I’ve been acting for years as if I had a bucket list. I suppose this phrase came into the common lexicon after that rather middling movie I just didn’t care about, but I actually DO have a bucket list. I’ve had one since I was about 13, although I haven’t written it down to formalize it for some years.

That’s probably because it has evolved over the decades. I’m going to put my bucket list in this post, unedited by wisdom or years or fear of judgment. Any items that I’ve accomplished will be in green.

1. Marry a girl who will be my true love and whom I will always be able to stop, watch, and then think, “Wow, I’m a lucky guy.”

2. Live a life that is worthy of being blessed by a sizable family. Value that family every day.

These first two might be cringe-inducingly cutesy and sweet, but by the right ankle of Athena, they have always been my top two items. My love for my dear wife is the thing that drives all that I do and want to be. I can’t believe I got her.

I would never get in a time machine to travel to my past, or do anything to change anything else in my past, nothing at all, for fear that it would change other things and start a chain reaction that would see me forfeiting a chance at being with Annemarie.

3. Become a traditionally published author– books on the shelves, with a living, breathing readership.

4. Achieve bestseller status with my books.

5. Achieve #1 NY Times bestseller status with my books.

6. Skydive

7. Live in Japan and learn Japanese (light green because I can speak and understand Japanese, but not read and write it yet)

8. Visit England

9. Visit Scotland

10. Visit Paris

11. Visit Ireland

12. Tour the Middle East, especially Egypt, Israel, and India

13. Tour Europe extensively

14. Tour Africa

15. Tour Australia and New Zealand

16. Tour, substantially, important historical locations in the USA

17. Go on an extended LDS Church history tour

18. Visit China and the Great Wall

19. Visit Tibet

20. Learn to play the guitar

21. Learn to play the piano

22. Write songs

23. Be present at a Steelers home game, in my full Steelers regalia

24. Be able to attend more than one Steelers home game

25. Fly an airplane

26. Fly in and also control a helicopter

27. Visit Alaska

28. Run in a Ragnar

29. Complete a triathlon (lowest level)

30. Return to fighting weight (which for me is about 200 lbs)

31. Sing a Les Miserables solo

32. Be a regular actor on the stage (I’ve done community and some other theater. Doesn’t count yet.)

33. Write a good play

34. Be able to speak 10 languages (I’m at four)

35. Work as a public servant in elected office

36. Become an accomplished Toastmaster

37. Learn to ballroom dance with my beloved

38. Get my beloved back into school for as long as she wants

39. Become an accomplished small-talker (seriously… no, seriously)

40. Have a home with a large bathroom that accommodates a very large tub and shower as well as a jacuzzi out back

41. Be able to live off the grid if needed

42. Own one or more horses

43. Take the entire family on most of the travel mentioned above

44. Celebrate an anniversary in Hawaii

45. ReadΒ To Kill a Mockingbird


And that’s it. Do you have a bucket list? Is mine too ambitious? Not ambitious enough?