10 Things I Want to Do Before I Die

February 9, 2019 ♥ Posted in: Bucket List, Journal, Seattle, Writing by Kristina Horner

Something about me that’s always been true is that I am, without a doubt, a dreamer. I’m always thinking ahead to the future, making plans, setting goals, and feeling more inspired than I have time to be. I’ve got an extensive bucket list I’m always adding to, I’m always juggling about three too many project ideas, and there never seems to be enough time in the day to do everything. That’s why, now that I am in my thirties, I decided to take a step back and make myself a nice little top-ten list of the most important things I want to accomplish in this life time. That way, next time I am feeling overwhelmed, I can use this as the razor by which I evaluate how I am spending my time. Does what I am doing bubble up into one of these buckets?

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I’m always looking for good ways to really focus in on what’s important to me, because time is our biggest non-renewable resource. So here’s where I’m at, in terms of what I want to do with this one glorious life I have:

1. Publish a book (the traditional way!)

This is always the top of every list for me. It’s something I totally have within my power to make a priority, but it’s one that gets pushed down by other things that might feel more immediate, more flashy, or just plain easier. I need to buckle down and just get something ready enough to go for it. You only get one debut novel, yes — but after that, I feel like the biggest obstacle is taken care of. There’s something scary about “your first book”. I want to conquer this fear to pave the way for my second, third, and twenty-fourth book.

2. Celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary 

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here, since we haven’t even celebrated our first wedding anniversary — but this is something that matters a lot to me. I want to make my marriage a priority and work on it every single day, and never take it for granted. I want to be in love for a very, very long time. I want to be adorable little wrinkly old people who know each other better than anyone else in the world. I want to have one big massive joint 80th birthday and 50th wedding anniversary party because all three will happen within 6 months of each other. I just know we’ll get there.

3. Give birth to a child

I’m not making any strong goals about number of children or anything like that — I just want to make sure I experience natural birth at least once in my life. I’ll be honest, the whole idea is a little terrifying to me, but I am fascinated by the idea that my body was built with the ability to make the choice to do this. That my body already knows how to do this. The fact that I could make a little human is incredible, and I’m starting to feel it in my bones that I’m meant to do so. I’m not quite ready… but someday. 

4. Visit all seven continents

I just feel like this planet is too beautiful not to try to see as much of it as I possibly can. So far I’ve been to Europe and Asia on top of the obvious North America. Hoping to go to Australia later this year, but that leaves Africa and South America. And I’m not ruling out Antarctica. There’s a cruise that leaves from Ushuaia, Argentina (the southernmost city in the world) and takes you up close and personal with some penguins. Someday, I’m going to be on it. I’ve also never gotten over that time I got second place in a contest to win a trip to Antarctica, so amends must be made.

5. Live somewhere else for at least a year

Sometimes I lament the fact that I grew up in what I fiercely believe is the best city, because I never saw myself as a person who would live in the same place all her life. I guess I moved from the suburbs to the city when I turned 20, but ultimately that wasn’t really a paradigm-shifting move. I love Seattle. I love how liberal it is. I love how tech-driven and nerdy it is. I love how much there is to do, how many of my friends live here, and how green it is. I love that we care about recycling, and not using plastic shopping bags, and how temperate the weather is most days. I want to raise my family here. Because of all of this, I would love the chance to live somewhere else — just for a little while — to have a completely different experience.

6. Start my own business

For four years I was a freelancer, and I made plenty of money — but that felt like “getting by”. What I’m talking about is dreaming up a concept, putting together my business plan, and launching something. I have a lot of different ideas swimming around in my head, and someday I just have to take the leap. I haven’t had a lot of extra time or funds lately for an extensive side-hustle (particularly while planning a wedding and then searching for a new job), but once I get a bit more settled at my new job, some of these back burner ideas might get more love. I just want to keep making things. 

7. Own a home

This is something that I’ve been thinking a lot more about, especially as Seattle has taken its spot as the third most expensive city (in the US) to own a home in. It beat out New York City and Los Angeles, which… I’m going to be honest, sometimes keeps me awake at night. Anyway — despite all that — I still wanna do it! I want to feel like a little plot of land in this big wide world is mine. I want to paint walls without asking for permission. I want to live through a messy remodel. I want to have a tiny little garden, and have to learn how to unclog a drain, and have a place to put a couple boxes of Christmas decorations. I want a place my future kids will be excited to come home to when they’re grown up because they have so many fond memories of the place. I want a place that really feels like “home”, because we made it that way.

8. Voice a character in an animated show or radio drama

Okay this is the only thing on the list that’s a little silly, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I have dreams of being cast in a cartoon web show, or some sort of radio drama, or just writing and performing my own narrative podcast. I’ve done a good amount of acting, and plenty of singing — but I’ve never just straight up done voice acting. I’d love to help bring a character to life. It just sounds fun. It’s my one frivolous selfish goal on this list and I just think about it all the time. 

9. Create something wild just because I want to

This is a bit vague, and possibly could be tied in with many of the goals above (#6 and #8 in particular) but someday I just want to invest in something outrageous just because I can. I’m talking like rent a summer camp and make it a writing retreat space for adults. Buy a house and turn it into an Airbnb that looks like Hogwarts. Turn a whole wall of my house into a 1:12 scale dollhouse and fill it with miniatures. Put on some kind of crazy performance in an abandoned space and sell tickets. Fill my yard with rubber ducks. I don’t know, man. I want to be like that guy in Seattle who turned his house into Diagon Alley for a few months and then let people come look at it. I can’t afford to do any of this stuff now, but someday. Someday I want to make something really outrageous just because it sounds fun.

10. Live a life without regrets

This one is obviously a bit more conceptual, but I’m really hoping the end result of #1-9 in this list is that I ultimately achieve #10. I am a person prone to stress and anxiety. I want to do a lot of things. I cannot do all the things. So my biggest goal is to be intentional about how I spend my time, to create things that matter, to love deeply, and to share my life with people who make it richer and vice versa. I want to look back on my life and know I spent my time in ways that bettered the world, or fulfilled me personally, or at least made other people smile. I want to learn to be happy about the things I choose, instead of always wishing there was more time for “something else”. 

So that’s my list! My thirties have already held some of the biggest adventures of my life yet, and I’m so excited to try to tackle more things on this list. Which of my goals are yours as well? What other life goals do you have for yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! 


2 Comments

2 Comments

#9 refer to #3 About 25 years ago your Dad told me, “It’s too hard to plan kids, just have um and you love um”.

Haha! Good advice, thanks Uncle Cheekster.

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