27 October 2015

a polished bucket list

throughout my teenage years, i kept a little book on my nightstand where i occasionally jotted down some dreams for my life. some were profound and some were frivolous. as i moved into adulthood, i sometimes scribbled another hope, whether specific or general, silly or serious, into the margins of my journals. three years ago i compiled these life wishes from my nightstand book and my border notes and my beating heart into a drafty bucket list and published it on this blog (and then published an updated version a year later).

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i’m definitely in the yolo and carpe diem camps, and i really believe in sucking the marrow out of life. however, in the past few years, my perspective on how to do that, on truly getting the very most out of mortality, has shifted a bit. i’ve realized, more deeply than before, that the type of adventures that typically end up on bucket lists, while worthwhile in many ways, really don’t matter. such experiences can definitely go beyond being fun and the journey to their fulfillment can deliver exquisite joy and profound learning. but ultimately i don’t want my life to be about seeing the northern lights and swimming with sharks and publishing a book (i never really did, but now i see this more clearly than ever). i want my life to be about simple service and gratitude, motivated by undemanding love. i see the beauty and the value and the wonder in normal days, in common things, in ordinary experiences. and i’m continually working on finding the right balances with this desire and perspective.

so, my bucket list is just a list of bonuses, which i hope to experience as means to a simple end, rather than as exotic ends themselves. and if i never achieve most of the things on the list, it really won’t matter one bit.

ever since we started dating, the boy has used my bucket list for ideas on making both my frivolous and profound dreams come true. he’s pretty determined now to help me check off as close to every single bonus as possible in the next seventy or so years. so i told him i’d go over and clean up the list and institute a policy to only add one new item a year (if that) – haha!

here is a newly polished bucket list – still up for editing and missing some things for sure! …and seen as a collection of experiences that are fun and pretty worthwhile to hope for, but don’t really matter.
isn’t life such a wild trip?! i love it so much. it’s so amazing to be alive.

to do:
give birth naturally
give birth again

street perform
run a marathon
become a certified yoga instructor
see the northern lights

own a bed & breakfast (we are both super excited about this plan for retirement.) 
hike mt. timpanogos
ride a bike around bear lake
read all the chronicles of narnia
(5/7 so far!)
teach english as a second language
find a fulfilling career
(a post on this topic is coming soon)
get a pixie cut
write and publish a book
own a house and create a home (perhaps that includes my random obsession with exposed brick walls and/or a clawfoot tub?) 
be fluent in another language
spend a weekend at a spa
paint something that i hang on my wall
throw an incredible surprise party
roadtrip from vancouver to tiajuana
volunteer at the olympics
observe ramadan
do the middle splits
have a garden
invent something

have a regular column in a newspaper or magazine
go to culinary school
go to a yoga retreat
do at least a day of silence (at a yoga retreat?)
singlehandedly cook an entire thanksgiving dinner
be in the middle of a real-live lantern festival (yes, just like that scene in tangled)
take my husband to israel (this is on our calendar for this coming easter – eeeeeep!)
buy a plane ticket on the next plane out, no matter where it’s going
sew an entire outfit for myself

get a master’s degree
read the book of mormon in one week
spend a weekend sleeping in a treehouse
be able to label every country on a world map

scuba dive at the great barrier reef
create a recipe
hike the grand canyon
spend some time in the south of america
sleep on a (not cruise) boat for several consecutive nights (i’m thinking dalmation coast?!)
explore british columbia
visit prince edward island and (while i’m there) quebec
maintain an inventory of everything i own
take my children to the developing world
have a porch swing
be able to play 10 hymns on the piano
be a wicked awesome homemaker
start a small business
learn to truly embody charity
take my husband to a homecoming football game at my high school
learn web design and design a website (i’ve done a lot of website work unexpectedly in my employment…but i still would love to learn more and do more in this arena)
run a stand at a farmers’ market
make real friends (ie we have dinner together sometimes) with my grocer
go without sweets for a year
don’t buy anything new for a year
write in my journal every day for a year
film one second or take one picture every day for a year
go one week without using any internet
(i was recently so close to reaching this when we had no service/wifi for five full days on a cruise boat!)
learn how to french braid
memorize poems
go to a diner en blanc
become a master teacher
visit all fifty states (i’m a bit behind the boy!)
swim in a bioluminescent bay
participate in a giant food fight
create a comprehensive and awesome san francisco guide (i should probably add a london guide to this one in the next while!)
watch a new human experience all human firsts
organize all my personal history
do work in 75 temples
do a significant service project with my family every christmas
take someone i really, really love on a surprise trip
newly added:
go to 10 countries in one day (this one is for ian. i mentioned it once and within an hour he had a road trip through eastern europe planned for next spring. i know, i know, it’s pretty ridiculous and we won’t really be able to experience anything besides driving…but he’s just into the extreme geographical quests.}
visit german christmas markets
(we are doing it in december – i’m so excited!)

