Reverse Bucket List

posted in: Life, Link Up 123 comments

I love the idea of a “Reverse Bucket List” – a list of what you have accomplished, rather than a traditional bucket list where you aspire to achieve certain things. 

As I write this list, I realized that I have done more in my 37 years than I thought. So thank you, Angela of Happy Fit Mama for hosting this linkup.

Traveled to, or lived in these places: Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, America, England, and Tunisia. In a couple of days, I’ll be in FRANCE with my family!

Travel

On a beach in Boracay, Philippines, hanging out in Central Park, NYC and aged 21 in Tunisia.

Fulfilled my dream of being a business owner.

Left home at 19 to go halfway across the world (Malaysia to England) to attend university on my own.

Graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.

Canoed and snorkeled several times.

Hiked halfway up a mountain once (it was a big mountain).

Mountain-hike

I was climbing down in this picture

Carved a memorable and successful 10-year career in marketing, events, and public relations.

Managed multimillion dollar marketing campaigns, conceptualized and executed amazing events, while doing the above.

Learned to make jewelry.

Jewelry

Met Oliver Stone on a commercial shoot.

Worked backstage at an international awards ceremony.

Asked Fergie of Black Eyed Peas for an autograph once (and got it). At the same time, Mariah Carey was standing 5 feet away from me.

Drove Ian Wright around Kuala Lumpur in my old, beat up car.

Whitewater rafted twice. 

Whitewater-rafting

Have had my writing published in The Huffington Post, Mamalode, Everyday Family, Families In The Loop, and BonBon Break.

Did yoga overlooking a paddy field in Bali.

Was the face of a media company information pamphlet in England, when I was 21. 

Improved my photography……. a lot.

Photo-comparison

I’m rather embarrassed by the 2008 picture

Started a blog (and still writing it!).

Mastered Google+ (well, sort of).

Baked my first 3-layer gradient cake.

3-layer-gradient-cake

Saw Bon Jovi, Hootie & The Blowfish, and Massive Attack in concert.

Gave birth to two healthy boys.

Not too shabby, eh?

What does your reverse bucket list look like?

_________________________

In other news, BlogHer has opened submissions for Voices Of The Year 2014! VOTY is when you can submit your or someone else’s writing (posts written from January 2013 to the present) for recognition. It’s one of the only honors in the blogging world that goes purely on the strength and beauty of one’s writing, and not just on popularity. This year, they added Photo categories!

Although yes, there will be one winner in the Reader’s Choice category (one winner from each category), that does require votes. Now, I am under no illusions that I will win anything, but a vote does wonders for one’s self-esteem.

Which ungracefully segues into this. I have 5 submissions that would really appreciate your votes! Just follow the link below, and click Vote (you do have an account and be signed into BlogHer to do so). Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I don’t always love motherhood
Pondering the impact of my writing on my children in the future
Confessing that I have no parenting theories to offer
A moment of joy captured (photo)
Taking a picture of myself – taking a picture of myself (photo)

I strongly encourage YOU to submit your own work, and/ or a friend’s writing. Don’t tell yourself that you’re not good enough, because you are. And you just never know how much your writing actually resonates with people, not until you put it out there. When you do submit and need a vote, let me know, I’ve got your back!

It would be super duper awesome to write “Was BlogHer VOTY” in a future reverse bucket list. 

Tell me what you think!

comments

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  • January 27, 2014 angela

    I am doing one Wednesday! (I think!)

    I was distracted by your trip to France (lucky!) and then I saw your chocolate photo (2013 version) and started drooling just a little :)
    angela recently wrote…Pajama daysMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      France and chocolate – it’s all good here ;)

  • January 27, 2014 Patty

    What a great list, Alison! And I love this Reverse Bucket List idea. It’s a great way to really reflect and look back on how full life has been for you. :)

    How lovely that you’ve visited the Philippines! Love, love, love that Boracay sunset! :)
    Patty recently wrote…A is for AmbitiousMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I’ve been to Manila a couple of times too!

  • January 27, 2014 Tamara

    Finding out so much more about you. Always awesome.
    And I’m voting for you. Also awesome.
    And I want to do my own reverse bucket list too. Maybe I’ll write about that time I met Jeff Goldbum and he was a total tool.
    Tamara recently wrote…Do I Even Need An Introduction?My Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Oh please do, I want to read that!

