A Midlife Bucket List

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I’m not going to live forever. You might be reading this and thinking “duh” but those six words are hard to type. Like many people, I don’t like to think about my own mortality. It’s funny how we’re so reluctant to think about death because nobody lives forever…unless you’re a Cullen.

[Tweet “Funny how we're so reluctant to think about death. No one lives forever unless you're a Cullen”]

The hubs and I just bought a new mattress. It’s the memory foam kind that comes with a 40 year warranty. Forty years. I’m 48. By the time I need a new mattress, I’ll be pushing 90 and most people would see that as a good run.

I’m not getting all morbid on you, people, but it occurred to me that there are things in life that I want to do that I haven’t done. Some people call it a bucket list. I’m sharing a few of those things with you here. For those of you who read regularly, my light-hearted and snarkaliscious writing will return. If you are new, trust me, I’m usually not this serious, but we all have our days.

What's on my bucket list|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals|Bucket list ideas|midlife|family ideas|

Before I die, I would like to…

Publish a book

I started blogging in order to build readership for a book about adoption that’s sort of living in my head. One of my big dreams is for that book to be published and for people to buy it. That would be awesome sauce. My work has been published in two anthologies but one day I'd like to write an entire book of my very own.

The links below take you to Amazon where you can buy the books I've been in…there are some great deals for Kindle. If you'd like a hard copy, I can sell it to you directly at a discount…email me at rippedjeansandbifocalsblog@gmail.com for more info.

Only Trollops Shave Above the Knees – Lessons we learned from our mothers

Martinis and Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe and WTF

Run a marathon

I’ve run several half marathons but people, there is a huge difference between 13.1 and 26.2. I always say I have one marathon in me, just to cross it off the list and then I’d happily go back to the shorter distances. The furthest I’ve ever run is 13.1 miles. Not 13.2. I need to find a nice flat springtime race and just go for it.

Run a bed & breakfast

The hubs and I talk about buying property in the upper peninsula of Michigan and running a B & B up there. We've bought some fun things on our travels that would make for an interesting little inn.  Plus, I am surprisingly domestic and I just think that would be fun.

Grow something and eat it

My domesticity doesn't extend to gardening.  I’ve never been good with plants or had a garden. I’m not sure why I have set this as a goal, other than homegrown tomatoes taste better than grocery store tomatoes. You might ask “how hard could that be” but you haven’t seen what I did to my last petunia plant. It wasn’t pretty…it was traumatizing, for both the petunias and me…


Learn to dance

The booty shaking shuffle I do after a couple glasses of wine? I’m not sure if we can call that dancing. My daughter insists it’s embarrassing, which kind of makes it more fun for me, but I would like to get better at it. I’m not sure why. The look of horror on hubs’ face when I suggest going out dancing tells me it’s not a skill I would get to put in to practice often.

[Tweet “My dancing embarrasses my kids which pretty much makes it more fun for me. #motherhood”]


Go someplace really exotic

If I could travel anywhere, I’d go to Easter Island, Chile or North Korea. I know, I’m weird. From a sociological perspective, I find North Korea fascinating, even though the chances of my actually ever going there are pretty skinny.

Start a nonprofit

I made a business plan for a foundation that would provide grants to military families  who want to adopt. Adoption is cost prohibitive for many families and  and I’d like to be a part of something that makes it easier for “average joes” to afford.

Meet my sons’ birth mothers

I know this isn’t likely to happen but it’s something I wish for just the same. My kids are from China and their birth mothers left them at an early age. We don’t know their birth stories. We don’t know medical histories. We don’t know the answers to the questions our kids are going to have later on. If I could have any wish granted (other than wild success and eternal svelteness) it would be to meet these women.

Go gray

I haven’t seen my natural hair color (except for a half inch of root that shows before I run for the box of Nice n’ Easy) since 2004. I was born blonde but I’ve worn it red since I was 19 (which was exactly a long effing time ago) but as the years have gone by, I know it’s probably mostly gray. I’d love to be one of those women with fabulous silver hair. Maybe I am…I haven’t been brave enough to take the plunge and ditch the box color.


