What is on your list?


I love creating lists in the first place and I love crossing items off as they are accomplished. I’ve even been known to put tasks on a list that I’ve already completed just so I could check them off.

There is a list that has been floating around the interwebs that appears to be somewhere between a bucket list and a “done it” list. The items listed are a combination of places to visit and experiences to have, with a few things we may have done when we were younger (skipped school, played cops and robbers) mixed in for good measure.

When I first saw this list on Denise’s blog My Life in Retirement, I was curious to see how my check marks would compare to hers. If you are a list devotee like I am, you might also want to see how many items on the list you have done.

Although I checked off 45 out of 68, there are only around 9 of the remaining 23 that I either would like to do or have any hope of doing (travel to South America and scuba dive, for instance). As far as the other 14 are concerned, I either have no desire (get divorced or sing in church, for example) and/or certainly the time has passed (skipped school or have a child).

The list is by no means complete (Denise pointed out that “Visit Australia” wasn’t included – Been There for her, Not Yet for me), but I hope you’ll get the same feelings of satisfaction that I did as you check items off, and maybe you’ll be inspired to add a few others to your own To Do list.

(x) Shot a gun – once, which was enough
(x) Gone on a blind date – it was not a good experience…
(  ) Skipped school
(x) Watched someone die – my 92-year-old father; a horrible, profound and moving experience
(x) Visited Canada
(x) Visited Hawaii
(x) Visited Cuba
(x) Visited Europe
(  ) Visited South America – definitely on my list
(x) Visited Las Vegas
(  ) Visited Central America – also on my list
(  ) Visited Asia
(  ) Visited Africa – yep, on the list
(x) Visited Florida
(x) Visited Mexico
(x) Seen the Grand Canyon in person
(  ) Flown in a helicopter
(x) Served on a jury – several times, once as the foreman
(x) Been lost – as a child at Knott’s Berry Farm; found by an “Indian” (does that count?)
(x) Traveled to the opposite side of the country – a few times by plane, once on a road trip with a girlfriend
(x) Visited Washington, DC

(x) Swam in the ocean – not a big accomplishment, I live in Southern California
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
(x) Played cops and robbers – I had two older brothers, one who became a real cop later on
(x) Played cowboys and Indians – ditto (except neither of my brothers became a cowboy or an Indian)
(  ) Recently colored with crayons
(  ) Sang karaoke
(  ) Sang a solo or duet in church
(x) Paid for a meal with coins only – not a big meal, but a meal nonetheless

(x) Made prank phone calls – oh my god, we thought we were so funny!
(x) Laughed until some beverage came out of your nose
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(  ) Had a child
(x) Had a pet
(x) Been skinny-dipping
(x) Been fishing
(x) Been boating
(x) Been downhill skiing
(x) Been water skiing
(  ) Been camping in a trailer/RV

(x) Been camping in a tent
(x) Driven a motorcycle
(  ) Been bungee-jumping
(x) Gone to a drive-in movie
(x) Done something that could have killed you
(  ) Done something that you will regret for the rest of your life – isn’t it the things not done that we regret?
(  ) Rode an elephant
(  ) Rode a camel
(  ) Eaten just cookies or cake or ice cream for dinner – popcorn, yes
(x) Been on TV
(  ) Stolen any traffic signs
(x) Been in a car accident – not my fault… either time
(  ) Been in the hospital in past 24 months
(  ) Donated blood
(  ) Gotten a speeding or any other type of ticket in the past 12 months
(x) Gotten a piercing (ears count)
(x) Gotten a Tattoo – a radiation tattoo… not that fun
(x) Driven a manual transmission vehicle
(  ) Ever owned your dream car I don’t really have a “dream car”
(x) Been married
(  ) Been divorced
(x) Fell in love
(x) Fell out of love
(x) Paid for a stranger’s meal
(x) Driven over 120 mph – 150 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats: I’m not sure if it counts since my husband was at the wheel
(  ) Been scuba diving –  sadly only snorkeling, but it was wonderful!

(x) Written a published book/story/poetry
(x) Eaten snails – “eaten” may be overstating it – I could only manage a small bite

Author: Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

29 thoughts on “What is on your list?”

  1. Your first two sentences describe me perfectly! I could have written them myself. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who adds already completed items to my lists just so I can cross them off! 🙂

    1. I made a ton of lists at work and often started off with two or three already done projects or easy to complete and check off items. It made me feel like I accomplished something and encouraged me to continue down the list. Isn’t self-delusion grand?!

  2. There are some very interesting items on that list, it’s a fascinating peek into someone else’s dreams and wishes! My lists are a little more mundane…tasks at work, projects at home… guess I should expand my horizons a bit more!!

    1. Work lists and home project lists are great, but I think a true dream list (like traveling to Paris, perhaps?) is good to have too. As I read the blogs of some world travelers I follow, my destination dream list keeps getting longer!

