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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Secret to Creating YOUR 2009 Bucket List

The Secret to creating


by Dianna Love

Welcome back to the Wet Noodle Posse Blog. 2009 is going to be a great year. It started off really terrific for me. To share some good news, my current release – Dead After Dark anthology that includes my urban fantasy novella MIDNIGHT KISS GOODBYE – debuted at #5 on the NYT in December and spent the past four weeks on the list.

The Wet Noodle Posse is an amazing group of talented writers who will bring you fun and interesting blogs all this year so please come back often to visit.

What comes to mind when you

hear the term “Bucket List”?

If you’re under thirty, you probably think of your parents and wonder what “they” might like to do before they kick the bucket. If you’re older than thirty, you may immediately think how much you’d like to ________ (you fill in the blank) while you’re still young enough to enjoy it.

What if you had an annual Bucket List? And – that Bucket List was more about staying in touch with what brings joy to your world? Notice that I didn’t include what would bring joy to your spouse and childrens' world or your best friend's world or anyone else's.

What would make Just YOU happy?

Sound selfish just to think about your own happiness? Why? If the only person you ever thought about was you, then that would be selfish. On the other hand, if you rarely think of you or dedicate time/money to YOUR happiness then that’s negligent. It’s not wrong to want to enjoy life more or to fulfill a dream you’ve always had. In fact, being responsible for your own happiness is a very healthy concept. I am the worst one for saying “yes” when asked to do something and am finally learning that passing on a request does not make me a bad or inconsiderate person. Just that I need a little time for me.

What if at the start of every year you chose one “thing” or a list of things you really wanted to do that year before the year kicked the bucket? You have the advantage of knowing each year you’ve got 365 days to fulfill one desire. That’s not impossible.

Here’s the secret to how you do it:

Start out simple and list several things, any one of which you can accomplish in five days.

You deserve five days out of 365, right? Mark those 5 days on the calendar as if they are your best friend’s wedding date or your child’s graduation or your parents’ fiftieth anniversary party. Treat those days as if they are set in stone. You don’t even have to know what you want to do yet on those days, but DO NOT give up those dates to anyone else for anything less than what it would take for you to cancel out on your best friend’s wedding date or your child’s graduation or your parents’ fiftieth anniversary party.

I have an old yellowed piece of paper on my monitor stand I cut out of a magazine many years ago with a quote by Goethe that says, “Nothing is worth more than today.” I believe in that completely and make the most of every day of my life, but that means I tend to also fill many of those days with work since I write and run a


Watching the movie Bucket List got me thinking about how people set huge/expensive goals to accomplish before they “kick the bucket,” but often miss the smaller joys along the way that make life special. Take for example someone who is determined to cruise the Mediterranean before they die who might also harbor a secret desire to learn how to ride a motorcycle, write a book, meet their Aunt Jessie who has never left her home in a remote mountain town or simply wants to visit museums.

Those less important sounding “wants” fall to the back of our mind with “when I get time I’ll do that,” because we think we can do any of those things any time we want. But that never happens. I always had it in the back of my mind I wanted to see Mount Rushmore. I’m a portrait artist and sculpture.

I’ve painted 100 feet long murals and a person’s face twenty feet tall and sculpted huge pieces for marketing projects so it takes a lot to wow me when it comes to sculpting. I knew that seeing Mount

Rushmore would bowl me over. To see what mere mortals had done with nothing more than antiquated equipment, a mountain and a vision.

On the next to the last day of a 4000 mile motorcycle trip Karl (husband) and I made in 2007, he told me we could alter our route and visit Mount Rushmore, but it would be a push to reach the park an hour before they closed. I was on a tight schedule to get home since I had to leave the next day to join Sherrilyn Kenyon on her book tour. But Karl and I had put this trip off for several years since it was tough to for us to coordinate 10 days to make the ride so we rode hard and made it to the park in time.

Mount Rushmore really is a huge WOW and made that motorcycle trip even more special and one I will never forget. However...I did not get time to ride my motorcycle in 2008 at all. Nada. I had an insane schedule, but I should have found ONE DAY to take a ride.

Back to the Bucket List...