already completed:
x live in new york city
x live in india
x serve a mission
x take an international trip alone
x run a half-marathon (x2!)
x drive across the country
x study abroad in jerusalem
x get into a competitive university
x graduate from college
x skydive
x scuba dive
x kiss a stranger
x join the bone marrow donor registry
x zipline through the jungle (x2!)
x work with troubled teens
x go to the temple every week (except when out of the country) for a year
x learn simple coding
x kiss on the fifty yard line
x drive across the canadian border
x drive across the mexican border
x listen to jazz in the french quarter, new orleans
x watch the sun rise over yosemite
x own a mac computer
x see the spiral jetty
x ride an elephant (x2!)
x ride a camel (x2!)
x move somewhere exciting without a plan
x times square on new years eve
x ride in a hot air balloon (x2!)
x chop down my own christmas tree (x5)
x get kissed in the rain
x dance in new york
x make perfect beouf bourguignon
x visit salvation mountain
x be in a parade
x be quoted
x surf

newly completed: (i kept these separate because it’s kind of amazing how much has happened in the past year or so!)
x live in europe (i don’t actually think that england technically counts, but given our opportunities to travel through europe while living here, i’m giving this one a tentative cross-off)
x backpack through european countries i haven’t been to with my husband (i’m also counting our travel through europe while living in london for this one!)
x get married in the temple
x have a secret boyfriend
x be somewhere where all i can see to the horizon is sand
x feel an earthquake
x do an around-the-world trip
x buy some stock (having an economist for a husband really helped on this one!)
x exercise every day for a year
x be in paris with my lover
x eat at state bird provisions
x do a 5 minute plank  (i got up to TEN minutes when alternating to side planks before our wedding…but i still do kind of want to do the whole five minutes in the middle!)
x helicopter over the na pali coast
x spend some time in new zealand
x inspire youth to look outside themselves (i had such an amazing experience teaching 8th grade in east san jose, and believe i accomplished this in part. i want to do more of this in the future.)
{i’ve/we’ve also done so many other cool things in the past few years that i didn’t even realize should have been on my bucket list! those types of things are fun to discover.}

life is so beautiful. i’m so grateful that i’ve been able to experience so many bonuses.

28 comments :

  1. Charity, you're simply amazing. I love this! You are always inspiring me.

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  2. Is there an unnatural way to give birth? I would think not traveling for a year would be a mind opening experience, maybe after a year in London. Travel is why you are there. It takes a lot of consumption to do many things on your list. They don't seem to coincide with simple.

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    1. hi!

      by "give birth naturally" i mean without any medical interventions. i hope to have this opportunity.

      totally agree that much of the list coincides much more with consumption than with simplicity. hence the qualifier that i see these the majority of these things as bonuses that really don't matter much, but are fun and pretty worthwhile to hope for.

      a year without travel would be hard for me, but definitely would be mind opening in a way! i'm seriously considering that one... (but admittedly might put it off for many years if it is added! and i'd have to qualify what counts as travel!) :)

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    2. A billon women in the developing world would give their firstborn for medical intervention present and utilitied at all labor and deliveries cause it would allow them, their first, second, third, fourth and fifth baby to survive unharmed and mom recover well enough to have those siblings. I do wish you medically uneventful experiences, quick recoveries, and easy conceptions.

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    3. Anonymous -Giving birth naturally is the coolest experience I've ever had. Have you done it? If you had, I think you'd understand this beautiful desire.

