The Bucket List | Sheryl Steines

The Bucket List

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My Bucket List. I dwell on it a lot because the biggest desire on that list is what keeps me writing even through the disappointments and downward spirals. With the year 2014 creeping up to me from just around the corner, I thought this might be the best time share with you my bucket list and why it is so important to have one.

In business we make plans. I have plans for my books, for my career, a road map of sorts that I hope will get me to where I want to go. I might not in the end be successful but if you don't try you will never have a chance.

My original bucket list was mostly about where I want to go. Australia, back to Paris, to Israel. It wasn't thoughtful or specific, just general places I wanted to visit, a hodge podge of items. And then I saw the movie The Bucket List and I began to rethink what it was that I really wanted to do with the rest of my life. The movie was about two strangers who meet in the hospital after both learned they were dying. The first was tied to this world by his wife and family the other was estranged from them and had more freedom to explore. But what they learned in the process is that regardless of circumstances, life is meant to be lived regardless of how long you have.

What both versions of my bucket list was to be a writer. That of everything I wanted to accomplish was steady and had been since I was seven years old. So here is my bucket list, tied so much to that one thing that eventually will allow me to make my way through each of those items.

1) This wasn't the first on my original list. I was far more interested in where I wanted to go, but forgot that I needed a way to get there. I'll put it here now, because everything else is tied to this. Even if I never make it as a writer in a way that can support my life, I will eventually make it back to these places, but this, this is how I want to get there. I want to be a writer. I love thinking up stories and characters. I enjoy being creative and for me it's where I feel the most confident and the happiest.

2) I want to go to Shakespeare and Company. It's a book store along the left bank of the Seine River that runs through Paris. First I want to go back to Paris. I had been there before children. I want to explore Southern France and hit some flea markets. But in Paris, I want the bookstore. First opened by a woman name Sylvia Beach in 1919, it became a gathering place for writers like Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Ford Madox Ford. It was closed during the German occupation of Paris in 1940 and never reopened. The second bookstore opened in 1951 by George Whitman. It was originally named “Le Mistral” but renamed Shakespeare and Company in honor of Sylvia Beach's bookstore.  It's both a bookstore and reading library, specializing in English-language literature. And I want to experience it.

3) I've always wanted to go to Australia. One of the things we've done with each and every location we've visited in the last twenty years is head for the grocery store. We did it the first time we went to France and in Austria and Scotland, because that is where you see what it is like to really be in a location, with the locals. So instead of simply taking pictures at a famous local, I want to live it. I love the opera so I'm hoping to go during opera season and see one at the Sydney Opera house. I'll take pictures of the outside and if they offer tours I'd be happy to take one, but what I really want is to sit and hear Carmen, Madame Butterfly or La Boheme. It really doesn't matter. It could be a cat in heat as long as I hear something sing from the stage. Also throw in a can of Vegemite paste. I heard it's awful, but you have to try it when you're there.

4) Along those lines, when I visit France and England again, I'm planning on spending a day shopping in each location. Not because I desperately need a shirt that says Mind the Gap, but because I love flea markets. I can't imagine how fabulous and old the items are at the flea markets in Europe and I can't wait to find out. It's the Portobello in London.

5) While I'm in London, or anywhere in the United Kingdom, I'm thinking a great trip to Wembley Stadium is in order. Soccer baby. Not because I think soccer is a great sport to watch but because I'm curious. It's the biggest sport everywhere else in the world, there has to be something to it.

6) I want to follow Huck Finn's trip down the Mississippi River, though I'd like to do it from the safety of a sturdy boat rather than a makeshift raft. I loved that book from the first time I read it, how the young Huck protected Jim and was in effect the adult simply due to his race.

7) I want to run in one race. All I'm asking for is a 3K, nothing fancy, but as I have a bulging disk in my lower back, that may never happen. Maybe sometime I'll figure out how to do it without any pain.

8) I'd like to go on an archaeological dig. I love history. Which is one of the reasons I love Europe. I know we have old places here in the United States, (think Boston, which I love), however, it's really old in Europe and even older in Israel. Just think of what you can find underneath the sand. Not to mention Indiana Jones made it look so cool.

petra

9) I want to watch Star Wars, episode 1 – 6 all in one sitting. Yeah, that's over twelve hours worth of sitting on my ass watching one movie franchise, but I don't care. I should try to attempt it before episode 7 is released, but that might not happen. Then I'd have to change this to watch every Star Wars movie episode 1 – 7 in one sitting.

10) Finally open the Stephanie Steines Pediatric Medical Lending Library. Yeah it's a mouthful, but I've always though eventually I'd start that lending library for medical equipment in her honor. If that doesn't come to fruition, my goal is to have a yearly Muscular Dystrophy backyard carnival, and raise money instead. Either way it accomplishes what I want to do in her memory.

10) For my eightieth birthday I plan on eating an entire chocolate cake because really at that point who cares and why not.

I'm sure over the years I'll add and subtract items to my list but for me this is the blue print on what I'd like to accomplish in this world. What is on your list? What are you planning on doing to make your life worthwhile?

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