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Life and Times of a Working Cowgirl

The B-List – 25 Things I’ve done that changed my view of the world

 

I’ve never been one to shy away from trying new things (except foods). I am usually at the front of the line for the latest and greatest technology, amusement experience or travel destination. I was raised with the mantra,”expand your horizons” and have always taken great joy in learning a new skill, meeting new people and challenging myself mentally and physically. A lot of people are posting their bucket lists as a way to share their life adventures. I really don’t care for the term bucket list since it implies I need to be dying to start living, which seems silly to me. However, I have a list of things I have done, mostly because opportunity knocked, not because I had set some kind of goal for accomplishing them, that I have learn a lot from.

I’ll call it my B-list, since my A-list is the stuff that is important enough to me to blog about, my family, our country, things I find particularly relevant or noteworthy. The B-list stuff is things I’ve done that are important in the sense they have given me perspective, they form the frame work on which my life is built, but in and of themselves are not necessarily noteworthy. For example jumping off a building (with a safety harness) doesn’t take much skill and serves no moral or intellectual purpose but I can attest to the fact that it altered my perception and forced me to a simple, clear place in my mind that brought tremendous clarity.

So here are 25 B-List things I’ve done that have changed my view on the world and why. Some I recommend, others are purely informational but all have been noteworthy for me.

  1. Travel: Leave the country, leave the county or just leave your house. Get out and see what the human experience is like for the rest of the world. Try to Understand that we are all connected and we are all trying to make sense of life onĀ this big blue marble hurling through space.
  2. Vote: Share in a democracy. It’s not us against them if you participate.
  3. Protest: Let your voice be heard. Express some righteous indignation, collaborate with like-minded people, feel the power of the people.
  4. Mourn: Attend a funeral at Arlington. Feel the oppressive burden so many have paid for our freedom. Let the crack of a 21 gun salute be etched into your psyche, and when you see a solider in uniform remember it, and thank them.
  5. Leave $100 tip: Preferably on your breakfast tab. It will make your day and the wait staff’s week.
  6. Jump off something really high: Stare down the primal need for self-preservation. Make a conscious decision to override fear with logic, and jump.
  7. Watch the sunrise in a foreign country: Some things are universal, the sun will always rise in the East no matter where you are or where you’re from.
  8. Pray in an ancient temple: Walk the path of the ancients, feel their presence and pray in a place where people have felt connected to something powerful for generations.
  9. Watch the sunset in the desert: The sky touches the earth and the colors of the desert melt into the sunset until you can’t tell which is heaven or which is earth.
  10. Sleep under the stars: No tent, no ceiling, just you and the stars. Nothing seems very big compared to a canopy of stars.
  11. Swim in really, really cold water: Fight to catch your breath, feel your skin tighten and burn. You are alive, every cell in your body is fully alive.
  12. Hike until you can smell soap: Stay in the wilderness long enough you can smell if someone has showered. Your senses are heightened, you can taste, see and feel better. Life truly is in Technicolor.
  13. Follow the sound of the music: wander through a city and follow the sound of music into some little dive with the best musician you’ve never heard of.
  14. Buy a stranger dinner: Without saying a word pay for someone else’s meal. See if you can set your ego aside and do something completely selfless.
  15. Give someone the shirt off your back: If someone compliments you on some piece of clothing, give it to them. Feel the joy of spontaneous generosity.
  16. Go backstage: Meet the band, be a groupie, surround yourself with the talent you don’t have.
  17. Work hard enough to form callusedĀ hands: Sometimes physical labor is what a body and mind needs to heal.
  18. Make a public pronouncement of your love: Shout if from a roof top, put it on the jumbo tron, however you want just make a grandiose gesture to the one you love.
  19. Swim with a shark: Step out of your element completely and trust in yourself. Force yourself to make decisions based in fact not fear.
  20. Stop at a lemonade stand and give the kids a $20: The cheapest way to be a big spender you’ll ever find. Relish in the joy of telling them to “keep the change”.
  21. Do something completely childish: Roll down a grassy hill, splash in a puddle and nurture your inner child. They are the source of much of your happiness.
  22. Go to the Opera: Enjoy art and culture for the sake of art and culture. Hear the beauty in words you cannot understand.
  23. Drive a convertible way to fast with the top down: Preferably with the stereo blasting, singing off-key with the A/C on, smiling and waving at all the truckers. Sometimes eccentric is just right.
  24. Say Goodbye to someone you love: We can’t always be with the people we love. Feeling the burning pain of separation allows us to learn that love transcends physical bounds.
  25. Practice random acts of kindness: Hand the mail man a coke, give up your place in the grocery line, do something everyday that makes someone else smile. Life really is about the little stuff.

One Comment

  1. Pretty cool cuz!