I do have some big “want to dos” on my long-term list like seeing the Sistine Chapel in Italy before my bucket is kicked, but starting this year I’m writing an annual Bucket List of things I know are realistic to make happen in one year...that will make me happy. Like fishing more, playing golf again with my friends and riding my motorcycle more often. I know I can find at least 5 days to do these activities at some point this year if I make them "my priority."

I am determined to make sure these things happen with or without other people involved (TIPDon’t base your plans on anyone’s schedule except yours if it is something you really want to do), and if it means using that powerful word “no” when it’s time to make a choice between doing something for others that is optional and taking a day for


You deserve FIVE days. That’s less than 2% of the entire year. Print out the following and tape it to each of the FIVE days marked on YOUR calendar:






Okay, what’s on your 2009 Bucket List?

Come back tomorrow to visit award-winning author Terry McLaughlin whose blog is on Everyday Delights.

NYT Best selling author Dianna Love writes thrillers and urban fantasy. Her next release will be WHISPERED LIES (Pocket/May 19, 2009), a Bureau of American Defense (BAD) Agency novel. For more on Dianna visit

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At 10:16 AM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

What a nice idea. Even though my kids have been out of the house for years, I think the 'burned toast/broken egg' syndrome, once established, is impossible to get rid of. Moms always put themselves last, taking the bits and pieces nobody wants.

Now -- to come up with five days of ME time. (And that won't cost much.) Thanks for the nudge.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Terry -

Yes!!! This is the year you do something for yourself. It really is easy to justify not taking a day for yourself when you're "so used to giving it up."

You make a great point - taking 5 days to do whatever you want this year doesn't mean a huge money investment so everyone should be able to do that.

thanks for coming out to visit with us.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

When you put it in perspective, only 2% of our year being devoted to pursuits for ourselves, it doesn't seem all that daunting or selfish!
I had a similar wow moment to your Mount Rushmore experience. When I was in my early twenties, I went to Greece and saw the Acropolis, something I'd wanted to do since studying the ancient Greeks in 4th grade.
I guess I now have to come up with a list.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Mo -

I've got to go look up the Acropolis now, because that does sound impressive...and to even make the trip to Greece is huge.

By the way, when is your next Mossy Creek book coming out?

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

Great post, Dianna! And congrats on the wild escalation of your anthology! How exciting!

I did my Mediterranean cruise this last year, and not just because it was a Bucket List thing, but because I had been hungering to do it almost as far back as I can remember. In fact, I did several things I have always wanted to do last year.

So now I have to start almost from scratch for my Bucket List. When you get, uhm, up there in years, overturning that bucket gets to looking like a distinct possibility, so the force to get it done becomes almost like a new freedom.

But I'm still a mom, grandmom, and wife. All major points in my identity. And I have to say, as much as I like doing things for myself, the wife/mom/gramma role pleases me greatly.

So the Bucket List isn't made out for this year. I'm determined to spend time with my more distant descendants, but other than that, if there are five days just for me, I imagine I'll be using them to write, which is very much my pleasure this year.

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Not sure what I'll do that's on my bucket list this year, but I do have one that has more than 100 items on it. Guess I better get busy. :)

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

The next MC, Critters of Mossy Creek (tentative title) is supposed to be out this winter, but it may be spring. I promise to let everyone know when I know!

At 7:36 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Love this idea, Dianna! Congrats on being #5 on the NYT!!!

I will definitely put aside 5 days for just ME. Much easier now that I only have one child left at home.

I jumped out of a plane last year and did a little traveling. That was fun. This year I think I would love to go somewhere and write for FIVE days without interruptions.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Now going somewhere and writing for 5 days sounds like an item for my bucket list!

At 3:27 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Delle -

Congrats on making that cruise!! You sound like you have been wise to do some things you want to do. I love that you have to start over on your Bucket list.

At 3:28 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Trish -

LOL - 100 items. You go girl.

Look at it this way, if you take 5 off the list you'll 95 at this time next year.

At 3:29 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Delle -

PS - Thanks for the congrats on the anthology. We're all happy about that one. :)

At 3:31 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Theresa -

Kudos on doing a couple things this past year that were extra fun.

And the five days writing is exactly what I was talking about. Five days doing something that feels like you gave yourself a gift.

At 3:34 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Diane -

The five days writing is really productive. I spent a week away with another writer working on our books and it was great since we both worked and only spoke when we ate meals.


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