June 7, 2016: A Reverse Bucket List

I have a bucket list pages long, and I love to mark things off that list. Which also means I have seen and done some amazing things in my life. A reverse bucket list is like a reflection of those moments in life that changed you. So here’s my Reverse Bucket List. 

  •  Lived in rural America – If you’ve never done it, you should! There’s something amazing about “country folks”. They just do life differently. They love the land and the people of their communities like nowhere else I’ve ever been. Being a country kid taught me to respect the land, to appreciate my food, and to love thunderstorms, tornadoes, a star lit sky, sunrises and sunsets, and silence. 
  • Lived in a big city – If you’ve never done it, you should! City life is more convenient on occasion and full of amazing opportunities the country can’t offer. I’ve been exposed to so much more culture and believe it or not, there really are a lot of amazing people in the city too. And traffic has taught me to be more patient and kind. 
  • Got married – Marriage has shown me I have so many weaknesses. Thankfully, Jon covers most of those up with his strengths. It’s taught me that marriage isn’t 50/50 but 100/100 and some days when one fails the other has to carry their weight. Not easy but so worth it! 
  • Lived near a beach – I once lived less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean and spent an entire summer less than ten minutes away. The ocean proves there is such a thing as powerful grace and noisy calmness. I really am an islander at heart too.
  • Played college basketball – oh, how humble I became, how my eyes were opened to a variety of life styles I knew very little about. Oh, the lessons taught with a ball beneath my hand were many. 
  • Lived in multiple states – moving alone teaches us lessons. Move 13 times in 9 years, and I learned we hold on to so much stuff we don’t use and we don’t need. There was a time Jon & I said we could pack up all we owned and move in less than 24 hours. I don’t know why I couldn’t hold on to that less is more concept though. I’ve managed to collect so much stuff over the years that I don’t use or need. Maybe we need to return to moving all the time, so I won’t have so much stuff. 🙂
  • Live in poverty – I know it’s a strange thing to be on a bucket list, but there’s a lot to be learned by going without. I learned no matter how poor you are, you always have something to give. The poorer we are the richer we seem to be when it comes to giving too. I will never understand that. I also learned many of the things we all believe we need are merely wants and make things more convenient but aren’t really required for living. 
  • Travel the United States – I love to travel. I’d love to travel the world some day, but the truth is the United States offers so many amazing places that I’m okay with traveling all over this great country too. I’ve learned I hate to travel from point A to point B. I want to meander through the countryside. I like to stop at the touristy spots including the weird stuff. I also like to go off the beaten path and find those places only the locals seem to know about. Traveling reminds me I’m just a tiny spot in this world, and that every place in the world has something amazing to offer. 
  • Lost a parent. My mom would always tell us stories about her own mom. She wanted us to know her even though we didn’t. Losing my daddy taught me why that was so important to her, and why I tell my children stories of a man they won’t know this side of heaven. 
  • Love someone else’s children with your entire being – I married a man and two daughters. They all became a piece of my heart and soul that day. I love those girls as though they have always been mine. I’ve learned it is possible to love your husband’s ex wife and ex inlaws. It’s awesome to have a family that is connected by love and not just DNA. 
  • Lost a baby. If Jon and I wouldn’t have lost a baby, I don’t think there would have ever been a K’Lee and a JT. I was content with our family of four and okay with not having a baby of my own until I lost our first baby. Now, I can’t image life without my two bundle of joys! I’m thankful for every memory. 
  • Had a pet I loved like a child. My sweet Morgan. I bought her for Jonathan, but he traveled for work, so she became mine. She was 120 pounds of gentle giant. She thought she was a lap dog one minute and would turn into top notch guard dog the next. She took great care of me and my babies while we were traveling thousands of miles and while home alone. I miss that dog like crazy!
  • Write a novel. I written several. Shared a few. Published none. I hate to revise and edit. I’ve learned the process is sometimes more rewarding than the recognition. To take your imagination and have it play out like real life with every element of fiction at your disposal is more challenging than one would expect. It’s as fun as it is frustrating. 
  • Run a half marathon with 25+ obstacles thrown in just for fun or in my case to break up the boredom of running nearly 13 miles. I learned more about life training and running Tough Mudder than I probably have doing anything else in my life. Hard work, determination, love, laughter, teamwork, pure grit, and will power will help you get through about anything. 
  • Survived breast cancer. Breast cancer taught me more about God than anything I’ve ever been through before. I’d always believed in God, but at no other time in my life did I truly live off my faith in Him and His promises. Believing in God is quite simple. Having faith in Him is quite different, but the reward is a peace there are no words in any language on earth that can explain it adequately. Cancer also taught me about people and the things I valued that I shouldn’t have because the truth is when you are faced with death a lot of things you thought were important really aren’t. 


There are many more moments of greatness in my life, but these things help explain who I am and why I do life the way I do. 


About courage2conquercancer

At the age of 40, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is an account of my journey from my discovery and beyond.
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