Why did I create this list? Basically it was to expose myself to life changing experiences – for myself and to share with my husband. With chronic illness it’s so easy to focus on the pain or the fact that every day is never the same – there’s always a new symptom or a new worry that clutters our brain-fogged minds. It was also because I was afraid that I would look back when I was 30 and regret not doing anything when I had more energy. Showering can be a struggle at times, so if I’m going to put my current energy levels into something beneficial, it’s going to be in building memories or developing myself as a person.
This list is very important to me. It wasn’t long ago that I could see my chronic illness consuming my personality. With this list I wanted to get back to having fun, even if it was only for a few hours or for a day. In the years leading up to my diagnosis, I had begun withdrawing from activities and social events because of my exhaustion. My husband was a very vocal person and enjoyed being social but I noticed my behaviour had started rubbing off on him too. We would be in a social setting and I would watch him become increasingly reserved. He would cut conversations short and tell friends we would need to leave because our parking ticket was going to expire, or we had an appointment we had to get to. I hated that my inability to be social was ruining him too.
My reservations weren’t limited to strangers and friends. I even found myself withdrawing from activities with my husband. We live in a fairly cramped apartment and I worked in the CBD so I was constantly surrounded by a suffocating energy. My husband, thinking it would be a good idea to get out into the bush, would drive over an hour to get to the Blue Mountains for a small walk. When we arrived I would refuse to get out of the car. Although I felt fine when we left the house, when it came to actually getting out of the car, I felt too exhausted to move. The thought of walking anywhere was overwhelming. He would get upset with me because I refused to even “try” and do anything. We would spend the hour long trip back home in an angry silence.
As for holidays? They were out of the question. I didn’t want to go anywhere outside of my comfort zone, I wanted to go from work to home and that was it. I dreaded going to big shopping centres, restaurants or parks. I can only imagine what my husband was thinking. He probably assumed I was being difficult just for the sake of it. And back then, when I couldn’t explain my exhaustion, I almost thought the same too.
This list of course takes into consideration my chronic illness – so you won’t find any crazy bucket list ideas like skydiving, hot ballooning or swimming with sharks here. I’m pretty sure my heart is not stable enough to handle any of those activities haha!
I really wanted to put together a list that would be challenging but also rewarding. When I look back at the list, I’m hoping that these activities will mould me into someone more well rounded and confident. I want to create memories with my husband and family. Most days with chronic illness can be debilitating but it doesn’t mean we can’t have goals or enjoy life.
My “30 Things To Do Before Turning 30” Bucket List
- Take a honeymoon
- Go on a hike
- Visit 5 different museums
- Take a spontaneous weekend trip
- Ride on the top level of a double-decker bus
- Take a one-day bus tour
- Go on a picnic
- Make monthly date nights a habit
- Stick to an exercise plan (beginner pilates/weights to maintain muscle)
- Make pasta from scratch
- Take a class that will improve one of my skills
- Learn basic Spanish – enough to be able to maintain a conversation
- Read at least 50 books
- Experience one day of pampering (massage/manicure/pedicure)
- Host a dinner party for family/friends
- Start a scrapbook of mementos and souvenirs
- Have professional photos taken with my husband
- Work on a DIY home project
- Set up a home office
- Define my personal style
- Develop the art of self confidence
- Start a gratitude journal
- Write a 50,000 word novel
- Complete a 30 day challenge
- Start a holiday/anniversary tradition
- Own my own home
- Become debt free (not inclusive of any mortgages)
- Finish my university degree
- Find a career I love and that won’t result in a burn out
- Create a bucket list “40 things to do before turning 40”
I hope this encourages a few people to get out there and create their own bucket lists. I’d love to hear any ideas you’d note down on yours! If you have any to share, please feel free to in the comments below. This list doesn’t have to end at 30 things for me, so any new ideas from you all, are very welcome. As for the current list, I’ll make sure to keep you all updated when I achieve any of the above!