My reverse bucket list

I had a Damascene moment while planning this post. 

I realized that in the attempts to get up, get going, perform, perfect, hustle and change my life, I hadn’t ever thought about the things I had already done. 

That made me wonder why. Why the modesty? Why the, “Aww shucks, it weren’t nothing!” reaction when I have to list all I have done in my life?

The constant bombardment on social media and people only showing their best and greatest has me thinking that if I’m not similarly achieving, then it isn’t good enough. 

I know that isn’t true. I KNOW this. So why the negating of past achievements? Heck if I know! 

So, challenged by my accountability partner to start a reverse bucket list ( a list of what I had already achieved and done, as opposed to what I wanted to achieve or do) I came up with 10 things I had already done or achieved.

  1. Married and had a baby in a foreign country.
  2. Traveled across the world.
  3. Moved to a foreign country and made a life spanning 13 years.
  4. Learned to speak a foreign language – Arabic.
  5. Relearned to walk and talk after contracting Guillain Barre Syndrome.
  6. Started my own consultancy firm.
  7. Was interviewed for local tv, a newspaper and magazine in the UAE.
  8. Started an online magazine.
  9. Started my M. Ed and MBA joint masters while working full time.
  10. Homeschooling my 10 year old.

It doesn’t look like much, and there are small achievements that I feel would be too small to matter to anyone other than me. So I left them off. After all who cares that I can make sushi? Or do box braids on my daughter’s hair? Or that I can cut my cats nails without looking like I’ve been in active combat? Certainly no one but me.

What do you use to measure your success? What makes you feel accomplished? Does the IG life make you feel insufficient? Lemme know in the comments. 

Until next I blog, 



11 thoughts on “My reverse bucket list

  1. Love this! The closer I creep towards my 30th birthday (much like Nel, who commented above) the more angst I feel over my “lack of achievements”. It’s particularly difficult for me not to feel like a total loser when measuring myself against my more “successful” friends.

    It’s time to stop measuring my success by others’ standards – particularly when I’m on a totally different path.

    Thank you for the gentle reminder that we all live lives full of our own achievements – big and small. It’s just a matter of remembering that fact.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I learned German when we lived in Zurich
    but I have huge respect for learning a language with a script you first have to learn – Greek, Russian, Arabic, Chinese … huge respect!
    I couldn’t even read the numbers on the departure gates at the airport (if they hadn’t been translated into ‘my’ script)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ity was insaanely hard, but funnily enough, while I’m not fluent by any means, Afrikaans helps with the pronunciation. The guttural sounds of Arabic are easy when you can speak German, Dutch or Afrikaans.


  3. All the feels on where I am right now. I seem to find myself jumping head first through life, freaking out in the middle and taking zero time afterwards to actually realise the huge milestones. I’m a hard critic on myself, nothing is good enough, I know I could have done better but I think I have had enough of it all. Social media has been affecting me lately, I have had enough of keeping up with Joneses. Maybe its an age thing too, because I just can’t be bothered – I am who I am.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. I’m glad this spoke to you. I wonder if we can let ourselves just be? As in putter along in our lane and let the others whizz by in the fast lane?


  4. I needed this. I’m turning 30 in a few days and have been a single mother since 21. I’ve always put my son above my needs and now as I look back at life, I’ve realised that I’ve not achieved one goal of my 5 year plan (Lets laugh at these). It’s kept me up and still does, and most days I feel like the world and all it’s success is like a noose around my neck with the walls closing in. This is just what I needed… today. Whilst not getting as much done as I’d like to have, investing in my son will never be something that’s too waste. Reverse bucket list is awesome! Perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m am so glad you’re feeling this. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves, and sometimes look at all we have achieved. I bet you’re an awesome mom. Going solo can’t be easy. So add that at #1 on your reverse bucket list. Much love!

      Liked by 1 person

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