Posts filed under ‘Bucket List’

Follow Seven Principles to Make a Dream Doable

I am reading this book, finally after decades of it being on my to-read list. … I followed seven ideas to make this a reality.

Do you have a dream that you are actively achieving? Or, is the dream still in hibernation mode?

I am a bucket list maker. I have dreams in quite a few areas, including theological, cooking, and reading. I have things I want to do during specific seasons as in Summer. On my birthday, I write what I want to accomplish that birth year. I have more ideas than one person could complete in a lifetime. However, I am finally in pursuit of one dream that seemed impossible. At least it seemed impossible according to my original guidelines.

I began to learn Spanish when I lived in Puerto Rico for most of my middle school years. One of my teachers thrilled us with episodes from Don Quixote de la Mancha, to the extent I decided I wanted to read the 1,000-page book in Spanish. Even though I’ve had years of Spanish since then, my grasp of the Spanish is not yet advanced enough to read this adult classic (in Spanish).

“Mom,” my daughter said, “just because you used to know a lot of Spanish doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you can’t read Don Quixote in Spanish now.”

This year, my 60th year, I decided to lay aside unrealistic expectations and make Don Quixote (DQ) the classic book I conquer. And to make this doable, I will read it in English. (In past years, I’ve read, in English, Anna Karenina, The Imitation of Christ, Moby Dick, and War and Peace, to name a few.)

For several months, I rummaged through thrift store shelves and garage sale piles for my very own copy of this classic, Don Quixote de la Mancha. I finally found a two-inch thick, paperback, in pristine shape for $1.99. I love a good deal, especially when buying things I don’t need.

And besides the bargain, I could check Step 1 off my list – Buy the book.

For Step 2, I cracked open the book to the Table of Contents to figure out a reading schedule. I became immediately daunted. Oh, no. This print is too small for me to read. ­

My daughter stepped in again, “Why don’t you go on Amazon and buy a large print edition?”

“Or,” I said, “I can get an e-copy, since I can control the print size on my Kindle.”

After an hour on Amazon, I still had not purchased an e-copy. There are at least 8 DQ versions for the Kindle. How do I pick the BEST version to read?  Too many choices are paralyzing.

I grabbed my ear buds and took a walk to clear my head. When I walk, I frequently listen to an audio book or podcast. After 30 minutes, I put away my headphones and house key. I wondered, Is there an Audible English version of DQ? I opened Audible on my phone to check. Yes, there was an English book. Without any more research, I clicked on this first entry and bought it.

I am now on chapter 72 of 126 chapters. I listen almost every day while I get in my daily steps. I am proud that I am finally tackling a long time dream because I modified it to fit my current lifestyle and skills.

Principles I learned from this process.

  1. Choose a dream.
  2. Make a list of steps from beginning to completion.
  3. Identify expectations and remove the unrealistic ones.
  4. Brainstorm (by yourself or with someone else) actions to achieve the steps.
  5. Do necessary research. But don’t give yourself too many choices.
  6. Choose a path that is doable for this stage of life. Realize that for most goals, there is no BEST path to achievement.
  7. Start the process TODAY.

Your Turn . . . What is a longtime dream you’ve had, but keep pushing out of sight? Is there some way you can adjust it to fit your current lifestyle and skills? 

Let us know in the comments. And we can cheer each other on as we make our impossible dreams possible.

Related Posts . . .

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Musicals I Saw During My 59th Year

This was one of my favorite musicals. It was athletically beautiful, and the story line was moving and encouraging.

These past several years, I’ve tried to do a yearlong project that equals my age. This helps me to remember how old I am. And it is a fun accomplishment. Some things I’ve done are as follows:

The year I turned 59 (2017), I challenged myself to watch 59 musicals. Facebook friends gave me 78 ideas. I had only seen 33/78. Not even a passing grade. Of course, there are more musicals than that, 100’s in fact.

So by combining the list from my friends and lists from the Internet, I came up with 59 choices. I created my Musicals Bucket List.

So did I actually watch 59 musicals last year? YES! In fact I ended up watching 67 of them! I watched the ones that were easy to find. They were at the library, on Amazon or Netflix, and on friends DVD’s. I even found one title at the thrift store (Funny Lady) for $1.00. This was a fun project! I feel so cultured now.

Keep reading to see what I watched.