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    4. I can't give birth at all. My son was likely delivered with no one present and then abandoned. Wanting to do it all natural is a first world fantasy. It's natural and beautiful when the baby comes out fine and who cares if the mom needed a pain reliever or how it came out of her? It's not the most upsetting thing to not have this crossed off a list. I also thought the delivery was about the baby not the mom? Finally the dad gets to interact with the baby in a more physical way. You can see the baby is fine.

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    5. A little confused about these comments by the first anonymous (especially the last two sentences about the father and the baby being fine?). It's not a bad thing to want to give birth without medication. It's just a life experience that is intense and empowering if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy/delivery. Of course not every pregnancy/delivery is suited for this and we are obviously all extremely grateful for all the advances in medicine that have enabled many women and children to give birth safely. There are lots of stats that indicate that many births would be better off without as much medical intervention (lower rate of c-section, sometimes better outcomes for babies). Interestingly, the US with all of our birth intervention has a worse infant/child mortality rate than many third world countries!

      I for one think it's pretty awesome that Charity has this on her list. There's a really good chance that things wont line up for this to happen for her (as with lots of other things on her list), of course it's out of her control. I do trust Charity to be smart about her birth choices (or lack there of) and to responsibly act in a way best for her and her baby.

      I just think it's awesome she's thinking about this as an option. So many women don't really give this a thought, the media has made birth look so painful and horrible that many women don't consider an un-medicated birth. I just think it's important that people consider this if it's a possibility because it can be a really really bonding, empowering and connecting experience if it's right for you.

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  3. Charity, pixie cuts, You and me in a couple years?! it only takes a little while to grow it all back ; )

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  4. I live in North Carolina now, but grew up in the Heart of England near Stratford-Upon-Avon and we always visited the canal boats. You could try sleeping on a canal boat and traveling the waterways.

    You may enjoy becoming a National Trust member. There's so many fascinating historic homes, castles and mansions on the British Isles. Perfect for simple weekends with a picnic basket.

    Hope the Lord blesses you with enough days to fulfill your bucket list.

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  5. May I admit a juvenile giggle that after having read "he’s pretty determined now to help me check off as close to every single bonus" the first thing on your bucket list is to give birth? Or should I be more grown-up?

    P.S.: To the someone who recently very understandably said not to cause someone pain by alluding to pregnancy, I'm just refering to the bucket list. I don't mean to cause anyone pain.

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  6. A year without sweets? LOL But why would you WANT to?

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  7. now try doing all of those things single and you will be accomplished. i think your blog is sweet and i appreciate your joie de vivre. but many of us do all those things and then some alone...that is an accomplishment. having a rich husband and richer parents just doesn't count. if i had a trust fund to live off i too would have a bucket list a mile long like you. go for the gusto kid, but remember it's in the hard work that one finds joy, not having it handed to them. :)

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    1. Man! I wish we had a trust fund! Here I am, an Eyre to officially say that, sadly, there is no Eyre trust fund. Except for the 'trust fund' that my parents gave us made up of experiences and love and trusting relationships. That is the real priceless treasure.

      While my parents made a good living (really good compared to most of the worlds population) we also were not super duper rich growing up like the picture lots of commenters like to paint of us. All the trips and experiences we had (and try to continue to have with our own families) were due to my mom and dads flexible line of work and my dad's amazing ability to finagle things with airlines and accrue frequent flyer miles via book tours. My parents made trade offs (notice I'm not saying sacrifices) and got pretty creative to give us the experiences that they wanted us to have. With book tour frequent flyer miles they were able to fly us to Japan where a really generous family who liked their books hosted us for a month. One summer we drove in our un-air conditioned rusty old van down to Mexico where we rented a place in a tiny little village for $20 per month (no joke!) and ate Quesadillas while we ran around with the village kids, shoes off, trying to learn Spanish. One summer we drove that same old van up to the wilderness of Oregon where we camped for a whole month and tried living off the land and building a little log cabin. We never once went to Disneyland though, that wasn't part of their vision. I think every one of our summer trips cost about 1/4 the money it would have cost to go to Disneyland.

      Just because we don't/didn't have a trust fund doesn't mean we weren't and aren't extremely privileged compared to the majority of the world, I'm pretty sure we all know that and live in gratitude daily for all of our fortune.

