Everyone can have their "sky diving" and "tattooing" bucket lists. I'm good over here with my non-inked skin and feet on the ground, thanks.
Humor Life

My Anti-Bucket List

Everyone can have their "sky diving" and "tattooing" bucket lists. I'm good over here with my non-inked skin and feet on the ground, thanks.

By Kelly Riibe of Family Footnote

Bucket lists are all the rage and I love them. There are so many aspirations in life. Travel abroad, hike the Appalachian trail, camp under the Northern Lights, run a marathon, pee in private again, and the list could continue forever.

It is fun to hear what line items are on other people’s bucket lists. Sometimes I nod in agreement, but there are a lot of occasions where I shake my head and think, “Never will I ever!” Hence my anti-bucket list was born.

Skydiving or Bungee Jumping

Feel free to call me out if I ever change my mind, but I currently have no urge to conquer great heights followed by gigantic free falls. The thought of skydiving or bungee jumping has never appealed to me. Sure, it sounds thrilling, but my practical self wonders about how my neck will feel after getting air-smacked repeatedly.

Dropping through the air in tandem with a stranger sounds uncomfortable. I get flustered when a person stands inside my hula hoop of personal space at the grocery store. Therefore, being harnessed to an individual whom I have only known for as long as the required safety course holds zero appeal. Being upside down with my legs bound together and hooked to a bungee cord seems nightmarish. I would rather zip-line. Or better yet, read a mystery novel about a person who gets shot at while zip-lining. Either or works for me. Just no skydiving or bungee jumping. Ever.

Going Off the Grid

I hear a lot of people hypothesize about going off the grid, disconnecting, and just walking away for a while to embrace the solitude of life and nature. That is big time bucket list stuff for folks. Well, not me. I love life and nature, but I promise you that no part of me ever wants to be “off the grid.” In fact, I would love to be micro-chipped so that authorities could find me should I ever go missing. Big Brother does not care and neither do I.

I would appreciate solitude for maybe five minutes and then wonder what I could or should be doing with these moments of freedom. Then I would want a paperback novel, followed by my smartphone or my Chromebook. Pretty soon I would be looking up the nearest pizza joint and inviting friends to join me.

I can appreciate silence and serenity, but I do not need an underground bunker or remote island for it. A quiet hotel lobby with a fireplace and a Starbucks will do just fine. So too will a lake cabin furnished with running water, AC, and an accessible route to a convenience store with well-carbonated fountain pop.


I ―like so many―went through a phase in college where I wanted a tattoo. Thankfully I never got one because my pale skin would not hold up well as a canvas for Chinese symbols. Barbed wire sleeves or a cute emoji would look silly on me. I just know in my soul I could never pull off a tattoo. I’m lucky my twenty-something self never had the money nor the pain management techniques necessary to get inked.

I have been with people when they got a tattoo, and they look epic and fierce with tats. It is just not me and never will be. My body has changed so much after four children. If my college self had gotten that three leaf clover that I considered, it would now look like a sketch of a rotting tumbleweed thanks to hormones and stretch marks.

No Wax and Repeat for Me

My pain tolerance has gotten better through adulthood. Going through labor and getting bit by toddlers help make a person tough. You know? So even though I think I could manage the needle part of getting a tattoo, I just don’t want to do it. Ever. I now feel the same way about bikini waxing, which I have actually done before.

Short story: It hurts. Long Story: It really hurts and continues to hurt every single time you get waxed. The whole myth that the nerves deaden and it stops hurting is a lie. Since I have waxed before, I probably cannot technically add that to my anti-bucket list. However, it is on my “no longer worth it” list.

A Full Life

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many things out there that I do want to do in my lifetime. The world has tons to offer. Yet with so much, it feels good to acknowledge and accept my limits. Especially when it comes to thrilling adventures or pain infliction.

This post was originally published on Family Footnote.


About the Author

Kelly J. Riibe has four kiddos, a husband, a rescue mutt, and a mildly curbed addiction to fountain pop. Keeping busy for her involves staying home with her children and also finding work as a freelance writer. She has been published in Nebraska Magazine, Heels on a Farm, The Manifest-Station, BonBon Break, Parent.co, Living Here Magazine, Black Hills Faces Magazine, Pregnant Chicken, and Sammiches & Psych Meds. She is also the co-writer for the blog: www.familyfootnote.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @familyfootnote and @KJRiibe.