  1. 1776
  2. 42nd Stree
  3. Across the Universe 
  4. An American in Paris
  5. Anchors Aweigh
  6. Aristocats (with grand daughter)
  7. Babes in Arms
  8. Babes in Toyland
  9. Barefoot in the Park
  10. Beauty and the Beast (new Disney Movie)
  11. Burlesque
  12. Cabaret
  13. Calamity Jane
  14. Camelot
  15. Carousel
  16. Chicago
  17.  Chorus Line
  18. Dreamgirls
  19. Duck Soup 
  20. Easter Parade
  21. Finian’s Rainbow
  22. Flower Drum Song
  23. Funny Lady
  24. A Funny Thing happened on the Way to the Forum
  25. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  26. Gigi
  27. Guys and Dolls
  28. Gypsy
  29. Hair
  30. Hairspray
  31. Happy Go Lovely
  32. Hello Dolly
  33. High School Musical 1
  34. High School Musical 2
  35. High School Musical 3
  36. High Society
  37. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  38. Into the Woods
  39. Jersey Boys
  40. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (I saw this on stage with Cindy Jines.)
  41. Kiss Me Kate
  42. The Last Five Years
  43. Little Shop of Horrors
  44. Lili
  45. Man of La Mancha
  46. Mary Poppins (I saw this on TV with my grand-daughter)
  47. Moana (I saw this on TV with grand-daughter and then with my church group)
  48. Meet Me in St Louis
  49. The Mikado
  50. Newsies
  51. Night and Day
  52. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
  53. The Pajama Game
  54. Peggy Sue Got Married – DVD present from Pam Finney
  55. The Producers
  56. Rent!
  57. Robin and the 7 Hoods
  58. Second Chorus
  59. Showboat
  60. A Star is Born
  61. State Fair 
  62. Sweeney Todd
  63. Swing Time
  64. Taming of the Shrew
  65. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
  66. A Very Murray Christmas
  67. Viva Las Vegas

I’d still like to see the following:

Your Turn . . . How many have you seen on this list?  . . . What would you add? . . .  Do you do birthday challenges?

Related Posts . . . 

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Reading The ABC’s of My Bookshelves 2018

“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.” ~ Gustave Flaubert

I have more books than anything else in my home. They are the hardest things for me to declutter. Since I really want and need to streamline my home, boxes (and boxes and boxes) of books need to relocate. But first, I want to read or re-read them.

 

  • Have you read all the books on your bookshelves?
  • Do you have any you want to reread?

My answers are “No” and “Yes.”

How do you pick which books to read?

I have so many that sometimes it is hard to choose which ONE book to read first. That is why I am creating The ABC’s of My Home Bookshelf list. At least I’ll narrow the list to 26 books. Below is my (tentative) list. As I read a book for that letter, I will bold the entry.

The ABC’s of My Home Bookshelves

  1. Actual Factuals for Kids: with Verses From the Bible by Nancy S. Hill
  2. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
  3. Corelli’s Mandolin
  4. Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar
  5. Extraordinary Results from Ordinary Teachers by Michael Warden
  6. Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest by Bonnie Gray
  7. Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants by Louie Giglio
  8. Hollow City (2nd novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs 
  9. The Invisible Bond: How to Break Free from Your Sexual Past by Barbara Wilson
  10. J
  11. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis .
  12. Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life  by Priscilla Warner
  13.  The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
  14. No Easy Jesus by Jason Mitchell
  15. Option B: Facing Adversity, Duilding Resilience, And Finding Joy
    by Sheryl Sandberg
  16. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  17. Q
  18. The Right Attitude to Rain (An Isabel Dalhousie Mystery) by Alexander McCall Smith …
  19. Switch On Your Brain by Dr Caroline Leaf
  20. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson
  21. U
  22. V
  23. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  24. X
  25. Yes! By Noah Goldstein
  26. Z

Your Turn . . . Have you read all the books on your bookshelves? . . . How do you pick what to read?

Related Posts – I’ve tried different things to narrow my reading choices.

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Reading Challenge for My 60th Year (2018)

These are some books from my bookshelf.

How do you improve yourself? 

  • Take classes at the local college or online?
  • Hire a personal trainer or coach?
  • Participate in health or financial challenges with your mates?
  • Regularly follow your morning and evening routines?
  • Create and follow S.M.A.R.T. goals?

All if the above ideas are great ideas. But my favorite way to improve myself is by reading.

Below are 3 benefits of reading from my post, 13 Benefits of Reading,

  1. ,Exposes us to novel ideas, actions, geography and people so that we become more culturally, emotionally, politically, and historically aware.
  2. Clarifies difficult topics.
  3. Gives us the opportunity to learn from the mistakes and wisdom of others.

