In My Head/Heart

My (Un)Bucket List

You’ve heard of the proverbial Bucket List – you may even have one of your own.  I think most do or, at the very least, a wish list of sorts with all the wonderful things they would like to accomplish/experience in this lifetime.  I, on the other hand, do not.  Sure, there are many things I would like to do, but I find them to be fluid and as changeable as I am. 

Instead, it’s easier for me to make a list of those things I WON’T do – my UnBucket List!  For the record, I’ve learned that it’s best to never say never with regard to just about everything, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s exceedingly and decidedly improbable that any of the following will ever occur while I live and breathe.


I am claustrophobic – as in extremely claustrophobic – as in “I have serious nightmares about finding myself in confined, diminished spaces and wake up in a sweaty panic” kind of claustrophobic.  You know that clip in the animated Grinch movie when he gets stuck just for a second while coming down the chimney?  UGH!!  I can’t even be in a windowless room without the door propped open or I feel like I can barely breathe!  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve actually been in caves, but only those that have large, cathedral-like spaces and nary a confined pathway or passage to be found.

And then there’s that breed of folk who take spelunking to another level altogether – cave diving!! 

What the…?!?!?!?

Mountain/Rock Climbing 

Heights are an issue for me, but heights that involve sheer cliffs and a reliance on cables, pitons, and carabiners take my fear into an alternate universe.  I don’t “get” the adrenaline rush that those who partake of this activity experience and I don’t want to.  Geez, I don’t even like ferris wheels!

And, as if this category isn’t terrifying enough, it has an optional element that’s a thousand times worse (if that’s even possible) – a sub-category, if you will.   Portaledging or cliff camping!  NOPE!  NOPE!!  NOPE!!!!!!  Have you SEEN this stuff?  I get ill just looking at the pictures!

photo by Gordon Wiltsie — National Geographic


I don’t like bears.  Yes, I find them fascinating from a biological perspective and I love to study zoology, botany, and all things environmental.  I can sit for hours observing, photographing, recording – I come from generations of folk who take the study and conservation of our earth very seriously.  So why the fear of bears?  I’m truly not sure.  I can’t really say that I have cause.  Well, okay, there was this once – about 34 years ago – in a campground – in the middle of the night – multiple bears – pregnant with my first child…  So, much as I would love to, I will never hike or camp out in Yellowstone.

Bungee Jumping

There are two reasons I will never do this.  One, I am no longer at an age where this makes sense. (is there such an age)  Two, I am no longer at a weight where there is a bungee thus far developed that wouldn’t snap at its furthest extension, recoil back, and create a direct passage all the way to China.


Sorry, but this is just underwater spelunking in a nuclear vessel.  Still a nope.  (hats off to the United States Navy, though)

Drunkenness  (including any and all mind-altering substances) 

Okay, so this is a state of being as opposed to an activity.  However, it requires an activity (choice) to achieve said state and so I’ve included it.  Here’s the thing.  I’m a nerd.  I’ve always been a nerd and, it’s probably safe to say that, at this stage of my existence, I’ll always be a nerd.  And you know what?  I’m okay with that and those who love me most are okay with it too.  I don’t need to alter my mind in any way in order to enjoy this life so I think alcohol (or the lack thereof) has a place on my UnBucket List.


OMG!!!  They are far too big to step on and did you know they have FANGS??

Sky Diving 

Sigh…  A plane with the side doors hanging wide open.  Roughly 12,000 feet above the planet’s surface.  The earth rushing toward you at a rate anywhere between 120 to 180 mph.  Dangling helplessly from a harness attached to a flimsy, manually folded piece of nylon.  Your stomach, your heart, and your sphincter muscles all doing things not intended by nature.   What’s not to love about that?

Tongue Piercing

Yeah, whatever…


I love the ocean!  I love the sound of crashing waves, the smell of salt air, the mystery and might.  I think that marine biology must be one of the most fascinating, rewarding fields of study ever and I can only imagine the thrill and wonder of exploring a coral reef or swimming alongside a sea turtle or having the privilege of placing my hand on a humpback whale!  These are all things I would give my eye teeth to experience, BUT I guess they will never happen, because this old gal won’t go into the ocean beyond her knees – and all because of SHARKS!!!  Comes the day when I can be guaranteed the experience without even the remotest (is that even a word??) possibility of a shark within a 100-mile perimeter, I and Jacques Cousteau will be as one.

So, there it is – my UnBucket List – in no particular order. 

I’ve wondered from time to time if my lack of daring limits my existence – if I’m missing out on “living life to its fullest.”  I don’t think so.  Adventure, like caution, is relative and I challenge myself in different ways.  Your daring and my daring may be miles apart on the adventure scale, but they are both daring just the same.  After all, wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all found excitement in the same things?  I mean, can you just imagine a world filled with nothing but inebriated spelunking, bungee jumping, tarantula-loving people… with pierced tongues?

Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Courageous — Joshua 1:9

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