  • January 27, 2014 Maureen

    You’ve lead an amazing, colorful, adventurous life my friend and this idea of reverse bucket list is pretty awesome! I love the idea.
    Off to vote for your posts now.

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I have indeed, and thank you!

  • January 27, 2014 ashlea

    wow! You have accomplished so so much, you make me feel like Ive traveled absolutely no where! I hope to catch up to you one day.

    congratulations on all of your accomplishments

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Oh you will, Ashlea! And thank you.

  • January 27, 2014 Nicole

    So glad you joined Angela’s link-up! I loved looking back and reliving some of my favorite memories and adventures when I put together my list. I keep thinking of other things I should have included! Safe travels on your upcoming trip. Can’t wait to read all about it and see the pictures! Off to check out and vote for your posts!
    Nicole recently wrote…Reverse Bucket ListMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I hope I haven’t bored anyone with all the France updates :) And thank you for the votes!

  • January 27, 2014 tracy

    I love this idea – and I did not know about the jewelry!
    tracy recently wrote…Dear Nordstrom – About Your “Skinny Sleep” PillowMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I always thought everyone knew about my short-lived jewelry phase :)

  • January 27, 2014 Kristen

    I am in awe of all the places you have visited/lived! I love to travel so much, so I think it’s amazing that you’ve been able to experience all those places. (And I’m super jealous that you’ll be going to France. Have fun!)

    I’m jumping over right now to vote for you. Those truly are some of my favorite posts that you’ve written. I really hope you can add this to your reverse bucket list!
    Kristen recently wrote…A funny for FridayMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Aw, thank you SO MUCH, Kristen!

  • January 27, 2014 Kristen Daukas

    I like this idea!! Celebrates what we have done already and I’ve done a lot!!
    Kristen Daukas recently wrote…Shopping for Prom Dresses with Your DaughterMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      That’s awesome, Kristen!

  • January 27, 2014 Christine

    I love your list. You have had so many great experiences!! The blue cake is amazing. Now off to go vote for you!
    Christine recently wrote…On TeachingMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you for your vote!

  • January 27, 2014 Chai a Cup of Life

    I like the idea of writing a reverse bucket list. Really great way of pointing out the things you have done rather than the things you haven’t done. That is one amazing cake you made!

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I was pretty proud of that cake!

  • January 27, 2014 Angela

    I love it! Thank you linking up! What a list – you’ve done quite a bit. Love that you did yoga overlooking a paddy field in Bali. I think I need to add that to my Bucket List! :)
    Angela recently wrote…Elliptical RunningMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      It was the best yoga class ever!! Thank you for hosting!

  • January 27, 2014 Andrea

    Love your list! I came into this post in total comparison mode thinking, “Oh, this is going to make me feel awful about myself. Everybody – especially Alison – has done so much more than I have!”

    I came away from it being not only proud of you and in awe of the things you have done, but also thankful for all that I have done in my own life.

    Thanks for posting, and for giving me this perspective.
    Andrea recently wrote…Clean SweepMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Aw, thank you, Andrea, that is really sweet of you.

  • January 27, 2014 Tara Newman

    Alison – those are some grand and amazing adventures you have had. I love how much you improved your photography! I have Google + envy right now :-) Still not quite getting it.
    Tara Newman recently wrote…Reverse Bucket ListMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Tara, Google+ is just a matter of getting used to! Jump in and start using it :) And thank you.

  • January 27, 2014 Mirjam

    That is one impressive list, Alison!

    Seriously, look at my face.. (Now imagine me looking really impressed.)

    I love the idea of a reverse bucket list.
    It’s such a fun and positive way of looking at your own life.
    Mirjam recently wrote…Sunday gatheringsMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Mirjam! This was a fun post to write.

  • January 27, 2014 Brittany

    I love the idea of a reverse bucket list and like Tracy, how did we not know about the jewelry? We keep learning!
    Brittany recently wrote…Just a Boy and His RobotMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      It was a short-lived phase during my first pregnancy, before I blogged :)

  • January 27, 2014 Dr. G

    So I actually thought this was going to be a list of stuff you’ NEVER want to do! But this was even better. So great to find out all the cool things I didn’t yet know about a woman I already admired so much!

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I already wrote that list, lol :)

  • January 27, 2014 AlwaysARedhead

    I remember I was a teenager my bucket list consisted on one thing and that was too travel to Moosonee and Moose Factory, Ontario on the Polar Express. It was until years later that I, along with my husband and children were able to complete that task.
    AlwaysARedhead recently wrote…Crafts made with loveMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      That’s awesome!