Every year (around my birthday), I decide what reading challenges I will do that year. My reading challenges this year are as follows ..

  • Read 2.018 minutes a month.
  • Read 60 books from the library, friends, etc.
  • Read the ABC’s from my own bookshelves. The list is here.
  • Read books for my monthly book club.
  • Read Don Quixote as part of my classics education.
  • Finish Mrs Dalloway.
  • Participate in the Austen in August Reading Challenge.
  • Leave Amazon reviews for books of people I know.

If I add anything else to this reading challenge for my 60th birthday year, I will update this post.

Your Turn . . . What is on your reading list for this year?  . . .  What would you add to my list?

Related Posts . . . 

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40 Days Until 2018 – What Will You Do?

Can you believe that 2017 is almost over? Have you accomplished all that you’ve wanted to this year?

No matter your answer, you still have time to do ONE more thing. Here are some things I’d like to do.  . . .

  • Create a list of what to do instead of social media
  • Declutter my patio closet
  • Declutter my trunk
  • Declutter the rest of my Christmas decorations
  • Do a session of once-a-month cooking
  • Do something creative 5 times (once a week)
  • Drink half my weight in water
  • Finish a series on my blog that is incomplete
  • Finish War & Peace
  • Go to bed by 10 pm each night
  • Go to the (apartment) gym 3 times a week
  • Make a week’s worth of jar salads and have one a day
  • No complaining
  • Organize my Spain photos
  • Perfect my morning routine
  • Plant a bulb a day
  • Practice Spanish
  • Read and write 2 book reports
  • Read the New Testament
  • Read the Old Testament
  • Rememorize I Corinthians 13
  • Say “Yes” to more adventures
  • Spend 5 minutes a day on my breathing
  • Tell 40 people why they are special
  • Walk 2 times a day
  • Watch my Christmas videos
  • Write in a gratitude journal
  • Write in a laughter journal

Yikes! I have a lot on my list. Do you? I will narrow it down to three things for my personal life and for my work life. Criteria?

  • What will most impact 2018?
  • What will bring me the most satisfaction?
  • What has been on the list the longest and is TIME to accomplish?

It just dawned on me that by crafting this list, I have already done item #1 – Create a list of what to do instead of social media.

While I would LOVE to accomplish all of the above, I will do the following personal things . . . Finish War & Peace . . . Practice Spanish – Complete an advanced course through Udemy . . . Declutter.

And I will do the following for work . . .  Read and write 2 book reports . . . Read the Old Testament . . . Rememorize 1 Corinthians 13.

 Your Turn . . .  Create your to-do item(s) for the next 40 days. Share what you’ll do. 

Related Posts . . . 

 

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Table Top S’mores for National Toasted Marshmallow Day

I hope you celebrate this day in as fun a fashion as we did.

Today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day. Hurray! Or it would be hurray, if I could celebrate it in style. How do you celebrate in style?

You celebrate in style by making s’mores. This is an easy thing to do IF you have a BBQ. I don’t. But I do have Pinterest and it comes with lots of ideas.

And one idea was a how to on making s’mores over a clay pot BBQ. That’s the ticket! And happy for me, making s’mores is on my End-of the-Summer Bucket List!

A short shopping trip ensued to buy the BBQ supplies and to personalize our s’mores as my daughter is gluten intolerant.

Step 1. Take the sticky label off the bottom of your clay pot & saucer.

Cookie Ingredients

  • Marshmallows – You can find dairy-free ones (we don’t have to anymore!)
  • Lindt Excellence Chocolate, A Touch of Sea Salt Dark Chocolate bar

I bought all these items at WalMart.

If you have your own BBQ, stop reading! Get to making your s’mores. However, if you need some way to make your s’mores, read on for the supply list and picture tutorial.

 

Step 2. Foil line the pot.  Poke a hole in the bottom so there is air flow.

BBQ Supplies

  • One 4″ clay pot and saucer per person – The pot was $0.77 and the saucer was $0.73.
  • Briquettes – Some brands have gluten, so check your bag if this is a concern.
  • Tinfoil
  • Firelighter
  • Bricks to put on TV tray

My daughter cooked her marshmallows with her clay pot BBQ on the ground (in our patio). I wanted more comfort so I cooked my marshmallows on a brick-lined TV tray.

PICTURE TUTORIAL — STEPS 1-2 ARE ABOVE. — STEPS 3-7 ARE BELOW.

