-behaved, loving, protective… all the good characteristics of a dog and none of the bad ones.  But I do love dogs and I do want another one.  I want a puppy that I can train to do all the things that Dotti did, like get in her box when I said, “I have to go to work.”  Or go lay on her bed when I would say, “It’s bedtime.”  Or would let her bladder explode before she’d have an accident in the house.  Or could keep up with me on a three-mile run and never have to be on a leash.  Or would play fetch for as long as I’d keep going but would calmly lay down with her toy as soon as I said, “Go play with it in the floor.”  Or knew just how far she could go without crossing that line on the tile to comply with the no dogs in the kitchen rule.  A dog that good requires a lot of attention to get them there, so I will wait until the living room and bedrooms are complete in my house.  I don’t really want to train a puppy in a construction zone… but I will have a dog before I turn 30. 
… Weed my flowerbeds.  I told you in a previous post the lady who lived in my house before me had a fascination with plants.  She converted every space where there should have been grass into a flowerbed.  Some of them I have converted back to grass because it doesn’t make since to me to have gigantic flower beds in the middle of the yard, but some of them I left.  And they are in severe need of some TLC.  They are out of control.  The shrubs and bushes in them are in need of a good shaping and the flowers are being overtaken by grass, weeds and baby oak and maple trees from the fallen helicopters and acorns.  So I will get them manicured this year.  When the flowers start coming back in the spring, they will have nice clean beds to live in and once I get them where I want them, I will keep them that way.
… Do legs and arms once a week.  I am a runner and a cycler and that keeps me in pretty good shape.  But as I get older, I realize that it’s just not enough anymore.  I really need to focus on muscle toning.  The only problem… I despise the weight room.  I have no upper body strength so I feel retarded with my 15 pound weights in a room full of guys who could bench me, my ADD kicks in and I lose interest and head to the treadmill.  I but I really need to set a goal to develop some new habits where this is concerned.  So I am committing to do both legs and arms at least once a week for the next year.  The main reason is for overall health and strength, but if nothing else, I’ll look good at my 30th birthday party.  J
… I will get rid of everything that I don’t need.  I have already disclosed that I don’t keep things I don’t need… but I failed to tell you that if it’s anything that can be sold or donated, it usually ends up in the storage building behind my house.  Then it sits there forever because I either think that maybe we’ll have a garage sale or I’ll wait to take the stuff to SafeNet until I have a big load.  This year I will do both… mom and I will get together this fall and have a going out of business garage sale and then all remaining items will be donated.  No questions asked.  Nothing will go back in to my storage building.  Nothing. 
… I will do something just for me, without giving thought to what anyone else wants.  I don’t think I have ever in my life done this.  I mean sure I’ve done things that I enjoy or that I wanted, but I always get so wrapped up in making sure the people I have brought along with me enjoy it too that I don’t get to enjoy it as much as I should.  This year, I will do something with just myself in mind.  I will be selfish.  I know this doesn’t sound like an admirable goal, but it’s something I need to do nonetheless.  So I will.  Before I turn 30 I will do something without giving consideration to anyone but myself.  And I will force myself to enjoy it.  J
… to sum it all up… I will cherish the good, forget the bad and live each day for the next 11 months and six days with the goal of enjoying my life and becoming a happier person.
That’s my before I turn 30 bucket list.  I’ll keep you posted on the ones I accomplish…

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