Monday, August 8, 2016

Bucket list: experiences not things

One of Sharry’s key mantras to life was to “buy experiences, not stuff.” And she was so good at living this way. We as human’s love accumulating stuff. I think it goes back to times when people did not have enough stuff to survive so they needed to collect and spend most of their time and resources to provide for their family and community. For the most part that is not required for most of us today. Yet we have more stuff than we have ever had as humanity and spend so much time thinking, saving (and going into debt) to get the new cool and for the most part totally unnecessary crap. I’m incredibly guilty of this, but Sharry was 98% better than any normal person I’ve ever met (buddhist monks aside). She did not want a smart phone, she loved shopping at DI because it didn’t add to sweat shops and our throwaway society. She would feel guilty when she would buy new clothes or things of the sort. She really only wanted new things that led to greater experiences, greater connection to nature and visiting other lands.

Here’s a great article backing Shar’s philosophy.

Shar’s life experience philosophy inevitably led to her creating a bucket list that she adapted from some she found online and created herself. I want to share her list and will do so over a few different posts. I will edit out some items that I know she would not want shared and will annotate key items. This first post will be the items from her list that she checked off, that she actually experienced. Keep in mind this is by no means a comprehensive list of Shar’s experiences and yet all of these were accomplished before the old age of 30.
The supposed location of the holy grail, we drank some of the red water

The Bucket List.

(x ) Gone on a blind date
(x) Participate in a rally We participated in a lot of these!!
(x) Participate in a peace march
(x) Skipped school
(x) Watched someone die (and stand in the fire with them) I was amazed at the strength Sharry had in the toughest of situations
(x) Been to Canada
(x) Been to Mexico
(x) Been to Hawaii
(x) Been on a plane
(x) Gone to Washington, DC She didn’t do this one but I did while we were married so I’m counting it (o:
(x) Swam in the ocean
(x) Swam with sea turtles
(x) Been sailing
(x) Played cops and robbers
(x) Recently colored with crayons
(x) Sang Karaoke
(x)Volunteered at a soup kitchen
Costa Rica
(x) Been on TV
(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(x) Made prank phone calls
(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue I love the beauty and simplicity of some of these
(x) Fired a gun
(x) Been to the Opera
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) Serenaded someone
(x ) Stayed in a 5 star hotel
(x ) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(x) Watched the sunrise with someone I loved watching sunrises and sunsets with her!
(x) Been to a National Museum
(x) Eaten caviar
(x) Blown bubbles
(x) Gone ice-skating
(x) Gone to the movies
(x) Driven across the United States
(x) Backpacked through Europe
(x ) Lived in more than one country
(x) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets I miss so much these simple yet profound memories. These are what my happy thoughts are made of.
(x) Seen a falling star and made a wish Before every time I had a “wish moment” I would wish for Shar’s lasting happiness. Now I wish to know she still exists and is at peace
(x) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
(x) Seen the Grand Canyon Where I proposed
Speaking on loving our neighbors at Occupy SLC

(x) Seen the Statue of Liberty
(x) Been on a cruise
(x) Traveled by train
(x)Traveled by motorcycle
(x) Been horse back riding
(x) Been to Disneyland OR Disney World
(x) Truly believe in the power of prayer
(x) Been in a rain forest
(x ) Seen dolphins in the ocean
(x) Swam with dolphins and whales
(x) Been to the Olympics
(x) Been water-skiing
(x) Been snow-skiing
(x) Been to Westminster Abbey
(x) Been to the Louvre
(x) Swam in the Mediterranean
(x) Been to a Major League Baseball game
(x) Been to a National Football League game it was a presseason chargers game but I guess it counts
(x) Make a handmade quilt
(x) Been to Europe
(x) Eaten things you can't pronounce
(x ) Had any broken bones
(X) Save someone’s life I’m checking off this one because I think she saved JJ’s life!!
(x) Find a soul mate This one breaks my heart with gratitude and loss
(x) Backpack Europe
A buddhist weekend retreat when we lived in S. Korea
(x) Work for a nonprofit
(x) Find a spiritual home I must say this was an ongoing process
(x) Vegoose, Coachella, Warped tour, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
(x) Music on you-tube
(x) Be part of an important movement OCCUPY
(x) Be an activist
(x) Have a family
(x) Watch the top 100 films
(x) Snorkel in a coral reef
(x) Visit most national parks These were some of my favorite memories
(X) Become an angel YES this was actually on her bucket list!! Wasn’t checked off of course but I’m checking it now.
(x) Get a Masters (M.P.A.)
(x) Never get divorced Never even had the chance...joking of course
(x) Own and use a kayak haha we had an inflatable one that was incredibly difficult to steer
(x) Learn to cook
(x) Always be eccentric
(x) Host a benefit
(x) Become a vegetarian
(x) Write for underground newspaper (The Salt Lake Dissident)

The Alps
Teaching and connecting
Beautiful Bryce
I hope JJ wants to follow in his mom’s footsteps someday and create his own bucket list adapting many of her items to make his own.

Do you keep a bucket list? What’s on your list you’ve checked off? What do you have yet to check?

In a coming post I’ll share the items she had yet to post a road map for me and JJ to live by. (o:


  1. I love how proactive she was in living life to its fullest. She's inspiring me (and I'm sure many others) to do the same. Thanks for sharing so much with us.

  2. I was just going to say the same thing as above^ she lived so intentionally, where most of us let life just kind of happen. #livelikeshar

  3. I miss her so much and I love her bucket list. I love that there are simple and grandios items on the list, reminding us to find joy in the simple pleasures as well. More than anyone else in my life, she has inspired me to stretch myself, learn, and do better. But mostly I just miss taking to talk to her about all the silly (and important) things life has to offer...and possibly gossiping a little. I started making a new bucket list, it includes... A Gilmore girls style trip to visit the New England states, visiting various churchs (denominations), going back to gymnastic class, and smile in pictures (something I apparently struggle with). :)

  4. I need to thank you for sharing Sharry. She inspires me daily and I believe she still is eternal. Become an Angel, ✔️
    sing the national anthem at a rodeo, and keep bees, are a few of mine. Also get ourselves to hardly strictly bluegrass.

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  6. Love is the dialect of the heart. It talks delicately that nobody hears yet the sky. Love is not isolated when it is shared. After you figure out how to share, you understand It develops bigger, it increases and you let go for flexibility. Item on a telephone stand

  7. I am awed by this woman and her beautiful soul and admire your strength for sharing your story. It truly inspires me to want to be a better person and live life to the fullest!! You have been blessed with a lifetime of memories, and a love most will never experience. I wish you peace and happiness as you continue your journey.