By Jamie Schafer – White Hall, MD

I was recently asked to create a bucket list. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s a list of things you want to do/see/accomplish before you “kick the bucket.” At first I was excited and giddy at the idea, but the more I thought about (or over thought) the ideas on my list, I started to panic.

Because we’re flooded with images and ideas throughout the day on social media, a lot of our thoughts are not fully our own.  Creating my bucket list became an exercise in trying to filter out things the world thought I should do before I die, and come up with a list of things I actually wanted to do.

My original bucket list is below:


Beautiful isn’t it? Nice and blank. Here is where the panic set in. I felt rushed to scribble down ideas like “skydive” even though I wasn’t jumping out of my seat (pun intended) to hop on a plane and tie a parachute to my back. Each idea I came up with, I dismissed as not original enough. What was I missing? There’s no way I’ve accomplished everything I’ve wanted to do in my life –  is there?

I sat wide eyed, staring at my blank list and trying to think what I would want to do if I was given just days to live. Nothing like the pressure of pseudo-death to get your creative juices flowing, right?

The first thing that came to mind was marriage. Some people have this urge to be a parent, or a doctor, or what-have-you. For me, that urge was to get married. As a child, I desperately wanted a beautiful wedding surrounded by an enormous group of family and friends, and marry the love of my life. I want to be a wife. I want to have someone to look after and love, and create a life with.

I want to go to Italy and Bora Bora. Italy is stunning, full of delicious food and people talking with their hands. I’m Italian, so this has always appealed to me. I want to spend time lazily strolling through the ancient ruins and eating fresh delicious food. Bora Bora is a super tropical tiny speck of land where you can stay in huts that are all connected to one another. I want to paddleboard, stay in a hut and watch the fish swim!

I am a diehard Ravens fan, but I want to watch a football game in the AT&T Cowboys Stadium. My allegiance still lies with the Ravens, but you have to be completely nuts to deny the Cowboys stadium is the most magnificent football stadium to grace God’s green earth. This baby cost $1.15 BILLION and holds the world’s largest high-definition video display.

Another item on my bucket list is to eat my weight in Krispy Kreme Donuts. I’m not kidding. I just want someone to bring me endless boxes of hot and fresh Krispy Kreme Donuts, let me sit there and eat my fill until I get instant diabetes or explode. I once cried in a Royal Farms when I stumbled upon a Krispy Kreme Donut display because I was so surprised to see them. They bring me happiness like no other food ever will.

And for the past few years I have wanted a flower tattoo on my left forearm. My Mother has been pretty vocal that she doesn’t want me to get it, and I’ve been respectful of her wishes. But this is my bucket list and I’ve got pseudo-death floating over my head, so to the tattoo parlor I go!

The final thing on my list is to build the home of my dreams. The thought came out of nowhere, and to be honest I sat there and just thought on it for awhile. Is this something really worthy of a bucket list? It certainly is something I want to do before I die. I would love to have endless funds and have the freedom to tailor a home to my specific wants and needs.

With the New Year beginning and people “resolving” all over the place, the pressure to make this year a good one is daunting. People expect you to have some fantastic goals for the year and to book all of these grand Pinterest-style vacations/adventures. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting a home, a marriage and a stunning oval diamond ring (see how I threw that in there?). Some might say, “That’s not bucket list material though!” And to them I respond: Well, why not?

Take some time and really think about things that would make you happy. Consciously think about what you want to do this year and share your bucket list with us! 2016 should be everyone’s year to do what makes them truly happy.