      I think when you live a privileged life the best thing you can do is be aware of the rest of the world, work your hearts out to contribute in whatever way you can and be thankful for your blessings. I think we're all trying hard to do that, but of course we aren't perfect.

      So go for it, have at us! I know there are a few out there who won't like this attempt at an explanation. Sorry! Feel like I'd like to paint a little more accurate picture.

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  8. It never ceases to amaze me how people assume you have some kind of "trust fund". Those individuals have certainly never read ANY of your parents books, of which many (including the early ones) focus on the very real problem of entitlement. On a side note, about 12 years ago when searching for a very old book of Richard and Linda Eyre's, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to their office (on Foothill Drive) and have a wonderful lady that was there help me locate the book. It was just a regular old office, people. There was NOTHING fancy about it. In fact, it was quite old and even somewhat drab ( sorry!) Didn't Ian attend school for 9 plus years?!? He did earn his PhD, for crying out loud. He SHOULD earn a very nice salary. Rant over....Keep on being you Charity!! You are awesome!!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I normally am not the type of person that gets involved with this nonsense of going back and forth. However, this is really getting under my skin. If you know so much about the Eyre's and how they finance everything, then you most certainly should know how the MFME trips are payed for. Do a little research, it just might surprise you how those trips are financed. Linda Eyre is one of the kindest women to walk the face of this earth. MFME is a generous gift to develop beautiful relationships within a family. What a novel idea in this day and age.

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    3. Can't we all just be happy for one another? Or is that not a realistic thought?

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  9. Haters gonna hate. Bless their jealous hearts:) Love your blog Charity and I hope all your dreams come true!😘

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  10. Love your excitement - such a great list of goals!

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  11. Eek! I'm originally from British Columbia (now a transplant in Seattle). You would simply ADORE Butchart Gardens in Victoria on Vancouver Island. If this bucket list item comes to fruition, let me know! I have connections to get you tickets to the gardens ;-).

    Your bucket list is amazing!!

    Sabrina

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  12. It is such a wonderful idea to formalize a bucket list. I completely agree that many of these adventures are not what truly matter in life. But I also believe that actively throwing oneself into the vastness of the world -- and, to be sure, that looks different for different people (the beauty of diversity, hey?) -- is a way to transform us for the better. Including both big things and small things is a solid strategy that I aim to steal! As we've been working on our marriage, one of the keys to our success, I've found, is balancing independence while dreaming together. Ian's support of your list, and the mutual dreams you share, is great. This is turning into a long ramble, but I just wanted to say thank you for the idea and for sharing with your readers!

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  13. Do you still need christmas market recommendations? Waiting for christmas market season to finally start...:-)

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  14. Ian has a Wall Street job at one of the highest paying Banks. They will be fine without a trust fund and she can have the fancy house and be an awesome homemaker and mom...

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  15. Ian just started employment using the fancy degree and ability make big bucks. I don't really care if they get funding or perks from others in any case. But it's not going without something to let them have wedding receptions in three states and travel the world in 80 days besides other trips taken in the same 12 month period. Not with expensive schools behind them and other trips in past years. From now on its cause he makes a lot with his fancy degree or that they are a two income family for a time before does the stay and home thing. If this much travel were ordinary and in the abilities of others to most of us wouldn't be here for a blog vacation checking on their trip photos. If you have lots of points you spent or flew a ton. All these money saving things meant money spent. It's like the person buying $799 worth of groceries only spending $100 on it. Forgetting they spent $700 that month to earn a $30 store credit used and they spent $50 on extra coupons. Still fine to spend less than $799. But it still cost more than $100. I hope they hoard some of that income and on the money into a home and retirement. Wall Strret jobs means high cost of living necessary to live in the area you work and I recall a lot of jobs being cut in the past from that sector due to market corrections and accounting scandals and outrage over bonus payouts. Seems a job with feast and famine years.

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    1. wish I could understand this comment better. I'm having a hard time following.

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  16. Char, this is great. It has inspired me to come up with my own list of bonus life stuff as a part of my mid-life crisis....oops, I mean transition. I'm gonna write about this on my blog soon. Love you and your zest for life and cool things.

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  17. This is so fun!! It's fun to see how much of these things are on my "bucket list"!! My bucket list is just in my mind but I totally need to write it all down because it's such a fun thing to actually have!!! Love this.

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