Listmania eight: Reverse bucket list

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by Debra Dane on March 11, 2013

in Listmania

When I turned 40 last year I wrote a blog post sharing my life list. I had seen many lists over the years that were 30 by 30 or 40 by 40, but knew I would not want the pressure of a time constraint nor be limited to a set list. Instead I decided to create a 40 after 40 list and even left some blank spaces for things that come up as I age. I love this list and have already ticked off a few things in the first year (I just turned 41 a couple of weeks ago).

I leave this list knowing it is but a glimpse and it far outshines the downtimes and traumas and losses. I can be grateful everyday that I chose to live this life, that I chose to be a survivor, that I chose to follow my own path.

Reverse bucket list of a life well lived

:: traveled far and wide on 5 continents, experiencing almost 30 countries (some several times). Many of my highlights focus on this area as on all these journeys and places I lived, I lived well:

  • first overseas trip was to Greece on a program where I stayed with a family and then traveled all over the country with 8 other girls aged 16-18. So grateful for the scholarship that allowed me to do this.
  • ditching plans for law school to go overseas instead (and meeting my English husband almost immediately in Israel, my first port of call)
  • so many amazing meals – dining on the outdoor terrace of the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, the French buffet at the Sofitel Hotel in Hua Hin, dining on the beach at Koh Samet when we had weekends away (reminds me that when we had almost no money and took a bus and rickety transport to get there, staying in a mosquito filled shack we were so very happy). So many of my memories of living in Bangkok are food related – yum.
  • Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef pre-kids. My boss’ wife worked for Hamilton Island and we got a great deal on a stay at the Beach Club – one of our rare luxury experiences. We felt slightly like imposters among the older, more moneyed crowd.
  • Using frequent flyer points to fly business class to the Cook Islands – heavenly holiday. Arrived home needing to go straight to the hospital, turned out I was pregnant with our first child! (story shared here)
  • Visiting hubby in Hong Kong when we were working in different countries – got engaged at the top of the Peak. We have a photo taken on the night and we look so young.
  • Driving from San Francisco to LA with hubby – too many highlights to note, but will forever smile at the memory of us arriving in Vegas covered in dirt having just been hiking in the desert. Due to a mis-communication I thought they upgraded us, but they were offering us to PAY to upgrade our room. In the end they upgraded us for free to a huge suite with a view of the strip. Our bathtub was in the living room next to the window so you could bathe and watch the night view! The suite was as big as our apartment and had electric curtains, a bar and dining room, etc O-M-G.
  • We got married back in New York so our honeymoon was a slow journey back to Australia via England and Bangkok. My husband planned a surprise side trip for me from England where I had no idea where we were going until we were at the airport – flying off to Prague! I had all the wrong clothes, it was very cold and yet we had an amazing time.


I could go on and on so I will stop to remind myself – “you have seen and done a lot out in the world and there is more to come”. We may travel less often with kids, but we still travel. We spent 3 months in Europe in 2010 and 5 1/2. weeks in the States this past Northern Winter. This is where our money goes, traveling, spending intense periods as a family, time to go deep rather than fast. I married someone who is my opposite except on this fundamental thing.

:: gave birth to two children. Make that two amazing children. Two drastically different births and drastically different babyhoods!

:: moderated boards on major parenting website for almost 5 years

:: taught my older daughter to read when she wanted to learn

:: watched my younger daughter perform drums for the first time

:: learned to drive at 30 years old

:: finally settled down and am now an Australian citizen

:: ordered “dessert for dinner”  with no hesitation, my husband and I loved dessert so much on our previous visit to this restaurant that we went back just to order the platter with all their desserts – highly recommend doing this.

:: learned to cook in my 30s

:: every snuggle, cuddle and kiss

:: reconnected with my creativity

::created my own website

:: co-created a wonderful ecourse with a wonderful and inspiring woman

:: annual tickets for Disney on Ice every year for Alice’s birthday since her 4th. I just bought tickets for this year – her 10th birthday. So grateful that the kids still want to do this.

