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A Knitter’s Non-Knitting Bucket List of Lifetime Adventures

I have a vague recollection of being in my early 20s and feeling incredibly overwhelmed by everything that was piled onto my bucket list at the time. I was young and full of zest, ready to set out and conquer the world. I hadn’t yet encountered much in the way of constraints or failure, and I suspect, at the time, the world felt limitless.

My bucket list must have been mighty long.

While I only can recall a few specific items that were on that particular 20-year-old Younger Me version of my bucket list, I do have a very clear memory of deciding to separate my bucket list into two distinct halves: the half I would do when I was young and limber and the half that could wait until I was “old.” I referred to the half of the list destined for my older self as my “Old Lady bucket list.”

It seemed cute at the time.

I don’t really recollect what threshold my younger self established as having reached “old age,” but I remember reasoning there were some things I should do when I was young and didn’t mind sleeping on the ground and other characteristics that can generally be described as “roughing it.”

Honestly I don’t remember what was on my bucket list for Young Me. Perhaps if I were to search through my old journals from that era, deeply buried who knows where, I would uncover such a list. I can only hope I have made good progress and crossed off all that I hoped for myself, long ago.

I have a hunch, in many ways, I have.

I do hazily recollect lumping “learning to play the banjo” and “knitting” onto my Old Lady bucket list, rationalizing those activities could wait until later in life when I was tired and lazy and no longer had a tolerance for cheap hotel rooms in third world countries.

Young Me will be happy to know Old Me can now cross “knitting” off the bucket list. Or, at least, it’s an ongoing work in progress.

While I have always been a list maker, I do admit I have lost track of my bucket list and felt it was time to transition the list from the deep, inner recesses of my brain to an actual piece of paper. I paused for a while, wound a bunch of yarn (that always helps me think and generally reflect on the promise of The Future), and made a list. It’s likely not the same list I would have made 20 years ago, although I know at least several items have transferred forward, still remaining for that unknown (windy, twisty, beautiful, difficult, bountiful) path that lay ahead.

My bucket list is not a list of things to accomplish (raise a good kid, save for retirement, start a business) but more a list of experiences to behold–before I, you know, kick the bucket. At present, it’s actually a rather short list. I think I became overwhelmed when I saw all the traveling related items and started calculating the cumulative expensive of checking off all these trips, quickly determining a cost/year over the next fifty years.

It wasn’t a laughable sum.

That’s the kind of thing Young Me would have disregarded 20 years ago. Now I am very well aware of how much airfare for two costs from San Francisco to Thailand.


All the same, here’s my list. I wrote it down in an old, re-purposed journal, and I hope I will add to it from time to time. And even, with fortitude, cross off an item now and again.

(If you follow my blog, you know I regularly develop annual and seasonal bucket lists for projects I hope to knit. This particular bucket list is (mostly) a non-knitting bucket list, but you can find my most recent bucket list of summer knits here and my 2017 bucket list here, should you prefer or generally be curious.)

My Non-Knitting Old Lady Bucket List

(In no particular order…)

  1. Raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. That’s the wilderness run with hot springs, and I do recall this was on my Young Me bucket list as well.
  2. Learn to play the banjo. (Or the fiddle?!?!) Decide: why not learn both!
  3. Go to Italy. Walk or bike from vineyard to vineyard. Village to village. Drink wine each night with dinner. Have someone else carry my luggage.
  4. Southeast Asia trip.
  5. Corsica.
  6. Borneo.
  7. Live in Hawaii (or similar tropical island locale) for at least a while.
  8. Ride a horse in a beautiful place (trail riding or similar) more than once.
  9. Knit my way around the world (or at least some of it).
  10. Take Reed to Glacier National Park–road trip!
  11. Show Reed where I went to college. New York trip!
  12. Find new amazing swimming holes. Take the floaty. (Maybe knit too.)

What’s on your bucket list?

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