Bucket lists in the time of COVID-19

I’ll never want COVID-19 or any major virus to come again. The last two months have been terrible for humanity and trying for me individually. However, I’ve also found a new inner peace and renewed faith. The additional time at home, and perhaps the associated time to think and dream has forced introspection that has allowed me to really think about what I want out of life and what I want to do with my life. Last week, I read an article that encouraged folx to revisit their bucket lists and refine and recreate that list in light of what they’ve learned from sheltering-in-place and COVID-19 fears. I took that as a writing challenge, and I share my updated list with you here.

Run the Continental Divide Trail: Over and over, here and in my daily conversations, I talk about how much I yearn to be outside and on the trails. One trail, in particular, has held my attention, so much so that I’ve watched every documentary and read every book about it: The Continental Divide Trail. Someday, I’d like to run the entire trail and set the women’s speed record on the trail.

Ride the Divide: Similarly, someday I’d like to bikepack the Divide trail in the annual Continental Divide bike race.

Publish a book with a trade press: Although I have been published (with my next book coming out in August), those books have been through academic publishers, for an academic audience, and about my scholarly research. My dream, for my next book (either the Archaeology of Eating Disorders or a book about women and ultrarunning) is to reach a mass audience and publish with a trade press. Of course, I’d love for that book to reach reach a NYT bestseller list, but I’d settle for a book published for the general public.

See the Northern Lights: This one is short and simple, I’d like to see the Northern Lights. I’ve long dreamed of seeing them, and I hope that someday I’ll be in the right place at the right time.

Start a podcast: In addition to Contemporary Spinster, eventually I’d like to add weekly podcast conversations where we explore some of the topics that I review in the What We Read series.

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro: I’m not sure I’ll ever want to climb Everest, in part because I don’t think that the way mountaineering is done on Everest respects the sport of mountaineering or the environment, but I would love to climb a major mountain. Kilimanjaro feels reachable and significant without the perils of Everest.

Be a part of a Search & Rescue (SAR) Team: Last year, I started my path to becoming a SAR volunteer with my Wilderness First Responder certificate. If everything goes well (e.g., no more shelter-in-place orders), I hope to get my EMT training, ropes skills certification, and finish my survival skills training so that I can join a team in the fall.

I guess there are less of a bucket list and more of a goals list, but it feels good to have some clarity and purpose moving forward to a new job, a new place, and a new post-COVID reality.

How has your bucket list changed? What is on your list?

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