Be secure with my body

I’m not sure if this involves losing some weight and/or toning my tummy or just learning to be kinder to myself, but I’d like to get to the place where I’m not obsessively pinching an inch or looking in mirrors. I think it’s a balance between improving myself and knowing when to accept myself.

So, there you go. My bucket list is pretty simple. I’m not that complicated of a person and with the exception of meeting the birth mothers, these are things that are in my reach. Well…maybe not the tomatoes. I really do suck at gardening.

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  1. If it weren’t for all the work my husband did, we wouldn’t have our homegrown tomatoes!
    Have you thought about doing Airbnb? It will give you a taste into what running a B&B was like. Before I had the baby my husband and I rented out our spare room through it for a year. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun and we met some pretty interesting people from all over the world!

    1. I bet! We’ve stayed in several B&Bs and always meet fun people. And we always say “we could do it better than this.” Maybe one of these days!

  2. That is a fabulous list! I love your idea for a nonprofit – what a wonderful thing that would be to do for others. My husband is adopted (not from China, though) and he has no desire to meet his birth mom, but her would love to know medical history. Oh, & I can’t grow anything, either. I I look at plants sideways, they die!

  3. What a great list! You’ve obviously given it lots of thought. I share quite a few of the same and if you ever get that B&B started in upper Michigan give me a yell that’s one of my most favorite places to visit!

  4. That’s a really good list … I hope you manage to achieve everything.

    I’ve already completed my ‘grow something to eat’ target – this year, for the first time, I grew strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and courgettes. I’d recommend trying raspberries – they were really easy and produce plenty of fruit even though I kept forgetting to water them!!

  5. I LOVE your list!!

    I stopped dying my hair about a year ago. It’s got some lovely highlights now. That’s what I am calling the gray. Highlights.

    I actually don’t mind it. I kind of dig my new streaks.

  6. Eek, the phrase “bucket list” automatically makes me think of death. I think I’ll call mine “life goals”. And then I’ll steal some of your ideas, because this is by far the best list I’ve read. You’ve listed so many things that will make you grow as a person and enhance the quality of your life. It’s inspiring.

  7. Oh, that Cullen quote just made me laugh, so of course I had to tweet it!

    I love the UP, and would stay in your B&B for sure!

    We grew some awesome tomatoes this summer, but if I didn’t pick them fast enough, the squirrels ate them. I really wanted to shoot some squirrels by the end of the summer.

  8. Pardon, but were we separated at birth? All of those things are on my list as well. I’ve accomplished a few of them already. Here’s hoping for you. Being a stay at home mom is a wonderful thing. I highly recommend it!

  9. Love it! I have a bucket list that I repurpose every year, as it’s a dynamic thing. A few things are a constant: write a best seller, be network studio host, live abroad for a year, rock a bikini. Still working on all of the above. 🙂

  10. WOW…this is a great list! I love running 1/2 marathons, but have no desire to run a full, so you can tell me all about it. Yes to growing your own foods and traveling to someplace exotic. Someday I would love to go to Bora Bora! 🙂

  11. I LOVE this bucket list Jill!!! And guess what? I do ‘nice n easy’ TOOOOO!!!!! Oh yeah baby!!!

    I think my favorite one of these is your wish to meet the birth mothers of your babes… It made me tear up thinking about it… I wish that too, for their sake- for understanding.

    But I truly believe God hand picked YOU to be their mother… I always tell my adoptive kids (church or class when I taught etc.) that they are the EXTRA special ones, because God went out of his way to make sure they have a parent that would do ANYTHING to have them… hand picked… literally ‘chosen’.

    extra. special.

  12. I’ve never given a bucket list much thought. You have a great mix of goals here, Jill – I hope you get to achieve them all. And while she’s of the older generation, my mom finally stopped coloring her hair and let it go gray. She was surprised to find that it’s salt and pepper – it’s always been reddish-brown. She loves it, and my mom has never loved her hair.