rusty bucketAh, the New Year. Time for reassessment, re-evaluation and resolutions. Which is why I’m coming back to the Bucket List I’ve had posted on this blog since 2008. (For those who haven’t seen the Morgan Freeman-Jack Nicholson movie, the Bucket List is that list of things you want to accomplish before you kick the bucket.) At the time I originally wrote my list, I just jotted down anything that came to mind whether or not I thought it was in the realm of possibility. Which is why, years later, there’s precious little that I’ve managed to cross off the list. So, in the spirit of a new year, here’s my revamped Bucket List, but this time organized by Doable, Dreamable, Fairy Dust and Done. In other words, the things I might possibly accomplish within 2011, the things I might be able to accomplish within the next decade, things that I’ll probably never be able to achieve (but wouldn’t it be nice) and things I’ve managed to accomplish from the original list.

First, let’s take a hard, cold look at what got crossed off the list since 2008. It’s pitifully short.

The Done and the Almost Done

bush, mission accomplished

Sadly, this is all I've crossed off the List in 2 years.

  • Attend the Olympics

DONE! See my posts on the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. (And there is a possibility I might catch some of London’s Olympics in 2012.)

  • Can and preserve fruit from my own orchard or produce from my garden

The orchard is still struggling to produce fruit, but I was a canning fool with produce from my garden. Under my belt are tomato marmalade, tomato ketchup, vegetable ceviche, green tomato chutney and green tomato marmalade all from the series of raised beds we call Flying Terrier Farms. Hopefully, one of these items will help me with another Bucket List item: win a Blue Ribbon at the Sonoma County Fair.

  • Nurture an organic garden
I’ve two seasons now — with actual produce produced — so I know it wasn’t just beginner’s luck. And I’m getting even more ambitious.
  • Become proficient in simple conversational Spanish

Enrolled and completed Spanish 1A and 1B at CCSF, which, sadly, is really only the equivalent of one semester of Spanish and hasn’t led to greater fluency than the ability to read beer billboards in San Francisco’s Mission District. But I’ve enrolled in Spanish 2 for this Spring and have high expectations once I’m in class twice instead of just one night a week.

  • Master photography and my Nikon D90

Finished my second photography class at Community College of San Francisco, by which point I really felt I was improving. Then fell back into my “snap the picture and hope for the best” mode. I promise to do better this year.

  • Make a kick-ass Cabernet

I’m calling this partially done even though a great, or even good Cabernet has so far eluded us. But our Rosé. Now that was a different story. It stood up to the best of the Bandol.

  • Complete a walking marathon

I completed the Half in the Las Vegas 2008 Marathon (read about it here) then decided life is too short to walk a full Marathon. So I’m refining this goal for the list as “improve my time on the Half Marathon”.

Doable: List Items I Hope to Cross Off in 2011

  • Gather at least 70% of my meals from my own organic garden for at least a 3-month period
  • Reduce my carbon footprint
  • Eat on the 100 Mile Diet for one full month
  • Successfully cook one recipe from the French Laundry Cookbook
  • Master composting
  • Learn to ride my Vespa
  • Take a winemaking course at UC Davis
  • Win a Blue Ribbon at the Sonoma County Fair
  • Run a 5K
  • Walk a Half Marathon in under 3.5 hours
  • Wear a size 4 again
  • Spend a week on a dude ranch
  • See wolves in Yellowstone Park
  • Finally make it to Death Valley during a Spring bloom
  • Finish my Mission Mission by visiting the last two on my list: Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, in San Gabriel and Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, in Oceanside
  • Join a Sonoma charity or organization as a volunteer

Dreamable: Things I Might Accomplish in Five to Ten Years

  • Learn to play the guitar I bought with my babysitting money when I was 15
  • Travel to India, Laos and Vietnam
  • Visit the Galapagos Islands
  • See the Maldives before they sink
  • See Haiga Sophia in Turkey
  • Trek through the Outback and camp at Uluru (Ayers Rock)
  • Go on safari in Africa (with a camera)
  • Take my 12th road trip across America — but this time by the Northern route.
  • Take our place in Sonoma completely off the grid
  • Keep chickens
  • Get horses and burros
  • See the terra cotta warriers in China
  • Do that Rim to Rim Grand Canyon hike
Fairy Dust: Pipe Dreams that It May Take Me a Lifetime to Cross Off
  • Be able to carry on a simple conversation in Cantonese or Mandarin.
  • Retrace the path of Chief Joseph’s retreat — preferably on horseback
  • Follow the Long Walk of the Navajos — preferably with a Navajo
  • Travel the length of the Nile
  • Learn not to sweat the small stuff
  • Make a difference in a child’s life
If this year is anything like the last two years, I’ll find myself adding to this list faster than I can cross anything off. I guess I’ll just have to live to 125.
What about you? What’s on your Bucket List?