8 Things To Do Before You Die

Loo What do you want to do before you kick the tin? There was a time when "be smaller" was the primary ambition but thankfully I diversified and remembered there were always many other things I wanted to do.

Roni recently tagged me for a meme where you have to name eight of them. I hadn’t properly put pen to paper since the Things To Do When I’m Skinny list of 2001, so it was nice to dream out loud.

  1. Spend a summer traipsing around Europe in a caravan, following the Motorcycle Grand Prix season.
  2. Stalk Follow Radiohead around the US on tour. Most likely not in a caravan.
  3. Tour around Australia and New Zealand with Dr G.
    People often do this in a caravan, but after many summers stuck behind stinky slow-arse caravans in the Scottish Highlands, I don’t know if we could join their ranks and live with ourselves.
  4. Re-read every single Babysitter’s Club book and see if I still identify with Claudia the most. Not because of her snappy dressing, just her penchant for hiding candy under her bed.
  5. Learn to sew and knit and crochet. Clothes, curtains and those dolls you stick over rolls of toilet paper. Because is there anything more offensive in the world than a naked loo roll!?
  6. Make a living from writing and/or a health/fitness/helping people sort of thing. A proper full-time living, not just a Breadloser one.

    How vague is that ambition? I need a mentor. Or a lobotomy.

  7. Grow a vegetable garden.
  8. Go on a road trip with Rhiannon and The Mothership when we’re totally middle-aged and curmudgeonly and do nothing but eat scones and potter around antique shops.

I should add:

  1. Rob a bank, to finance the above.

If anyone fancies joining in – what do you want to do before you drop off the twig? And make sure it has nothing to do with the size of your arse πŸ™‚

UPDATE: I forgot that I want to learn to tango. The dance, not the carbonated beverage. And salsa. The dance, not the tomatoe-y dipping goo. And visit Italy, South America, France, Croatia, Japan, Jordan, Cambodia and lots of other bits. Travel on the Trans-Siberian railway. Learn to make sushi. Re-learn to drive (it is possible to forget). Overcome fear of sparring. Attend poncy cookery classes. TBC!

54 thoughts on “8 Things To Do Before You Die

  1. Hi Shauna – I decided to play along…list is on my little blog.

    Your list is very diverse – love that. If you need a partner to roll the bank, let me know. I could use some extra cash to finance my list as well!

  2. Laura – COOL! cheers! πŸ™‚ your list made me realise i forgot travelling around south america, italy, jordan, france. and also consider breeding.

  3. it’s good to have the world expand past the narrow horizons of “must get thin” – to stop and look around and be more than just the person who blogs about weight loss.

    Personally, I like the “real person” touches.

    I have never “caravan’d” – what’s that like? Oddly enough, I think I’d actually do it if it was horseback, whereas I don’t think I’d do it in mobile homes and vehicles. There’s something empowering about riding with other people – I rarely get to do it and it’s such a treat. I imagine it’s the same for people who love to drive. =]

  4. It is more about the experiences and less about our size, isn’t it? I think its easy to get overfocused on the whole weight loss thing. Did I say overfocused? Maybe obsessed is a better word. I have come to this same realization as of late. That I have more to do, think about, talk about than just weight loss.

    Your list is fantastic!

    My list is mostly travel related. I’d like to take a year off and travel with my son and husband.

    I’d like to be fluent in another language. Not just my half-assed attempt at Spanish, but really be able to communicate.

    I’d like to set up a charitable foundation, something that would be a lasting legacy.

    I’d like to actually try making some art, rather than just thinking about it and putting it off in favor of doing laundry or cleaning the house. So, I guess, I’d like a dirty house with more art in it?

    I’d like to stay in one of those little cottages that sit over the ocean in Fiji. Preferably today. Because today I absolutely HAVE to finish cleaning the garage and do the laundry.

    Great topic!

  5. I just HAVE to see whales in the wild before I die… I want to get in a little dingy and get right up along side them… scary and marvelous all rolled into one!

  6. Oh that photo took me right back – my Gran used to have one of those loo roll cover dolls (but not the flowery porcelain flush handle). She also had that Mabel Lucie Atkins print about not leaving wet towels on the floor. I can still recite that thing by heart. I will have a think about the kick the bucket list and keep it in reserve for when I need blog fodder!

  7. Ah, yes, breeding. Thought I’d add that on my list! Then I remembered your post from one of your training walks where you encountered the little girl with her squeaky bike tire – may have to reconsider that!!! LOL

  8. Do you think Radiohead might notice?

    I need to go to Tokyo with my own band before I die. I may not want to be big anywhere else (eg arse), but I would kill to be big in Japan

    TA x

  9. Re-read every single Babysitter’s Club book and see if I still identify with Claudia the most. Not because of her snappy dressing, just her penchant for hiding candy under her bed.

