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The Reverse Bucket List

The Reverse Bucket List

I’ve been reading about the concept of the Reverse Bucket List. A Reverse Bucket List is basically a collection of your greatest hits and memories to serve the purpose of alleviating any stress your future Bucket List might hold. Essentially, you will be encouraged and inspired to keep chipping away at your dreams when you look at all the items you’ve already checked off your list. CHECK IT OUT! LOOK AT ALL I’VE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED! YAY ME!!!

I LOVE THIS! Whether we’ve written things down in a tangible, readable, remindable Bucket List or just have dreams of things we’d love to do before we expire… most of us probably have some version of a Bucket List.

One major item on my Bucket List for the past 30 years has been to produce an Urban Nutcracker. I always felt it would be something I’d tackle after I retired from coaching… when I “had more time.” When I got diagnosed with breast cancer, all of that changed. First of all (as I’ve written in a previous musing) we all have an expiration date, we just don’t know when it is. When I got hit with the knowledge I had a possibly fatal disease the timeline for my Bucket List immediately got a lot closer.

The amazing part was once I decided to chip away at my bucket list, I miraculously found the time to put a few hours a day into my projects. Time that I was convinced I wouldn’t have until I retired. (For more on this discussion see the musing on expiration date.)

The only negative of a bucket list is the pressure to have to complete everything on the list before we die. Since I don’t know when that might be—nobody does—I’m finding that I’m living in high gear and with purpose every hour of every day until I go to sleep; then I wake up and start all over again chip, chip, chipping away.

This intention to completion can be overwhelming and at times exhausting. Enter the concept of crafting of a Reverse Bucket List.

In writing my Reverse Bucket List (RBL) I chose to not include things I purposefully hadn’t set out to accomplish. For example, getting into the UCLA Hall of Fame wasn’t something I aspired to, so it doesn’t get a place on my RBL.

With that said, here are some honorable mentions on my RBL:

1. Marry someone whom I have immense respect and deep love for. Someone who is kind, humble, and has unwavering character and integrity. And someone who makes me laugh. Bobby Field ?
2. Only accept work that makes me feel like I’m contributing positively to our world.
3. Figure out what I’ll enjoy consistently doing that will keep my mind and body strong, flexible and healthy. Pilates ??
4. Keep hitting the refresh button in getting my Urban Nutcracker produced.
Completed Treatment ✅
Get script written ✅
Meet with every producer, director and/or agent that will listen to my pitch ✅
(BTW – the infamous Michael Ovitz told me it was a “brilliant” idea.) ?

These are just a few of the items on my Reverse Bucket List. I encourage you to celebrate YOU and write out your own. You’ll be amazed at all of the wonderful things you’ve already accomplished that you set out to do years ago. And then, if you so choose, you can pull out your traditional Bucket List and pick a new goal… then take one step toward achieving that goal knowing you’ve got what it takes to get it done. Whenever you need inspiration, view your Reverse Bucket List for the reminder of just how capable you are.

I don’t know about you, but this is so much fun. I’ve literally been smiling writing this musing. YAY US!!! Please do share some of your RBL’s that make you smile the most!

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6 years ago

Would your Urban Nutcracker be something along the lines of The Hip Hop Nutcracker?


6 years ago

I went back to get my Master’s Degree when I was in my late fifties! It was something I wanted to do for decades. I woke up one morning and just decided to go for it! I’m so glad I did. Yay me! ? That’s in my RBL for sure. Thanks, Miss Val!