The Bucket List

May 27, 2008
By Taylor Glassmann, Palatine, IL

The Bucket List

I am suspended hundreds of feet above the ocean, rocking back and forth while laughing, screaming, and singing with my brother and sister as the salty air rushes into my lungs and my feet dangle and swing. While this adventure of parasailing may be your typical vacation excursion, this memory means so much more than just something you tell your friends about when you get back from spring break. And that is because it was life goal #51 on my “bucket list“.

When I started 8th grade, I created a bucket list, a list of 65 things I want to do before I “kick the bucket“. As an idea from my friend, I thought a bucket list would be a great thing to make sure I experience everything I want to do and not regret later in life that I worked too much or got too busy to make memories I want to have. Some of my life goals are easier than others, but they are all things I have always wanted to do. This list will most likely take my entire life to complete, but I’m in no rush to get these things done. Each item is special in some way or another, and I want to make sure to soak up the moments that come along with each completion. Every time I complete a goal, I highlight it on my list and put a memento from the adventure in a box, whether it be a ticket stub, picture, or program. Eventually, when I have enough items in the box, I am going to start a scrapbook so I can look back on the wonderful moments I have experienced.

The first goal I completed was to make varsity basketball at Fremd. I completed this on November 1st, 2006. This is definitely the goal I have had to work the hardest to accomplish, but it is truly all worth it. My first season on Vvarsity, my Freshman year, I was able to meet a group of girls that have forever changed me… especially the seniors who made my first season what it was. They taught me how to work hard and be a leader, as well as taking care of me, teaching me the “rules“ of high school. I became a better person through getting to know them and I made memories that will last me a lifetime. I got to be a part of bus rides full of singing and yelling on nights we had victories, and bus rides that were silent with tension in the air on nights we lost. Through it all we remained a close group of teammates, sharing more laughs than I can count. I was dubbed “the little Froshie” and each girl took me under their wing off the court, but pushed me to be the best player I could be when I was on the floor. I still keep in touch with them after they have gone to college, sending texts and Facebook messages back-and-forth, telling each other about our lives and meeting up whenever they come home. I am blessed to have the opportunity to get to share three more seasons with another team and the memories made while on Varsity basketball will be things I will be reminiscing about with my grandchildren.

Another life goal I have completed was to do a mission trip out of the country. This is the most life-changing goal, as it completely altered the way I look at my everyday life. The mission trip took me to the Dominican Republic, where I spent 7 days with some of the greatest people in the world, the children and teenagers of Santo Domingo. Although these kids are lucky if they even get one meal a day, they are the happiest and most loving people I have ever met. As opposed to Americans, who never seem to be satisfied materialistically, they appreciate the people in their life, not the material items. They taught me how to love unconditionally and never take a day for granted. The group of girls I spent most of my time with also showed me what it looked like to have an unwavering faith in Christ. Although they could be worrying about if they will have food tonight, if their parents can find work, or if they will be able to go to school, they instead put their trust in God. The moments and discussions I had with those girls are ones that I look back on often and try to model my life after. On my last day in the Dominican, about six of the girls who I had worked with during my week tracked me down, each with bags in their hands. In the bags were letters they had written to me in their best English, each containing a special item. Some of these items were a hair clip, sticker, or pencil. While it wasn’t Tiffany necklaces, a gift we teens in America see fit, these presents came straight from the heart and actually meant a lot to the person who gave them. One girl in particular gave me a letter along with a gold medal she received when she was playing basketball in 8th grade. She explained that she won this when playing up with older girls and it meant a lot to her, but she wanted me to have it. In her letter, which I find myself reading often, she told me to have cement faith in God, love others, and work hard. Although they appear to be simple truths… the things she wrote and the sense of community that each Dominican had is something that will stay with me always as I travel through the crazy temptations and realities of high school.

Not all of the items on my life goals list have sentimental value… some are just for pure fun. One goal I have completed was to be a member in a studio audience. I am lucky enough to have a best friend whose aunt works for NBC and she got us “gold star” tickets to Wheel of Fortune. We sat 3 rows back, could see every sparkle on Vanna White’s dress and got to yell “Wheel of Fortune!”. Being some of the only teenagers in the audience, we used it to our advantage… flirting with camera men to film us laughing at one of Pat’s jokes or being bewildered by one of the puzzles. Not only was it cool to see how TV game shows are filmed, but I made a great memory that night, laughing until my stomach hurt, with the people that I value in life.

I would probably live a good life even if I never visit all fifty states, get my boating license, wake up early to see the sun rise, travel to Africa, or climb a mountain in Colorado. But life is about living it to the fullest with the time you have, while loving God, helping people, laughing a lot, learning, and making memories that truly last a lifetime. I hope to do all those things as I highlight fifty-nine more goals on my list. One of my mom’s favorite things to say is Carpe Diem, meaning seize the day. I guess that is the ultimate bucket list item… to seize everyday, because, as William Ross Wallace once said: “Every man dies- not every man really lives.”

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!