The Reverse Bucket List

I’m not a bucket list person. I’ve stated that before. I always feel like if it’s on a “bucket list,” it’s not ever going to happen. I know, I know…pessimistic.

It’s just that when I sit and think about all I haven’t done yet and then look at my age (very close to being 36), I cringe. I find it’s easy to get down on myself when I think like that.

I do love the idea of a Reverse Bucket List though.  Angela of Happy Fit Mama posted hers recently and I found myself nodding along. I love the idea of celebrating what we have already accomplished instead of dwelling on a list of yet-to-do’s (or never-will-do).

Because Angela inspired me, here is my Reverse Bucket List (in no particular order other than the stream of conscious spilling from my brain and seeping out of my fingers):

  • earned two degrees: Bachelor’s and Master’s
  • had four pregnancies
  • gave birth via C-Section twice
Eddie's Birth

Eddie’s Birth

Charlie's Birth Day

Charlie’s Birth


  • survived postpartum depression and anxiety
  • trained for and did a 5K
  • flew on a plane alone to California despite my fear of flying alone.
  • had my heart broken by someone who wasn’t worth it.
  • was published in PRINT
  • is set to be published in print again
  • have been in the same school district teaching for 13+ years…even through SEVERAL close calls with layoffs due to budget cuts.
  • learned to admit when I am wrong, and apologize sincerely for it.
  • did mission work to help rebuild after hurricane Andrew in the early 90’s.
  • questioned the faith I was handed as a child, and came back to it on my own terms.
  • helped my husband through abdominal surgery and the loss of his father…on the same day.
  • miscarried without intrusive medical “help”
  • sought help when things were not Ok.
  • learned to say “no”
  • got a job teaching at the college level
  • got AP credits by taking the test, but not taking an AP class
  • went to BlogHer…twice
BlogHer14, yo.

BlogHer14, yo.

  • began calling myself a writer…and meaning it.
  • was honored as Teacher of the Year in 2004.
  • was honored as Elective Teacher of the Year by the class of 2011.
  • quite literally married my best friend.

Reverse Bucket List

  • started (and kept up with) a blog {over 6.5 years, yo!)
  • been a part of over a dozen weddings (including my own, of course)
  • got a tattoo
  • attended around 100 concerts
  • saw Pearl Jam play Wrigley
Pearl Jam at Wrigley 2013

Pearl Jam at Wrigley 2013

  • saw both the Atlantic (honeymoon) and the Pacific in the span of a year
  • took pictures of some of the dives that Pearl Jam played in Seattle before they were famous
  • visited the John Lennon exhibit at the Rock n Roll hall of fame
  • watched the fish get thrown at Pike’s Place in Seattle
Pike's Place Market, Seattle

Pike’s Place Market, Seattle

  • drove through the Badlands
  • went on “spring break” to Florida in college
  • did a road trip with friends to NYC to see Dave Matthew’s play at Giant’s stadium (with Beck and Ben Folds Five) and stayed in the basement of the house of a family a friend nanny-ed for.
  • saw The Phantom of the Opera on stage in Toronto
  • watched fireworks from a boat many times
sunset over Lake Michigan just before fireworks

sunset over Lake Michigan just before fireworks

  • went skinny dipping
  • sang Snoop Dogg songs karaoke
  • made a house a home
  • never accidentally hit “reply all”
  • participated in Habit for Humanity
  • lead a staff Professional Development…that seemed successful
  • picked myself back up when I didn’t want to.

Whew.  That is all I can think of right now, which is pretty good, yes?

It’s so much more uplifting to think about your accomplishments than your “haven’t done yet’s”.  I have a bad habit of DAILY going over the things I didn’t get to instead of celebrating the things I did. Even if the only thing I did was get out of bed. Some days that is an accomplishment on its own, am I right?

I’ve noticed this bad habit in Eddie too.

He is a worrier like me. He frets about the things he doesn’t know how to do yet, or didn’t get to do.

I think I need to help him develop a new habit: listing his accomplishments.  I know making this list made me stand a little taller and smile a little wider.

How about you? What is your “reverse bucket list”? What have you accomplished?

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. “Never accidentally hitting reply all” – heh.
    Love your list. You’ve done amazing things. xo
    Alison recently posted…Reverse Bucket ListMy Profile

  2. I drove through the badlands – and it was pretty amazing! (as are all your accomplishments, you skinny-dipping rebel, you!)
    Kerstin recently posted…My Secret SuperPowersMy Profile

  3. I would have never pictured you as a skinny dipper!! Shocked!! While thinking it is awesome at the same time. This has also got me to going hmmm yeah I need to do this. Been a rough few months around here lately..
    Southern Angel recently posted…Blogger2Blogger with Southern Mess MomsMy Profile

  4. I agree I think I like these “have dones” a lot more than the “want tos”. Even though those aren’t really words.
    Jennifer recently posted…Motherhood DreamsMy Profile

  5. I saw Phantom in Toronto too!

    I love this idea!
    I think I will start doing one —- some years before wife and motherhood may have to be filtered or censored, but I think it will be okay. 🙂
    Rorybore recently posted…Monday’s Music: Makes Me HungryMy Profile

  6. Great list of accomplishments, Katie! I don’t know if I will ever do one… does “eat several boxes of movie candy in one day” count as an accomplishment?
    Andrea recently posted…Clean SweepMy Profile

  7. Love this, lady, and wowsa! You’ve done so much!!
    Galit Breen recently posted…Love shownMy Profile

  8. I just love that you married your best friend. And that is just one of the MANY awesome things. This is such a great idea! Your list is SO great!!
    Elaine A. recently posted…MomCom 2014My Profile

  9. Awesome list! My hubs would be quite jealous of you PJ experiences. He’s a little obsessed wih them. 😉 Thanks for linking up!
    Angela recently posted…Elliptical RunningMy Profile

  10. Love all of your list, girl!
    You have done so much.
    Silently adding skinny dipping on my bucket list hah!
    Maureen recently posted…Reverse Bucket ListMy Profile

  11. I love this list, Katie! And I’m quite proud of the reply-all bit, for you 🙂
    John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted…Where I accept High Heels & Training Wheel’s ChallengeMy Profile

  12. What an amazing life! I love this and need to compile a list of my own.

    Thanks for sharing you, Katie!

    Tonya recently posted…Be HereMy Profile

  13. Love your reverse bucket list! I love how your family plays a central role in so many of your accomplishments. I’m so glad Angela hosted this link-up. What a great way to reflect on the good things in life. Never fails to fill me with gratitude!
    Nicole recently posted…Optic Nerve Clover Giveaway WinnerMy Profile

  14. I love your list! So funny how we can think we haven’t done much until we tally it all up.
    Leigh Ann recently posted…finding a good after school routineMy Profile

  15. LOVE this post! Love the courage t brag about what you have done that is awesome!
    Ann recently posted…We have a bug flying around here: Sick kids!My Profile


  1. […] reverse bucket lists? Check out post by my friends Jennifer Williams, Alison Lee, Andrea Mowery, Katie Sluiter & Poppy […]