    Could it be…? Are you… MY TWIN?!!!?

    But Claudia never gained weight, the bitch.

    Damn, that’s true! That bitch, I only love her 95% as much as I did before.

    And omg New Zealand! We’d love for you to be down here, Andrew can take Dr G. to all of the best Vegetarian places and I’ll take you to Burger Fuel πŸ˜€

  10. Great list. I can’t even begin to put a bucket list together right now. I’m so buried in the minutia of living. Sad, oh so sad. BUT, I do have a happy little life and adorable little munchkins, and a faithful husband, and a roof over my head, and a full fridge & cupboards, and a healthy body, and *someday* I’ll make a list of “what to do before I die.” I sure hope someday gets here before I “drop off the twig” (love that!).

  11. Sweetie, you’re far too young to see Australia towing a caravan. Only old people on their final hurrah do that – we call them SADs (See Australia and Die).

    Crocheted loo-roll dollies? Haven’t seen one of those for years.

  12. Kristy was my favourite – I wasn’t like her, but I’d have liked to be.

    I can theoretically sew and knit (poorly) and grow things, but I’d still like to have more time to actually do them…

    I’ll have to think about what my goals actually are, but I’m definitely going to do this meme.

  13. Great idea, thanks! I did it on my blog, too. The result of my list relates to weight… that isn’t against the rules, is it? My conclusion: Become your own inspiration.

  14. VFB – I’m no stickler for rules πŸ™‚ I love your conclusion!

    PastaQueen – I know! All that AND she could paint and draw. Over-achiever!

    Kek – Mwahhaha… I never planned plan on touring Oz extensively til I’m older. I think coz my grandparents did that, I always just assumed it was something you saved for retirement. You need so much bloody TIME to see Oz, and what else have you got when you’re retired πŸ™‚

    Marshy – I remember Phil and Emily used to blog about Burger Fuel all the time so will definitely put that on my list πŸ™‚

  15. Great idea Shuana! I have spent the day thinking of my eight:

    1.) Live in Europe
    2.) Earn my private pilot’s license
    3.) Swim in all five oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, Antarctic (or Southern)). I have already done the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian. I totally plan to cheat by sticking my foot (probably with the boot on) in the other two as I don’t want to die in pursuit of this goal
    4.) Learn to Skydive (jump alone, not tandem)
    5.) Learn to speak French
    6.) Hike Mt. Kilimanjaro
    7.) Learn to play piano
    8.) Write a book or screenplay

  16. Well, I’d definitely agree with the NZ tour – went back home with the fiancee in March and it was REALLY nice (only go in summer!!).

    As for dancing – I’d highly recommend Ceroc as a way to start. I did it for just over a year and got confident enough to feel really comfortable on the dance floor. A mix of salsa and jive, there’s lots of new starters and it doesn’t matter if you miss a week or whatever.

    Scott F πŸ™‚

  17. Oh, I want to learn to tango too! But, can you do it in flats? I hate heels & so do my little feet. I also want to do one of those week long bike tours where the tour guides hump your bags to the quaint & cosy bed & breakfasts. I’m just not excited about riding around with 30 pounds of gear & camping in a tiny tent. (Don’t get me wrong-I like camping-but I like a big tent.) Then, I want to visit my friends in Italy, Sweden, Germany, Australia & New Zealand. And, I’d love to go to an International Vintage Glider Rally in Europe. And, maybe someday-drive all the way to the west coast with my glider in tow. West coast soaring rocks!

    You know-your #4,5,6,&7 won’t require that you rob a bank. Although, the time I grew tomatoes-nothing like a home grown tomato-I spent more on fertilizer & such than I’d have spent to buy them in the store. But, it was worth it! Yum! Keep focusing on your dreams & you’ll find a way to make them come true!

  18. What a fun exercise. Here is my list. Thanks for making me stop and dream.

    -Live in Venice (fall, winter and spring, summer I can take or leave)
    -Take a multi day bike trip in a beautiful place
    -Visit the Badlands
    -Drive across America (slowly)
    -Learn more languages (Japanese, Arabic and Chinese)
    -Study yoga full time
    -Visit French Polynesia
    -Design and build my own home’s furniture

  19. Great list. I think I may have to take part.

    And yes, please don’t tour NZ in a caravan πŸ˜€ When it comes to caravans, I take the side of Top Gear πŸ˜€

  20. Great list! I want to make a film.
    You don’t have to wait until your old to caravan accross Australia. Just go whenever you feel restless and follow your wondering feet…

  21. When we win Lotto & do our Summer traipsing around Europe following MotoGP (won’t be in a caravan though, sorry), you & Dr G can come with us, OK?

    Did I tell you we’re going to Sepang GP in October?? Whoot!!!

