Reverse Bucket List
Ah, yet another idea borrowed from a fellow blogger! I saw this post the other day about a Reverse Bucket List. The author was listing cool things they had done that they hardly remember. I thought this was a great idea for a post. Now, I do remember most of these events, but the “reverse bucket list” is a great way to remember your life and things that really made a big impression on you. It fits in well with the Thanksgiving holiday that is coming up as well. These are some cool things I have done for which I am grateful.
- Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower: I went to Paris on a senior trip in high school. I suppose this counts as one of those things I hardly remember, as it was about 4,000 years ago. We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and viewed the city from that vantage point. It was pretty fantastic. And on the way down, we ate lunch at a restaurant which was far too fancy for my income level…”Jules Verne”. It was half-way up the tower, so you got an amazing view with an amazing meal. What stuck most in my 17-year-old mind was that there was a special waiter for everything. There was a water waiter, a bread waiter, a cheese course waiter. I felt very spoiled.
- Making gargoyle faces atop Notre Dame: This one is a sequel to #1. On the same Paris trip, we trudged our sorry behinds up some extremely steep, extremely narrow ancient stairs and went outside near the top of the Notre Dame cathedral. There really are gargoyles up there. I have some hilarious photos of my friends and I standing next to the gargoyles and attempting to make the same faces.
- Seeing my son sing with Josh Groban: This event was absolutely surreal. My son, Man Child, belongs to his college choir. Several of the members of the choir were chosen to sing as backup vocalists for Josh Groban when he came to town. Apparently Josh Groban does this in every city he tours in. What an awesome way to give an unforgettable moment to local musicians and vocalists. I am now a huge Josh Groban fan. Man Child got to sing on stage at the stadium that normally houses our NBA basketball team. And he completely nailed it! Totally unfazed by the 20,000 screaming fans, my wonderful boy sang his heart out and had a smile on his face like you would not believe. Josh Groban wasn’t half bad himself 🙂 It was a total mom moment that I will treasure always!
- The one time I completely nailed a performance: I am a pianist. With horrifying stage fright. (I would have melted down completely if I had to perform for 20,000 people!!) My hands shake, which makes for some pretty bad public playing, despite the fact that I actually am pretty darned good. I can think of three times in my life when I really played to my own satisfaction. The first one was my last piano recital as a high school student. My piano teacher was retiring. I was “retiring” from lessons. And I played really well. I was so happy to have made my teacher proud on my last performance. The second was a recital I played as an adult. A very difficult Haydn sonata. And the third was a time I played Debussy’s Prelude from the Suite Bergamasque at church. This one I really nailed. It was perfect, and I was able to play it in church with my dear friends and family watching. It was a good moment.
- Being civilly disobedient: My aunt was a totally kick-ass woman who was one of my heroes growing up, and definitely the source of my crazy left-wing politics today. She was a tiny thing who never turned down an opportunity to fight for social justice and human rights. When I was a teen, back in the days of “we could be bombed by Russia at any time” thinking, my aunt led the fight against nuclear arms. She did things like travel to the Soviet Union and
smuggle thoughtfully pack many needed and difficult to obtain items for fellow Christians living there. Yes, my aunt could easily have been sent off to a Siberian prison 🙂 She went into East Germany in the days before the fall of the Berlin wall and brought her message of peace. Very. Cool. Lady. So, when she took me “on vacation”, it was to Washington, D.C., to (what else) join in a protest. We circled the capitol, marching and chanting for nuclear disarmament. We got into trouble for blocking traffic. I didn’t see a lot of “the sights”, but that weekend left quite an impression on me.
- Getting a master’s degree while 9 months pregnant: I have no idea what I was thinking, but I decided I needed a Master’s Degree while I had a toddler toddling around the house. Then, I became pregnant smack dab in the middle of the whole thing. When it came time for the daunting task of writing my thesis, I was in my third trimester. Excellent planning, Aimee!! My practicum (kind of a mini-student teaching experience) was done in my last month of pregnancy, in 98 degree sticky, humid weather, in an non-air-conditioned school. The question of the day was always, “Will Aimee give birth on the desks today??” Luckily, my university was only blocks away from my hospital. So I would stop at the library to get research materials, and bring them with me to every doctor’s appointment. Other moms were in the waiting room browsing through “Parents” magazine, I was highlighting journals and laying out piles of index cards. My doctor and I had many good discussions about my thesis topic, interspersed with pelvic exams. It made for a lively few months. The baby’s birth interrupted the writing process a tad. I had to get an extension, but I finished the thesis before Monkey Boy was a month old. I am crazy proud of this accomplishment, with an emphasis on the crazy part.
So there you go. Some of the highlights of my life. The good outweighs the bad by far. It is a list that I hope continues to grow as I age
reluctantly gracefully. In honor of Thanksgiving, try to remember the amazing things you have already done. Be thankful for them. What’s on your list??