My Reverse Bucket List – By Christine Callahan-Oke

Lately I’ve been challenging myself in new ways.  It’s exciting… and a bit scary.

Our brains get used to doing what they’ve always done, and when we introduce lots of new stuff into the mix, the ego steps in and wants to know why we’re messing with the status quo.  So, it throws the odd self-doubt curve ball.

Conscious that this has happened with me in the past, I decided to be ready for that well-meaning ego ahead of time.  What did I do?  I wrote a reverse bucket list.

You’ve likely heard of a bucket list.  So what’s a reverse bucket list?

It’s the chance to consciously look back on your life and acknowledge past events or experiences that you feel great about: challenges overcome, dreams come true, memorable experiences, times we said yes when we’d typically say no, times we stepped out of our comfort zone.  Big stuff or small stuff, it doesn’t matter.  As long as it’s stuff you’re proud of or that brings a smile to your face.

So anyway, in order to convince my brain that it’s not only okay but actually GREAT to step up to new challenges and experiences, here are some items from my reverse bucket list, in no particular order:

  1. Laughed ‘til I cried
  2. Created my own blog, The Brighter Side of Life, which is near and dear to my heart
  3. Swam with sea turtles in Kauai
  4. Participated in an archaeological dig in Belize, Central America
  5. Inspired someone to go to university
  6. Backpacked the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island
  7. Got married at 22 and am still happily married
  8. Participated in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer in 2004 and 2005, walking 60kms each time
  9. Gave birth to two amazing little boys
  10. Went skinny dipping
  11. Visited – and loved – the King Tut exhibit in Toronto when I was nine years old
  12. Rode on a monster truck at a fall fair
  13. Been on a 6-seater airplane
  14. Went to Tikal, Guatemala
  15. Juggled in front of an audience (I was a reluctant audience member that got pulled onstage – but I did it with a smile!)
  16. Went to Portugal on my own
  17. Did volunteer work in the community
  18. Slept overnight in a hammock on a beach in Belize
  19. Went ziplining in Whistler
  20. Went tobogganing with my grandfather
  21. Sang “Over the Rainbow” a capella at a neighbour’s karaoke party.  (Yes, Judy Garland. What can I say? There was a lot of wine involved).
  22. Went on a helicopter tour in Kauai
  23. Participated in a webinar about conscious parenting (grateful for the opportunity, Jennifer!)
  24. Developed a free eBook on joy which I’m proud of, called 5 Keys to a Joy-filled Life
  25. Danced crazily around the living room with my boys
  26. Sang in the shower
  27. Drove on the “other side” of the road in Ireland
  28. Ran around in the rain with my son, giggling
  29. Was a participating author in a beautiful collaborative eBook, Awakening Wonder (thanks, Becky!)
  30. Gave a speech in front of my school in grade 3
  31. Had a hawk land on my arm at a “birds of prey” show in Ireland
  32. Was a group coach in The Unlost’s Confusion to Clarity E-Course (thanks, Therese! Had so much fun!)
  33. Drank champagne while overlooking the sea in Positano, Italy
  34. Been to a castle
  35. Helped a stranger
  36. Ate lobster in Prince Edward Island
  37. Became a contributing author to Live Through the Heart (thanks again, J!)
  38. Stood up for myself
  39. Camped on a ridge next to a glacier in Washington State
  40. Rode on the top of a double decker bus
  41. Did a snow angel wearing only a bathing suit, after coming out of a hot tub (wine was involved then too)
  42. Snorkeled in caves in Mexico
  43. Jumped into a pond in Ontario, Canada on a May 24th long weekend
  44. Went ice skating after not having been on skates for 20 years
  45. Walked a pacific northwest beach at night, under a sky filled with stars
  46. Stayed up all night talking
  47. Went to High Tea at the Fairmont Empress
  48. Went on a pub crawl in university
  49. Tried climbing at a rock climbing gym
  50. Drove a snowmobile

Now it’s your turn! Give yourself a gift: create a reverse bucket list.  You’ll be surprised at the amazing things – big or small – that have happened during the journey that’s brought you to this moment.

I’d love to hear from you! What are some items you’d include on YOUR reverse bucket list?

Related articles:

Chimerikal: The Reverse Bucket List (where I learned about the concept in the first place!)

The Uncaged Life: The Reverse Bucket List

WiseBread: Reverse Bucket List – Look Back Before Looking Forward