What’s on Your Bucket List for Creativity & Learning?

Guys! We made it! It’s the final day of our bucket list blitz. PHEW. Have you gotten any new ideas? Have you given any ideas to other people via the comments? THANK YOU for joining in the conversation with me.

Today’s bucket list topics: creativity, personal growth & learning. This is my catchall for projects around putting more joy, spirituality, education, cooking, etc. into my life and others! Y’all have probably picked up from Days 1 – 4 that I love to learn (thanks, Mom & Dad!) and try new things.

Before I get too far into it let me share the one I’m MOST excited about right now. The Love Letters! Have you heard me talk about these before? Oh my gosh. I’m obsessed. I reserved the domain name: www.MyDarlingHeart.com but I haven’t had a chance to kick this project off yet. But next week is THE week! I’ve blocked 2 days to get it off the ground and dig in. Here’s the blurb I’ve been sharing with people—

“My Darling Heart, Jerome. Oh how I’ve missed you so…”

This is a collection of about 300 real-life love letters form the 1920s written all from one woman (Merle Ann) to one man (Jerome).  My English teacher accidentally purchased these at a garage sale over 15 years ago! I fell in love when she shared them with our class and she left them in my care as part of my high school graduation gift. I’ve been wanting to read more of them and see how the story unfolds. Sadly, I put them down years back when I took up my first “big girl job” in Corporate America. Yet I’ve never been able to forget about the huge box of letters collecting dust in my cedar closet! I always hoped I would one day find time to pursue this as a bucket list project. Who was Merle Ann? Who was Jerome? How did they know each other? What was their love affair like? Did they ever marry? What compelled him to save all of these letters that she wrote him for so many years? What was life like in the 1920s for this seemingly secret love pair? Follow along with me as I uncover the truth about them, their relationship and life in the 1920s!

So that’s the BIGGIE for me in this bucket that I’d like to check off next. Here’s the hodge podge list of other things in this category–


    • Learn how to throw a pot. Nate did some pottery in high school and we love community ed. Perhaps this will be our next class!
    • Learn to play guitar really well. I can play a few chords and songs but I want to learn how to really jam.
    • Learn how to take better pictures. Then take more of them!
    • Learn another language. Maybe not fluently but like ½ college level. WIP. Nate purchased Rosetta Stone: Spanish for me this week!
    • Get involved with local government. I considered applying to be on the Civil Rights Action Committee for the City of Minneapolis. But then I got this crazy idea that I should create my own year-long nonprofit fellowship. Yes, I could do Americorps VISTA…but I’m a little atypical and very entrepreneurial. So why not make my OWN? I have a few finalist projects & organizations I’m considering pitching to. Can’t wait!
    • Try to cook more gourmet meals (maybe for my supper club guests who have yet to identify themselves?!). I’ve always wanted to learn how to make fancy things like Baked Alaska, Soufflé, Beef Wellington and a rack of lamb just because. Fancy! You too? Wanna be in a Supper Club together?
    • Go to more Museums locally. WIP. Mill City Museum with Mom & Dad in August of 2014, Science Museum multiple times with my godson Billy, etc. What’s your favorite local museum?
    • Learn how to properly maintain my own bike. Nate babies me in this department.
    • Learn how to bake bread. Completed! Baked bread and cinnamon rolls with my mom on 8/21/14 & got the recipes (well kind of…she doesn’t really use a recipe)! Finally!
    • Learn to drive a stick shift (again). My brother taught me when I was 16 but I’ve since totally forgotten.
    • Learn how to make a rain barrel and use it!
    • Learn how to compost and start a compost pile. Didn’t have to! City of Minneapolis now has Organics recycling as of Summer of 2016.
    • Take 365 days of self-portraits! There’s actually an app for this.
    • Start a blog. Hey! Look! I did it!
    • Work on my art more. Particularly my painting and writing. Anyone want to come over for a painting party? Basically I supply all the brushes and paint. You bring your own canvas and maybe an idea of what you want to paint and we go to town! I’ve never taken a painting class in my life. It’s just super therapeutic for me. Check out all the crazy things I’ve painted before:
  • img_0147
    Sometimes I go a little crazy… STARBURST!
    Past Painting Party Finished Work! The top right one is mine–Winter Trees at Sunset.
    • Complete my music degree. Did you know I’m 8 credits short of a double major in music? It’s all of the performance credits. I hated performing after all those Milk Buds trips singing songs about milk. #Traumatized (I kid, I kid). 🙂
    • Listen to NEW music regularly. Spotify in 2014 via Discover Weekly YES!
    • Write the “Love Letters” screenplay. Well, I guess I decided to start a blog about them instead. Hoping to launch NW as I mentioned above!
    • Start & finish my scrapbook? Not sure if I really care about doing this anymore…it’s so hard to get motivated!
    • Join or start a book club or craft club. Kind of? Used to do quarterly craft days with my sisters where we’d really just hang out and maybe knit at the same time. Now we just gave up on the crafting and have brunch instead. Can’t wait for the next one on 11/5!
    • Write & publish a book.
    • Take down more of Mom & Dad’s stories. WIP. I used to secretly record them using my voice memo app every time we’d come out for a visit. Now I just tell them “I’m recording you.” They’re always nervous about it but eventually I get them to forget it’s even on. 🙂
    • Find a church and church community that really fits. A constant WIP. Have any suggestions of churches to try?
    • Become an avid reader (ie: multiple books each year). Totally did this 2015 – 2016! It’s a healthy balance of trashy romance novels, business books, financial books and personal growth.
    • Live somewhere else (other than MN/WI or even the Midwest) for at least a few months. Maybe more? Perhaps retirement years?
    • Give something up for Lent & stick with it.
    • Don’t watch TV for a week, then a month, then a whole year.
    • Go to more free concerts & events around town. Working on it! Nate & I went to a great lecture at St. Kate’s yesterday on Environmental Justice. Fascinating!
    • Make a “Do it! This Season List” and do it! Completed Winter of 2015, Summer of 2016 lists and now have a Fall 2016 and Winter 2016 lists developed.

QUESTION OF THE POST: What’s on your bucket list for creativity, personal growth and learning? Inspire me and others with ideas and tell me why you want to learn or do these things!

Lastly, what are you going to do THIS WEEK to check something off the creativity, personal growth and learning bucket list or set a date to check it off? Me?

  • Get www.MyDarlingHeart.com started by the end of next week!
  • Block a day to paint or throw a painting party if anyone expresses interest.
  • Block time on my calendar to practice guitar or play piano weekly.

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