:: fresh tropical fruit consumed in mass amounts over the years living in Asia-Pacific countries

:: wrote my first ebook (come back tomorrow to get a copy – it’s free for now!)

::  adopted a dog from a shelter – she is nothing like we were looking for and everything we needed and love.

What is one awesome thing you can celebrate from your life – big or small it is the smile it brings to your face that counts.


Find your simple,



Featured list from week seven:

Kelly from See Saws and Slippery dips I loved the way her list was organised and the variety – I think she had many people adding things to their list to check out too as she has a very interesting career.

Prompt for week nine:

Share your favourite spots from around your home – photos, writing, vlog tour, anything goes. It can be rooms, knick knacks, a favourite view – what are your happy spots and things in your home?

Link up for week eight:

Add your own reverse bucket list and then visit some other listmaniacs (don’t forgot those that link up after Monday! spread the love)


Image credit for globe: flickr user charamelody

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Bec S March 11, 2013 at 10:22 am

What a great list! I’ve bought tickets to Disney on Ice for this year too – it will be my son and my 3rd time but my daughter’s first (she will be 4 too).
Bec S recently posted..List 8 – Reverse bucket listMy Profile


Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 12:07 am

Have fun – she is going to love it – i wondered when the girls would stop, but i realised i actually still enjoy it and i am 41 so chances are they will too for a while yet – ice skating is always fun to watch!
Debra Dane recently posted..Letters to my daughters: honoring your needsMy Profile


Claire T March 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Thank you for such a great exercise in gratitude. It really made me stop and think what a fortunate life I have had in so many ways. Also thank you for the Disney reminder. We are supposed to be going this Saturday but it looks like I have left it too late!
Claire T recently posted..Listmania 8: Reverse Bucket ListMy Profile


Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 12:08 am

that is exactly what i was hoping for Claire – it is a great gratitude exercise. I hope you are able to get tickets!!
Debra Dane recently posted..Be accepting of being a beginnerMy Profile


Lisa March 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Another great linkup Deb…some wonderful bucket lists x


Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 12:09 am

Thanks Lisa – can’t wait to read them all (been a huge day and i am going to bed after midnight and did not get to check everyone’s out yet !
Debra Dane recently posted..A story to tell – Brooke from Slow your homeMy Profile


Emily @ Have a laugh on me March 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Haven’t you done some amazing things – loved reading that! And I love all those amazing things you are proud of and grateful for! Emily :)
Emily @ Have a laugh on me recently posted..I know what I did last Saturday!My Profile


Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 12:10 am

Thanks Em – my cup is very full!
Debra Dane recently posted..Ask the next question to clear more than clutterMy Profile


Kate March 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Wow, how fortunate were you to travel so young! It seems it altered your life path considerably, for the better, of course. Loved reading your list!
Kate recently posted..Through my eyesMy Profile


Debra Dane March 12, 2013 at 12:10 am

Thanks Kate – yes I do think it gave me that hunger for more travel – i have always been interested in cultures and languages.
Debra Dane recently posted..Grateful for a clearingMy Profile


Kelly March 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Wow Deb, that is an awesome list! You’ve done some pretty cool stuff in your time! Travelling is something I’d love to do in the future.
Thankyou so much for featuring my blog, (I think I’m blushing right now!) what a lovely compliment, thankyou. :)
Kelly recently posted..Listmania #8 – My Reverse Bucket ListMy Profile


Shell March 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

What a life well & truly lived Deb, I love it! The travels oooh, the ordering dessert for dinner, aaaahh – I have to do that one day! Thanks for the fantastic celebratory prompt x
Shell recently reverse bucket listMy Profile


sarah March 14, 2013 at 7:54 am

Oh Debs I so love your list! I love how you remember such detail and I can feel your excitement over your early travels with your husband! Lovely, really lovely…

A life without cuddles and kisses… pffft, that’s no life at all, I am sooooo with you!

Oh yeah, by the way… I am so PROUD of you for writing that e-book!!!!


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