  • January 27, 2014 Katie

    Some day I hope to add travel adventures to my list. I’ve been to quite a few states, but the only time I ventured out of the country was to Canada…and Canada and the States are not much of a culture difference! I love that you’re so adventurous, my friend.
    Katie recently wrote…The Reverse Bucket ListMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Well, to be fair, many of my opportunities came from my last job :)

  • January 27, 2014 Lisa

    I love the reverse bucket list! You have certainly been to some amazing places. I went to Paris with my hubby in December 2012 and I loved it! It was my first time out of the US so now I cannot wait to travel more!
    Lisa recently wrote…Does Being a Stay At Home Mom Set a Good Example for my Daughters?My Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Paris was amazing!!!

  • January 27, 2014 Katie

    What an amazing reverse bucket list! and such a great idea, I think people focus too much on what they need to accomplish and often ignore all the amazing things they have already done.

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Which is why this list was so fun to write!

  • January 27, 2014 Kerstin

    Yay for celebrating accomplishments!
    And I’m sure you can add VOTY 2014 to your list soon :)
    Kerstin recently wrote…My Secret SuperPowersMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Oh Kerstin, as much as I say I don’t care, I really want to add VOTY to the list too. :)

  • January 27, 2014 Cori

    You have done some amazing things my friend :)
    Cori recently wrote…I Have Some #RUNHAPPY News for You!My Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Cori :)

  • January 27, 2014 Vikki

    Gorgeous pictures and a great list!
    Vikki recently wrote…Trying to Find the Beauty in WinterMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Vikki!

  • January 27, 2014 AwesomelyOZ

    Those are some wonderful achievements Alison! You’re very blessed to have been able to do all those things :) I haven’t done quite as many things however, I still hope to make that list a little longer every year :) Your photos have also improved, they’re beautiful! Have a wonderful Monday! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently wrote…Why I’m ‘Crazy’My Profile

    • January 27, 2014 AwesomelyOZ

      Oh and I’m totally jelly about France :) I expect awesome, luscious photos girl!!!
      AwesomelyOZ recently wrote…Why I’m ‘Crazy’My Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, I like to think the photos have improved, I am practicing hard :) And I hope I did France justice with my photos.

  • January 27, 2014 Shell

    This is such a great idea! It’s so easy to focus on what I haven’t done yet. I like the idea of looking back at what I actually HAVE done.
    Shell recently wrote…3 Tips I’m Using to Stop Yelling at My KidsMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      And I KNOW you’ve done a great deal, Shell!

  • January 28, 2014 Jennifer

    I need to write one of these posts. It is amazing to see what all we’ve all done.
    Jennifer recently wrote…Motherhood DreamsMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I loved your post, Jennifer!

  • January 28, 2014 Herchel S

    I love this idea and I am extremely jealous of the traveling you have done! The improvement in your photography gives me hope because mine is just dreadful! Have a great time in France :)

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      The thing is, I didn’t even know that my photos were terrible back then, lol.

  • January 28, 2014 My Inner Chick

    LOVE all of your accomplishments, Alison Lee.

    The baking, climbing, mothering, wife-ing, photography, blogging, inspiring, encouraging.

    I just sort of love ya. xx

    & btw, The photo of you in the Philippines MUST be on the back cover of your first book.
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Slices Of SoulMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Aw, thank you, Kim.
      I’m not sure I’ll ever write a book, but I’ll print that picture up and frame it :)

  • January 28, 2014 Rorybore

    I just love this idea. This is the 3rd one I have read today, and it just makes me so dang proud of you incredible women and moms out there! so inspiring.

    a little jealous over the Bon Jovi thing, but I’ll be ok. ;)

    Course, I had to vote for your “I don’t always love motherhood” post.
    a different kind of inspiration, but no less needing to be said.
    Rorybore recently wrote…Monday’s Music: Makes Me HungryMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you for all of that, seriously!!

  • January 28, 2014 Ashlee

    Sounds like you got your fair share of traveling the world in before the babes were born! That is one thing I missed out on, so it’s getting pushed back a few years. I’m hoping to start traveling the world this year!
    Ashlee recently wrote…My Love/Hate Relationship With Nashville WeatherMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      You’re still young, Ashlee, plenty of time to do all that! :)

  • January 28, 2014 Galit Breen

    I so love the concept of a reverse bucket list!
    Galit Breen recently wrote…Love shownMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Isn’t it just awesome?

