My Reverse Bucket List for 2016

I kicked off the new year not with late night parties, sparkly dresses, and yummy foods, but curled up asleep in bed with a box of Kleenexes, a humidifier humming away, and a troublesome cold.

A virus was not in my plan for January 1st. I had carefully outlined a new morning routine, set out many tough goals for myself, and I was determined to make this year count. Yet here I am, ten days later, just getting over the sniffles. My sweet hubby has been making me meals, doing laundry, and bringing me anything my heart desires. What a guy. 😉

This time of year can be both inspiring and depressing for me: it is a time of reflection about bad habits, and new found determination. Regret and hope. As I looked over the past year I couldn’t help but wish that I had achieved a few more of my goals. When I wrote down my goals for this year I, also, felt burdened by wanting to accomplish all of the things.

Even less helpful is that everyone on the internet seems to be bemoaning 2016. Be it for political reasons, mourning celebrities who passed away or economic reasons there seems to be a trend of hatred for 2016.

However, I think we can all agree that some good things did happen this past year!

I want to encourage YOU to reflect on all the good things this year. What DID you accomplish? What goals did you meet? What unforeseen opportunities cropped up in your life?

A reverse bucket list is not a list of things to do, but of things already done. Instead of worrying about items we didn’t get done this year, let’s celebrate everything that did!

  1. I taught a dance number, and stage managed for my parent’s homeschool melodrama.

    My parents started a drama group for homeschoolers well over a decade ago. I made many of my best friends in this group, created life long memories, and fell in love with theatre. Since hubs and I live half an hour from my home town, I get to help out with the production each year! I love working with this sweet group of kids. dance

  2. We puppy-sat

    When my parents were out of state for a weekend hubs and I got to puppy-sit (we also chicken-sat, goose-sat, gerbil-sat, canary-sat, and more–but the puppy was the most memorable). They had just adopted Scout a few days before. Hubs and I had so much fun getting to know this little stinker, and sorely missed her when the weekend was over. IMG_20160618_134102888

  3.  I graduated college.

    My path to college had a rocky start. I went to school for a year, sat out of college for a year as I auditioned at dance programs, went to a few colleges in quick succession and pulled out, and then in one crazy moment of clarity drove back to the first college I went to and settled in for the next three years. College was filled with classes I loved, many different plays (usually more than one at a time), and professors I adored. I finished classes December of 2015, and walked in the spring ceremony in May of 2016. grad3

  4.  I fulfilled a childhood dream, and acted in a local melodrama with my sister.

    As a kid, I remember watching my aunt steal the show in a local melodrama group. It was always one of my dreams to act in that group myself, but then the director passed away, the group disbanded, and I mourned the loss of that dream. However, a few years ago, it started up again with a new director, and my sister acted in it in 2015! She asked me to audition in spring of 2016 and I was cast as Tai Pan (yes, I was Chinese!). We performed in over a dozen shows together. I loved the chance to get to know my sister better, and I always got goose bumps as we sang the curtain call song “Look for the Silver Lining”. It was the very song I  used to listen to my aunt sing as a little girl. cast

  5. We took Financial Peace University.

    Hubs and I went through FPU with a group of couples at our church, and I would highly recommend this course for any newlywed (or not so newlywed!). It really got us on the same page financially! We both found a desire to get out of debt, build up our savings, and grow a legacy so we could be a blessing to others. We haven’t been perfect, but we have started making a lot of positive changes in our finances since finishing the course.Start here

  6. We grew our first garden!

    Despite our initial tilling incident (read that story HERE), our garden went on to be such a source of joy in our relationship over the summer! We planted, watered, and harvested together. We enjoyed lettuces, kale (seen below), herbs, melons, squash, and much more from our little plot of land!IMG_8258.CR2

  7. We celebrated our first anniversary

    In July, we headed to Omaha for the weekend to celebrate our very first anniversary! We had a wonderful time sight seeing, eating out, and even going on a cruise on the riverfront. It was a great couple of days of relaxing and reflection over our first year together.IMG_7980 (2)

  8. I started working as an Adjunct at my Alma Mater

    Just a week before classes began, I was hired to teach three remedial courses! This job was such an unexpected blessing. I am about to start teaching my second semester of classes, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience! I have enjoyed getting to know students, navigating teaching, and being back on campus in this capacity.img_20160824_102238380

  9. Saia successfully completed his Senior Recital and graduated college!

    It hasn’t even sunk in yet that we are both done with college. In a whirlwind of printing programs, singing, and papers–Saia finished his Senior Recital, and graduated with a BA in Vocal Performance this past December. img_8916-cr2

Notable Mentions:

  • Saia started working as Assistant Coach for the wrestling program at our Alma Mater
  • We joined a small group
  •  I ran a 10K in 80 degree weather
  •  I got my wisdom teeth taken out
  • We followed the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) for two months
  • We road tripped to Texas four times
  • We went to our first Husker’s game as a couple
  • We bought our first Christmas tree
  • Saia sang a solo in choir
  • I quadrupled my views this year on Dandelion Pie

What are some fun things you did this year? I want to hear about them!

7 thoughts on “My Reverse Bucket List for 2016”

  1. Congratulations on both of you graduating! That’s huge and epic. I love your idea of doing a reverse bucket list! You’re absolutely right; so many amazing things happened over the course of 2016, and it’s important to think about them. God is so good!

  2. Both of you graduating college should definitely make 2016 a pretty good year in memories! That’s quite the achievement! Getting wisdom teeth taken out, however….having had that done, I don’t think I would ever consider that a highlight.
    I’m so glad we only get one set of 4 wisdom teeth, because I would not do that again.
    2016 is a complicated year for me to look back on. I’m very grateful for the good and the adventure that happened–but the best thing, finally getting pregnant, being so closely tied to the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through, losing the baby….makes it complicated. I’m grateful for the year but maybe don’t have the fondest feelings for this season of my life.

  3. This is such a fun idea! That’s so interesting about your parent’s homeschool melodrama. I would love to read more about your experiences and opinions with being homeschooled. I teach public school and being on the inside has made me really attracted to homeschooling.

    Love your list of positives from 2016. My biggest was of course having Declan. 🙂

    P.S. — we watched Moana at the drive-in movie theater the other night and thought of you. Lol, I reread your movie review after I watched it. (Although I fell asleep during the climax — but that’s because of new mommyhood and not the plot.)

  4. What I wonderful idea! I love the thought of looking back at things you are proud of or that were monumental for you to keep a good attitude if things aren’t going well with your new goals. It’s important to keep looking forward but your past is what made you who you are.

  5. So many wonderful years happened for you all this year! Congrats on both of the graduations. 🙂 I took the scenic route through college too. I think you learn more that way, lol.

    May 2017 treat you well and next year’s list be just as awesome.

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