  22. Shauna, this is so my kind of post ! regarding point six on your list what is “breadloser”? and you definitely should do more writing .. you were born to write .. i loved trying to picture u Rhi & ur mum as “curmudgeonly” – thats funny!! as for my list , at the moment i have a things to before i turn 30 list ( about 2 yrs away) which includes :
    learn to drive, buy a house, go whale watching , go kayaking, ( + some other health / weight loss type stuff).. also want to learn to salsa & learn italian, and visit italy, greece , france & spain .. among many other places !! dont want much, do i ?

  23. Hi, I haven’t been to the gym this week, I’ve been busy knitting a cardigan for a friend’s 2 year old daughter’s birthday this weekend. Seriously! I’m happy to give you a knitting lesson, I’m planning a weekend in Edinburgh this Autumn so will let you know when I’ll be there.

  24. Amanda – Sepang! Hella cool πŸ™‚ I dunno if I will get to a race this year due to moula issues. Maybe Donington next year πŸ˜›

    Amber – Your lists sounds fab. Btw, Breadloser = the opposite of Breadwinner! πŸ™‚

    Alice – cool! that is very kind and generous of you πŸ™‚

    Cat – Ooh i’ve had one of those for years but always forget, i will need to revisit. and stickybeak at your goals too of course πŸ˜›

  25. Cool List – I love the Babysitter Club books (I was in love with Logan – doh!)

    Mine would be:

    1) Buy and do up one of those cute 70’s VW vans

    2) Drop everything one summer and take a road trip around Europe with boyfriend in van (see number 1!)

    3) Become a Surfer girl with sun bleached hair and bracelets made of shells

    4) Learn to surf (crucial to number 3!)

    5) Star as the thigh-slapping hero in a panto (“He’s behind you!”)

    6) Run a marathon

    7) Do my Family Tree (amd also boyfriends cos apparently there is money there!)

    8) Write a book

    Well I am on my way to number 3! I have stopped brushing my hair and am going for the wavy natural look… Cornwall here I come!

  26. hi shauna! a fellow mad men fan at last! 2nd season here, and this week’s was fab. serious crush on life in 1960’s Manhattan and that cheating sexy bast*rd don draper. hope you get season 2 soon!

  27. Loving this list. I’ve always wanted to have a vegetable garden one day too, but my fingers are so far from green. Quite taken by Shel’s list item about being “a thigh-slapping hero in a panto”. Sounds more fun (and possibly more achievable than actually getting something to grow).

    As a person who jacked in a perfectly good job to do the making a living from “health/fitness/helping people” thing, I can highly recommend pairing this with item 9. (robbing a bank).

  28. What a great list! I would love to reread the Babysitter’s Club books, as well as a few other series I was obsessed with when I was younger.

  29. Shel’s #1 reminded a story my friend Charlie told me. He & a friend were towing a trailer with a 70’s era VW van. The engine is in the back of the van. Well, Charlie was riding shotgun as his friend drove. He got a bit sleepy & said he was going in the back to take a nap. No sooner did he get there when his buddy was screaming at him to get back up front. The front wheels were lifting off the road!

    What a great exercise! I’m enjoying reading everyone’s list.

  30. Oh, the Babysitters Club…I still have all of the original hundred bazillion that came out at my parents’ except #13, because I dropped that in a swimming pool the day I bought it. I am still distraught about it.

    My bucket list is so messed up because of all the “when I’m thin” qualifiers I put on them, and I hate that. I will say that some of them, like tango (and I was SO stoked when you added that at the end! I would love if you got addicted and geeked out about it to everyone!) I’ve made myself do now, but I can’t say I’m enjoying it as fully as I would if there weren’t any pressure to look a different way. I think maybe it’s just a sad, unavoidable reality the fatgirls have to face. I don’t know.

    I loved your list, and I’m so glad to be back and catching up with your life.

  31. Have listed and achieved the veg patch ambition this year!! It’s fabulous! Courgettes are like your own wee cabbage patch kids, hiding under the umbrella leaves until Mummy is hungry. I think I am now the Queen of Courgette Cuisine!(PS if you have limited space, get some old tyres, slash round one side and turn them inside out as a big tub for growing veg, stops landfill and you can fill it with land!:)

  32. Oh curse you – I am supposed to be getting dressed for work and you have caught me. I’ve got to do this one.

  33. Hey there.

    If you want to do a big trip how about going to OZ and NZ via Japan.

    I’d be more than happy to show you both my town of Kyoto.

  34. I love these lists…

    1. If I’m ignoring the voice in the back of my head saying permanently lose 2 stone then I will replace this with take a trip from San Francisco to Vancouver spending lots of time everywhere
    2. Live in New York
    3. Do a professional patisserie course
    4. Open tea shop / fancy cake place
    5. Have kids and eventually live in a beautiful Edinburgh house with garden

    Back to work now…

  35. Dearest daughter,

    I have some sad news….the Babysitter Books were not amongst the 12 boxes of your books that were moved recently into the garage roof space. Do I need to haunt E-Bay to get replacements?