  • January 28, 2014 Stacey

    You are quite simply amazing! I love the idea of this because when I look back on what I have accomplished, it makes me quite proud of myself! The whitewater rafting looks both awesome and terrifying, BTW!
    Stacey recently wrote…10 NamesMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      It was mostly awesome, and thank you, Stacey!!

  • January 28, 2014 Allie

    I’m SO glad you did this! You are one accomplished, well-traveled woman. Your photography certainly has come a LONG way and mastering Google+? Let me just bow to you my friend! Can’t wait to hear about France – happy travels!
    Allie recently wrote…The Rundown: Hell WeekMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Well, SORT OF mastered Google+. That’s the beauty of social media, always so much to learn! And thank you.

  • January 28, 2014 Elizabeth

    I like this reverse bucket list idea :) That list of yours is impressive.

    I’m pretty proud of the fact that I lived in another country at one point (Montreal, Quebec in Canada during the summer/early fall of 2012). I was a bit terrified and excited. Gorgeous place to be by the way. I’d love to do it again.

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Living in another country is always a great experience!

  • January 28, 2014 Elaine A.

    I just love this idea of doing a “reverse bucket list”. You know I am going to have to participate in some way, right? ;) Yours is a great list too, Alison! So many wonderful accomplishments and so much life lived already! xo

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I like that – so much life lived. Thank you!

  • January 28, 2014 Poppy

    I’d totally pick Fergie over Mariah Carey!

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Oh yes, she was totally cool!

  • January 28, 2014 Martine

    If there’s one thing I’d like to add more of on my reverse bucket list, it’s TRAVEL! I’ve yet to check off the States on my list, and Africa.

    And you’ve been to the Philippines, yay! Part of our plans this year is to visit Malaysia. Can you believe I never did, in all my years of living in Singapore? :)
    Martine recently wrote…Blissful Blogging Part 1: How Blogging Can Help You Live MeaningfullyMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      You’re so close, Martine, do visit us!

  • January 28, 2014 Allie

    Your list is beyond impressive. You have done some amazing things Allison! I’m inspired.
    Allie recently wrote…SAG Awards RecapMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you so much, Allie!

  • January 28, 2014 Sarah

    I love the idea of the reverse bucket list! I do something similar when I start feeling down about the squishy post-partum condition of my body (or start looking too closely at the wrinkles around my eyes)… I think about all the amazing and miraculous things my body has done: grown 2 babies, run half marathons, hiked mountains, etcetc… and I think — this old body isn’t so bad after all!
    Sarah recently wrote…Sam at 6 monthsMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      You’ve done well, Sarah! :)

  • January 28, 2014 KalleyC

    A great reverse bucket list! I am able to build a computer from parts, I taught myself piano and how to draw, I can run with the big dogs in MMORPGs, gave birth to a boy and a girl. I’m teaching myself Russian as well as Chinese (written and spoken). Not a bad reverse bucket list at all!
    KalleyC recently wrote…Freedom In ConstraintsMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      That IS impressive, Kalley!

  • January 28, 2014 Ruth

    I love this idea of the reverse bucket list! It’s so important to celebrate what we have achieved… and you have an awesome list! Off to vote for you :)
    Ruth recently wrote…Are You Ready to Make Self-Care a Priority?My Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thanks so much, Ruth!

  • January 28, 2014 Amy

    Great idea and great list! That cake is fab.
    Amy recently wrote…Why my husband will never guest post on my blogMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thanks, Amy!

  • January 28, 2014 Kim

    I love your list, Alison! I love this idea! Sometimes we get so focused on all the things we want to do, that we forget about all the awesome things we have done.
    Kim recently wrote…Falling OffMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Yes, exactly!

  • January 29, 2014 Tonya

    Oh, I love everything about this and need to compile on of my own!

    I love learning all these amazing things about you. Great idea.
    Tonya recently wrote…Be HereMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Tonya! I’m pretty sure you’ve done some amazing and wonderful things.

  • January 29, 2014 Kimberly

    Well did you meet Paris Hilton and not get herpes from her?
    No?
    I win.
    Kidding. I think this idea is far more heart filling than looking at all the things you want to do and didn’t do. I think it’s great to have goals in life but it’s also great to celebrate all that you did do.
    Muwha…now off to vote.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Please Be My VoiceMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Hah! You crack me up. And thank you for voting!

