Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bucket List

Have you seen the 2007 movie, The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson? Did it make you think? Do you have a list? I do. Long before the movie I had a things-to-do-before-I-die list. I'm thinking about this now because I recently watched a video of a woman with MS talking about her list. That led to a discussion with my boyfriend and now this post.

Like I said, I've had a list in my head for years and years. It's changed a bit from time to time. I've also crossed a few things off already, like running The Boston Marathon and traveling to Australia. Most of my list, however, has remained consistent and intact over these many years. But it's always remained in my head. For some reason, I've never actually written my list down.

Perhaps I've just never taken the time to write out my bucket list. Perhaps I've neglected to write it down out of fear. Maybe the written word forces me to be accountable to myself. If it's only in my head, if I don't tell anyone, it's much simpler to walk away from the goals, to pretend they never existed. I guess there's less chance for disappointment that way.

I think it's time for me to write out my bucket list. These are some of the things I want to do during my lifetime. I am free to add to or subtract from this list at any time, of course, but for whatever reason, I now feel the need to put it out there. And what better place than here? After all, writing this blog was somewhat of a bucket list item (see #1).

The List:
1. I want to be a voice for those with depression and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.
2. I want to write a book.
3. I want to jump out of an airplane (on my list since the age of 7).
4. I want to climb a mountain.
5. I want to hike to the basecamp of Mt. Everest.
6. I want to travel to and volunteer in Africa.
7. I want to compete in and finish an Ironman Triathlon.
8. I want to travel to Antarctica.
9. I want to remain sober, one day at a time.
10. I want to be a competitive runner into my 80's.
11. I want to take a WWII historical tour through Europe.

That's it for now. I may be forgetting something. That's the problem with keeping the list in my head for all these years. But I think this list is a pretty good representation of my desires. Several of them may never be realized purely out of lack of finances, but I didn't want to let that stop me from acknowledging them. It's a list of desires, not a list of likelihood.

Most of the goals on this list are within my grasp. I know I can do anything I set my mind to do. I know that. Even the Ironman, which I already would have conquered if I could conquer my fear of open water. That's a big one, because I know it will be scary and tough, but I also know it is totally doable. I just have to set my mind to it.

What's your list? I challenge you now to write it down. Make it real. I actually feel good, maybe relieved, now that I've shared it. I'd love to hear if you took me up on the challenge.


Paul said...

I'm not sure how you can't go to Australia but you think it is likely you can go to Antarctica, but I don't know the details.

I don't really keep such a list. I have stuff I'd like to do, but no real list.

I've been reading your blog for about a month now. I appreciate your candor and insight. I seem to be struggling more with my gloom lately, so it's goo to listen to a voice like yours.

etta said...

@ Paul: I think you misunderstood. I've crossed Australia and The Boston Marathon off my list because I've done both already. Hope you find solace from the gloom soon.

Anonymous said...

What a great list. Maybe now would be a good time to spend some time trying to write a novel since you can't run as much.
- Virginia

etta said...

@ Virginia: Thanks. You are not the first to make that suggestion. I'm just having trouble figuring out how to start!

Robyn (RedDogGirl) said...

I LOVE your list!! I think my list is more self-indulgent:
Learn to surf (began Oct 2010)
Get a tattoo (first one completed June 2014)
Learn to Stand-Up Paddleboard (completed Sept 2013)
Sit in the first 5 rows center at a Pearl Jam concert (Completed Oct 2014)
African Safari
Attend the Westminster Dog Show in NYC
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Swim with dolphins
Take horseback riding lessons
Spend a week at a working ranch
See a live taping of Chopped (Food Network)
Tag a wall with graffiti
Have a Pin-Up style photo-shoot

etta said...

@ Robyn: I love your list, too! Thank you so much for sharing it with me. I might have to add swimming with dolphins to my list now.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I like your list! I, too, have things I want to do before I die, and it's mostly in my head, though I've written down some of them. One of mine is to write at least one book. Another is to read an essay on NPR.

I agree that now would be a great time to work on that book! No need to know how to start. Just start writing and you will find your way. I believe in that process.

etta said...

@ Tina: Thanks for the vote of encouragement regarding writing my book. Reading an essay on NPR... Cool. I listen, so I'll look forward to hearing you someday.

Anonymous said...

I hope you complete an ironman. Just reading your blog tells me you will.
Lots of folks are afraid of the swim, but you have 2.5 hours to get thru it, which is a long time. And you get to wear a wetsuit.
I'm sure you already know all this, but I just wanted to encourage you.
One last thing, one of the ironman greats-maybe mark Allen-said about ironman:"it's the run, stupid."
It's true, and it seems you've got that part down pat. Happy training!