Step 3. Fill the pot with briquettes. After I took this photo, I took out some of the briquettes. I put this many in to be dramatic.

Step 4. Light it up! Our BBQ’s had plenty of good flames for roasting right away. After about 5 minutes all the coals were nice and toasty.

Step 5. Assemble all the supplies. NOTE: We used a wooden skewer. Obviously this can be a fire hazard, so copy this idea at your own risk.

Step 6. Here I am roasting TWO marshmallows even though only one will fit on the cracker sandwich. The 2nd one is for eating right off the skewer!

Step 6b. Yes, they are alight! I like my marshmallows charred. How about you?

Step 7. Assemble your s’more. Isn’t this a thing of beauty?!

Another photo of a marshmallow on fire! One s’more and a couple of charred marshmallows made for a perfect dessert.

Your Turn . . .  Did you know that today (August 3oth) is National Toasted Marshmallow Day? How will you celebrate it? … Will you make your own tabletop s’mores? Let me know, if you have some suggestions. … Toast your own marshmallows and post on social media at #NationalToastedMarshmallowDay.

Related Posts . . . 

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Simplicity Day Reminds Us of the “Simple” Life

Today is #National  Simplicity Day. When was the last time you looked to simplify your life in terms of goals, balance, meaning, and social media?

Answer the questions below to get you started on this reflection.

  • How balanced is your life between the various areas like sleep, work, and recreation?
  • Are you spending quality time with the important people in your life and on projects that advance you towards your goals/dreams?
  • Is your spiritual life a relationship that you cultivate?

GOALS

One of my goals for this summer is to finish unfinished projects. And one of these projects is decluttering. Yesterday, with the help of my daughter, I went through ALL of my clothes. I tried on everything and only kept what I really liked or loved. The rest is in the give-away pile.

I have given myself a month to mend (mainly shorten) the clothes that need it. Otherwise they, too, will be given away. And after a month, I will check to see what I’ve actually worn. My tentative goal is to do something like Project 333.

I still need to do more work in my closet. I am surprised at how many non-clothes items are in there. I am also surprised at how many scarves I have. Tons, I tell you, tons!

“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.” ~ J. Botherton

BALANCE

I tend to work too much. As a result I neglect the important people in my life. That is one reason I wrote a Summer Bucket List. I want to make sure I have friend-balance in my life. So far this summer I have done well with having “dates.” Read #4 for an update.

These non-romantic times have been fun. I’ve eaten, chatted, walked, viewed vacation photos, and crafted. It may seem weird to some to have to schedule in dates, but I am finding that works for me.

MEANING

One thing that gives meaning to my life is a relationship with God. I want to and need to spend daily time reading and meditating on Scripture. I need to and want to spend time talking and listening to God. And finally I need to and want to spend time at church and with the people of the church. This type of focus keeps me maturing and balanced.

Also to add meaning to my life, I am thinking about what’s important to me. I am listening to an audiobook, Thrive. Arianna Huffington wants us to consider four areas to get back to living a life that counts: wonder, giving, wisdom, and wellness. I want to focus on these as well.

Joelle from 21 Delights wrote a list (of 21 things) that brings meaning to her life. Her top 10 are as follows … her husband … her children … her relationship with the Divine … Her extended family … witnessing goodness … life stories … friendship … solitude … Music … and art. Go here to read the complete list and post about why she wrote it.

I haven’t written such a list yet. What would your list include? What do you want to do more of? Less of? Read how a STOP DOING list is helpful.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media use can, at times, consume way too much of my time. I go on for just a quick minute. And then an hour later I am still on there. I want to and need to declutter that area of my life, too.

 It’s good practice to look at your social media use the way you would closets full of stuff. Ask yourself: Am I using social media intentionally or out of habit? What benefits does it bring me, what are the trade-offs, and do I need to change anything? If I cut back on social media, how else do I want to use that time? ~ Ellen from Simplifying at Home: Living Better with Less

In conclusion, in honor of National Simplicity Day I am reading a real book and not something from social media. I am reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. He was an advocate for living a life of simplicity. If you’ve read this book, what are your take-aways?

Your Turn . . .  How “simple” is you life? . . .  Where would you like to make a change in the areas of GOALS, BALANCE, MEANING and/or SOCIAL MEDIA?

Related Posts . . . Check out the article that was the brainchild of this post: NATIONAL SIMPLICITY DAY from the National Day Calendar website.

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