  • January 29, 2014 sarah reinhart

    wow! what a list. I’m so proud of you and of course think you’re an amazing person. What more will you add in the coming years? Isn’t that so exciting to think about? Keep us on our toes, m’kay?

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Oh yes, that is a good thought – what else will I add to the list? VOTY would be a good start :)

  • January 29, 2014 Ilene

    I will gladly support your VOTY submissions. And I LOVE your reverse bucket list. I wnat to do yoga overlooking a rice paddy in Bali – and you make gorgeous jewelry by the way!

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you so much, Ilene!

  • January 29, 2014 Rebeccafaith

    I get your posts emailed to me and always forget to come back and comment, grr! I love the idea of having a reverse bucket list, and looking at yours- WHOA! You have traveled to so many incredible places and have accomplished so much. I cant wait to see the notches you add to your belt when this list is updated.
    Rebeccafaith recently wrote…Protect Me From My Own Stupidity: Put the Tylenol DownMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Rebecca! It will be fun to update this when I turn 40 :)

  • Wow! Your list is amazing!!
    Mine is a lot less cool I’m afraid, the main point is ‘got two Master degrees, despite the ADHD and everybody telling me it was useless for me to even try college’.
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…Bullying isn’t just for kidsMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Wow, two Masters degrees is amazing!

  • January 30, 2014 julie gardner

    For the record, my pictures still look like your 2008 shot. At best.

    Congratulations on ALL your accomplishments. I love this idea. I’m totally not prepared to think about everything I have already done…

    but wow. You do have me thinking.

    Safe travels to France and hug Jennie for me.
    Also, I want to eat that cake.

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I totally hugged Jennie for you. Love you!!

  • January 30, 2014 julie gardner

    p.s. I forgot to congratulate you on your bravery with VOTY! Go, girl. I love that you put yourself out there and am inspired. Heading over to vote for you now…

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Aw, thank you for voting!! xo

  • January 30, 2014 Emily

    Beautiful post, beautiful life! I probably would have had a heart-attack standing 5 feet away from Mariah Carey. Love her. Also- love that you make jewelry! I haven’t gotten my beads out in way too long.
    Emily recently wrote…mtn mama: warm fuzziesMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I haven’t made jewelry for about 4 years now, lol.

  • January 30, 2014 Natalie

    I love the idea of a reverse bucket list…it really shows you what you have done and how far you’ve come. I love your life…pretty great story to tell! Thanks for sharing!
    Natalie recently wrote…Old Man WinterMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      It does lend some perspective, that’s for sure! :)

  • January 30, 2014 Leigh Ann

    I love this! What a list. Your photography improvement is stunning, and I’m so jealous of all of your travel!
    Leigh Ann recently wrote…finding a good after school routineMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Aw, shucks, thank you Leigh Ann!

  • January 31, 2014 Roshni

    Just voted for you!
    Wow! I hope I can do even half of what you’ve accomplished!!
    Roshni recently wrote…India, from the perspective of a cheap foodie!My Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Thank you for the vote!!!

  • January 31, 2014 Julia

    That’s a great list. I’ve met Fergie’s husband Josh Duhamel and he is just as gorgeous in person.
    Julia recently wrote…Define “Fun”My Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Ooh, I’d much rather have met Josh :)

  • January 31, 2014 Nina

    Really loved reading all this about your life. And what a cool idea of the reverse list. I have to think about that!
    Nina recently wrote…Obsessing About Nonsense and a Jew Who ConvertsMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      I’d love to read your list, Nina!

  • February 4, 2014 Alma

    Me? oh I got to have one of my own designs get sent to Malaysia and get loved and cuddled by two amazing boys! How can I top that?
    Excellent list :)
    Alma recently wrote…6 More Weeks of Winter… just keep knittingMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      Aw, that’s so sweet of you!

  • February 8, 2014 Ann

    What a great list of accomplishments! This has got to be a great boost to your ego on “those” days. I think I’ll do this for myself too. Thanks!
    Ann recently wrote…Childhood LostMy Profile

    • February 8, 2014 Alison

      It absolutely is, Ann!

  • February 13, 2014 Adrienne

    You photography before/after cracks me up!! Your before is what all of my NOW pictures look like. Ha!! This list is awesome and so are you! ;)
    Adrienne recently wrote…It’s not always about homeschool!My Profile

    • February 13, 2014 Alison

      Hah! You might be too modest. And thank you!

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