Friday, July 5, 2013

Evolving Bucket List

Yesterday I learned that I passed my Diabetes Educator exam!  
Woo hoo! Go me!  
I wasn’t so much excited to pass, but relieved to pass.  

I wrote the exam way back in May.  I studied a lot, but when it came time to write the exam I felt like I was over thinking absolutely every detail and failing to apply the knowledge from the study binders to the case study situations provided on the exam.  After almost 2 months of studying and a $500 dollar exam fee, I was rattled to say the least.  I felt really confident doing the practice exams the week before, but during that week, as the exam deadline loomed closer, I began to get more and more questions wrong on practice quizzes and became less confident in my knowledge.  During the exam, I was so antsy and uncomfortable I actually had to stand up, do some squats and stretches a few times just to try to refocus.  Even while writing, I could not keep my mind on the exam. What was my mind pre-occupied with? I have no idea.  I ended up finishing writing in about half the allotted time.  Having heard from coworkers that they used every last second of the exam time provided, I assumed that I must have rushed and not read questions carefully enough.  But by this point, I was so sick of the material. So sick of studying.  So sick of writing practice exams. At that point I just decided to trust my intuition the first time I answered the questions and to not go back and read over the exam.  So I packed up my bag, left the exam room.  

I drove home and we loaded up the trailer with the quads, and the truck with a cooler,  my stand up paddle board and Luna and we hit the road to Sandy Lake for a weekend of camping with friends.
SUP board loaded in the back of the truck
Relaxing by the Campfire

Luna loaded into the Truck!

Sandy Lake in the Midnight Sun
A few years ago, at some point during University, I began verbally listing the things I wanted to do before I died.  When things came up in conversation, I transitioned from saying “oh, I want to try that someday!” to “that’s on my list of things to do before I die!”  And from this unconscious verbal change, my Bucket List was born.  At some point, likely while I should have been studying, I wrote out my bucket list and have kept the list on my lap top ever since.

At the time, I assumed that this list would be added too, and scratched off but that the act of taking something completely off the list was equal to failing to accomplish it, or failing to try to accomplish it.  However, since then I’ve learned a lot.  Life is so much more fluid than a list.  This is probably shocking to hear me write since everyone who knows me knows how much I love lists and that I have a list for absolutely everything.

Passing the exam and obtaining my CDE designation was definitely on the bucket list, but wasn't really on the radar until last year when I started my current job.  Professionally, the next few Bucket List items I’d like to eventually cross off include completing my Masters of Public Health, completing my personal training certification and eventually perhaps, starting my own consulting / personal training / freelance writing business as a dietitian.  However, these professional bucket list items are relatively new.  I’ve learned that there is no way of knowing how your path will change.  The ebb and flow of life doesn’t follow a tidal pattern.  Will these things still be on my buckets list in 5 years if they have yet to be completed? I can’t say.  Will skydiving still be on my bucket list? I have no idea if that will still appeal to me in 20 years if I haven’t done it before then. (Better reason to do it sooner rather than later!)  I’m slowley learning that just because it’s written down, doesn’t mean it has to happen.  Why constrict myself to the arbitrary list I wrote 5 years ago? Why not allow myself to tweak it as I go, as my priorities shift and as I redefine what I want my life to be.

My current bucket list is definitely not complete, and I’m sure some of the items will be discarded and replaced a few times before I die.  Some things that I want to accomplish at some point in my life can't be measured or crossed off a list.  To stay active for life, to never stop exploring, to stress less and laugh more.   I'm slowly learning that those are the things that matter more than having a bucket list with everything crossed off.

Question of the day: What's on your Bucket List?

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