COM0011 Things Ya Gotta Do (and not do)…Cuz Life is Short


'Well, I still celebrate birthdays.'

As a person who has passed her half-century mark, I have found myself lately thinking about the concepts of life span, longevity, and possibly the lack thereof.  Somewhat depressing? Even morbid?  Kind of.  But realistic. Indeed, these thoughts usually surface when something bad or sad happens, which it did – and which makes you think about how short life really is.

The recent deaths of a cousin in his early 60’s from cancer and a friend of a friend, otherwise lively, active and healthy as a horse who dropped dead of a heart attack at 57 – just a few short years older than myself – and even closer to the bone, a year younger than my better half – has prompted me to start reflecting.


So what?

Having realized that life is short, I figured that I need to start trying, in earnest, to make the most of it. But what is the most? What does that look like?” I came up with a list of four points:

  1. Do things that you haven’t done before – the Bucket List
  2. Do things that make you happy, that bring you joy.
  3. Do things with your loved ones. Make memories.
  4. What NOT to do re the above three points!

I will examine these four points over the next few blogs.  Let’s start  with the first item on the list.

The Bucket List

I had never really written a bucket list, other than having a few thoughts floating around in my head. I also saw the movie, laughed and cried along with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, but that is about it.  So I thought I better consult the literature on how to write a bucket list. There is actual methodology and reams of information on this – who knew!


According to published author, behavioral investigator and author of the Ultimate Bucket List Guide , Vanessa Van Edwards, a Bucket List is: “a list of all the things you want to try, goals you want to achieve and life experiences you want to have before you die.”

Van Edwards believes that everyone should have a Bucket List or a “To Experience” list. Here’s why:

  • Bucket lists make you stop and think what you actually want to experience in this lifetime.
  • Bucket lists remind you that life is short and we should live it to its fullest.
  • Bucket lists increase our happiness because they give us both hope and curiosity (2 essential ingredients for happiness)

She outlines 10 steps to get the job done, along with some great tips and inspiration on her own journey.  Here is an excerpt:

Step 1: Dreamstorm

The first thing you can do to create your bucket list is to dreamstorm–this is a combination of dreaming and brainstorming. Take out a piece of paper or open a new document and set aside at least 15 minutes to put all of your ideas into writing. Here’s the key:

Remove all limits.

The most important part of dreamstorming is allowing your mind to be as free as possible. Step One is all about putting down every. single. idea. that pops into your head. It’s not crazy, it’s not impossible, it’s not silly–just put it down! You are not allowed to edit for feasibility or possibility in dreamstorming. When you let your brain and mind free, it’s amazing what ideas will come out. Ready? Go!

See her complete article below – it’s a great read.

Here is the author of the book Bucket List Adventures, and author of award winning travel blog, Bucket List Journey, Annette White’s take on bucket lists:

 Sometimes the responsibilities of daily life gets in the way of experiencing new things or even thinking about what we really want to do in life.

Creating a Bucket List will focus your interests, provide structure and motivate you to step out of the box. It can expand your mind to new possibilities and make your dreams become a reality. Who wouldn’t want that?  And when we have our wishes written down, to refer to regularly, those dreams become more tangible. Sometimes, when goals are not recorded and easily accessible we tend to forget about them and in turn are not proactive.

My Own List

After studying the art of bucket list making, I began drafting my own list, which still is very much a work in progress, because I have still not completed STEP 1!   But I thought I’d jot down at least a list of the general areas I’d like to explore:

  1. Read more
  2. Travel more
  3. Learn to scuba dive
  4. Take ballroom dance lessons
  5. Get into the best shape of my life
  6. Buy a cottage or a house on the water


Do you have a bucket list?  What is on yours?

In the inspiring words of  Shia Leboeuf, just do it !


facebook      Thinking life is short? Want to make the most of it? A bucket list is what you need!  Here’s how to write one

twitterbird_rgb Life is short?Write a bucket list.Here’s how  #bucketlist #Livelife #yolo



Bucket List Adventures







7 thoughts on “COM0011 Things Ya Gotta Do (and not do)…Cuz Life is Short

  1. This was such an inspiring post to read on a Monday morning – thank you, Donna! I am truly sorry for all of your recent losses but taking negative experiences and using them as an agent for positive change, like you’re doing, is incredibly inspiring!

    I feel like I went through a similar time of reflection in my own life a few years ago. It was nothing big – just various disappointments and setbacks that made me think “What am I doing with my life?” It all culminated in December so when the new year hit, I decided to call it “Carpe Year-em” and made 365 goals. It turns out, that is insane and it’s waaaay too many goals to ever complete but the change in outlook and the very fact of writing stuff down was definitely life-changing. And it still lead to a lot of experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

    I guess a few of the big things on my current bucket list are: travel to Antarctica, learn to speak Russian fluently and write a full-length feature film script.

    I wish you the best luck with your own bucket list and look forward to the other posts in your series!

  2. Great post Donna! I am completely inspired to begin composing my bucket list. I have to admit, lately I have been feeling something that has made me question what I’m doing with my life. Yearning. Yearning for something more. There is more to life than working, eating and sleeping. I definitely want to start experiencing life and not just existing in it. Here’s to bucket lists and I hope we get to stroke every single item off the list!! I can’t wait to read the next installment!! Good luck!

  3. I love your post Donna. With my half-century mark coming very, very soon I have thinking about creating a bucket list (especially with my kids telling me that my life is more than half way over – kids are lovely aren’t they). Thanks for pointing out all these great blogs and books that focus on creating a bucket list. Your post has given me the direction I need.

  4. Great research, Donna! Uplifting and encouraging. Myself, starting over again, it’s something I’ve been meaning to get around to. I especially like #5 – being around water is so refreshing for the soul. Good luck on seeing it through!

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