    Also its up to you and Rhiannon to fund our next road trip when you make middle agedness….I will be a pensioner by then and the dollars won’t stretch that far!!! Certainly won’t feel like one either, me thinketh….

    I will have to start my list now – you have inspired me! πŸ™‚

    Love you

  36. I love your list. Mine used to consist of :
    get thin, have more sex, possibly have boy child, lose baby weight (again)
    But life’s too short, right/ My list now consists of
    have more sex
    get a cleaner
    go to Ireland
    see the Pyramids
    take kids to Disney
    see Space Shuttle launch
    learn to scubadive
    ride in a hot air balloon (planned for upcoming fortieth)
    not be defined by my weight!!!

  37. 1. Run a 10k race in less than an hour
    2. Learn how to bake bread that works consistently (not turning out like a brick half the time)
    3. Attend the Vienna New Year’s Day concert
    4. Live in a small cottage or apartment in Italy – not in a touristy area, but near a market town – and just cook for a year, following the seasons (Spain or southern France will do!)
    5. Write about food (in other words, rather than in my academic job, where I write things that only a few dozen people are interested in, I want to write about something popular)
    6. Grow a small fruit orchard – just a couple of trees each of apples, pears, plums, apricots, maybe cherries
    7. Live and work somewhere other than Europe or North America for a while, say six months or a year.
    8. Meet Bruce Springsteen and tell him how much his music has meant to me over my lifetime.

    And I can teach you to crochet – it’s a doddle!

  38. Lovin these lists…

    Mothership – maybe the BSC books got eaten in the Great White Ant Debacle of 1999 (or whenever it was)

    Tamakikat – That would be fab πŸ™‚

  39. I have to give my list some thought, but right now I’m totally grinning at the Babysitter’s Club one. I had every single one too (even the Super Specials where they unbelievably got to babysit on cruise ships etc), but my best friend and I decided that she was more like Claudia, because she was artsy and creative, and I was more like Stacey by default, because I was more like her than Kristy or the other one-Mary Ann? I can’t believe I forgot her name. Now I need to go re-read them all too.

    I just adore that we are of a similar vintage, and you read them too. (It’s like when I got really excited that you played the organ as a kid too… I’m just a dork, what can I say?)

  40. OK-I just read the rest of the comments and saw that your BSC books are no longer. If you ever come to Canada, let me know, and I’ll make you up a care package of the best ones (IMHO). If I ever come to Scotland I’ll do the same. That way you won’t need to rob a bank in order to do that one on your list!!

  41. Hey! A great list! I feel I have to big up the caravanners here. My olds had a caravan when I was a kid because we were too poor to go on proper hotel holidays. And I must say it was the most wonderful experience. We used to buy cheap ferry crossings on freight ferries (full of dodgy French lorry drivers with fantastic mullets) and drive where ever we fancied. The furthest east we got was Poland and as a result I’ve visited nearly every European country- we even went to East Germany in our van after the Berlin wall came down. So don’t listen to those narrow minded folks who laugh at caravanners and make like a Gypsy and get one!

  42. Erin – I meant to say earlier YOU were my tango inspiration!!! I’m not sure i’ve ever seen tango lessons in these parts but i live in hope!

    I’m really glad you’re back writing again too πŸ™‚

    Beakerella – that sounds soooo bloody awesome! bet you have some great travel tales πŸ™‚

    pyschsarah – awww, you’re kind! we would also have to have a book club and eat ding dongs and ho hos and all those weird things claudia used to eat πŸ™‚

  43. I guess the equivalant to the Baby Sitter Club books was the Nancy Drew books when I was a wee lass. (I tried ever so hard not to say, “back in my day” then.)

    What do I want to do before I shuffle off?

    1. Have singing lessons and join a band where I will be the back-up singer/guitarist.

    2. This one is a fantasy of mine but ohhh how good would it be if only it could come true? – be part of a famous band and experience the highs of performing in front of a massive audience.

    3. Write a series of children’s books.

    4. Travel to the Northern Hemisphere.

    5. Experience the joy of grandchildren. Lots of them. My poor 11 year old son. Oh the pressure!!

    6. Live close to my relatives. Something I have not done since my early 20’s.

    7. Build an art/music studio in my backyard shed and have it as my own personal creative space where I can be free to create beautiful art and music.

    8. Watch my son turn into a man and marry a wonderful woman who will be his soul mate.

    9. Become the person I know I should be instead of the person who hides inside an overweight body.

    10. Break my golf handicap and finally get into A Grade and become the club champion.

    That’s all. I don’t ask for much do I? πŸ™‚

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