  3. I love Bullet Journaling and my Midori Travelers Notebook for my lists. I saw that list and never filled it out because I thought a lot of the stuff was boring too:) I have a Pinterest Bucket List/Done List.

    1. I’m going to have to look up Bullet Journaling and Midori Travelers Notebook. I’m not sure I’d label some of the items as boring, just maybe not what I’d consider life altering or things to aspire to.

  4. Great list, Janis! I haven’t (yet) visited Cuba, South America, Central America, Africa or the Grand Canyon. I haven’t flown in an helicopter or served on jury duty. Mark me down for everything else (many of those items more than once)!

    1. I don’t know whether to be more impressed that you’ve apparently stolen a traffic sign or have eaten just cookies, cake or ice cream for dinner! I like the idea of flying in a helicopter, but – like bungee jumping – I may be too chicken to actually do it.

  5. Fun post, Janis! I’ve been keeping lists all my life. Once I retired, I found that keeping my bucket list helped me focus on what was most important and prevented squandering my time.

  6. This is a great list! My biggest problem is that I literally can’t remember whether or not I’ve done some of these!! Blind date, uh, maybe? Done something that could get me killed? Quite possibly, in my college years, while following the Grateful Dead all over the place. But can’t pinpoint a specific action. I just harbor a vague suspicion that something could have gone wrong…

    1. The only reason I remember the blind date (30+ years ago) was because it was so danged uncomfortable. I was thinking when I read “something that could have killed you” that just getting in a car and driving in Southern California traffic would probably qualify, but driving at 150 mph on the Salt Flats was truly both stupid and exhilarating… and potentially deadly.

  7. First of all I love the name of your blog. Second I too am a list person. You are living the dream and checking items off of your list. Keep it up. I am looking forward to following your challenge.

    1. Thank you and thank you for the follow! My husband and I are trying to focus on getting better organized in our retirement – and checking things off the list – so I’m headed over to your blog to check it out.

  8. I LOVE lists. I have lists everywhere and for everything. And yes, I went through this list… only 40 items checked off. Some are on my current possibilities list (Africa, RV!) and some are new things I might add – fly in a helicopter, publish something. It’s an interesting list, like you said – because some I just would never want to do (divorce? steal a traffic sign?) or are just in the past (had a child). The time frames are quite odd as well – been in hospital in past 24 months?

    There was a team building game we used to “play” where you had to say something unusual about yourself and see how many other people had the same thing – like speak Spanish fluently (not me) or been to the Great Wall of China (yup). That was actually fun and I wish I had kept some of those things written down – now that would be a great list to have!

    1. I was happy not to check off the hospital one, the one about not getting a ticket, and especially the one about having a divorce… yikes! My only problem with lists is that I have them all over everywhere… I need a list to help me keep track of them! I know a lot of people keep them on their smart phones, but I’m hopelessly paper-based.

  9. I’d seen this list also – can’t quite remember where (maybe lists would help me remember things?) I used to enjoy crossing off accomplishments, and I love the idea of knowing what needs to be done in a day and then doing it. But, I have to say that I’ve gotten away from making lists since retirement, and can’t quite figure why. Maybe it gives me a false sense of freedom. …I think I feel the need for a list creeping into my day …

    1. I don’t think I could remember To Dos as well without lists… and these are the sort of things that creep into my thoughts at 3 am. Did I do…? Don’t forget to… At least when I write things down, I have a physical reminder.

  10. I’m a list maker. I think I update my ongoing “to do” list every morning. My big “to do” items are pretty clear in my mind, and it’s not a long list. My to-read list is long and my to-visit list is enormous. I doubt if I will live long enough to get to all the places I hope to visit.

    1. You are right… different lists for different reasons. I think my To Do, To Read, and To Visit lists are sized similarly to yours. Then, of course there are the ancillary lists like To Pack, To Plant, To Research, etc.

  11. I love lists as well, especially the marking off part. As a matter of fact, I just created a new “to do” list for this week. I used to make a daily one, but I would always put way too many things on it that it would take me a week to finish everything anyway.

  12. An interesting list, but some items aren’t exactly something I would want – like a hospital visit.

    I’m a list person too and I couldn’t resist tallying my score … I haven’t done 17 of them, but one – visiting Asia – will be checked off by the end of the year.

    Surprisingly, I haven’t done some ‘normal’ things – like downhill skiing – yet I’ve scuba dived on the Great Barrier Reef, driven a Formula One race car, jumped from an airplane in a 1 mile free-fall, and climbed Kilimanjaro.

    I hope I have many more years of adventure ahead of me 🙂

    1. I thought it was kind of an odd mish-mash list too. Lots of things that are positive experiences, but a few that I’d rather avoid. It sounds like you could come up with your own list that would be full of unique experiences and inspiring to dos. Here’s to many, many more years of adventures!

      1. We all have our own sense of adventure and as long as we follow it rather than just thinking about it, life will be interesting 🙂

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