Things I’ve Already Done Before I Die

It’s popular to make lists of “Things I Want To Do Before I Die.” As a lister, I can understand the appeal. But after thinking about it for a while, I decided not to do it for several reasons — which I won’t bother listing.

Instead, I decided to make a list of Things I’ve Already Done Before I Die. It’s not nearly as ambitious, I know, but on the other hand, it’s concrete evidence that my life hasn’t been totally without accomplishment and excitement.

I have …

  1. Gone spelunking in an unimproved cave.
  2. Planted a tree.
  3. Sung in an ensemble in front of a crowd.
  4. Taken two years of piano lessons and played at a recital.
  5. Visited a World’s Fair (in New York in 1964).
  6. Gone to a Major League game with a Major League ballplayer (Phil Reagan of the Cubs).
  7. Attended an NBA game.
  8. Been to a Mozart festival.
  9. Attended an NHL game.
  10. Attended an NFL game.
  11. Performed on a released CD (I had one spoken line).
  12. Gone to a drive-in movie.
  13. Seen the northern lights
  14. Seen a lunar eclipse
  15. Seen a solar eclipse
  16. Found Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter in the night sky.
  17. Traveled in a steamship.
  18. Flown in a pontoon plane that took off from and landed on water.
  19. Spent a night under the stars.
  20. Read over 1,000 books that are considered classics.
  21. Identified almost 450 species of wild birds.
  22. Completed a New York Times crossword puzzle on my own.
  23. Watched almost 300 movies that are considered classics.
  24. Earned a college degree.
  25. Eaten in an automat.
  26. Ridden in a helicopter.
  27. Ridden on a motorcycle.
  28. Hiked 28 miles in a day.
  29. Biked 30 miles in a day.
  30. Found the rare Brewster’s Warbler hybrid on three separate occasions.
  31. Eaten caviar.
  32. Had a book published (albeit with no by-line).
  33. Built a sandcastle.
  34. Lost 50 pounds.
  35. Attended a Chautauqua tent show.
  36. Baked a cake.
  37. Survived a tornado.
  38. Juggled three tennis balls.
  39. Read biographies of all dead presidents.
  40. Spent Christmas alone.
  41. Visited all 48 contiguous states.
  42. Gone white-water rafting.
  43. Gone swimming in a waterfall.
  44. Bred and raised tropical fish.
  45. Ridden a horse (including one that was running full speed).
  46. Seen Casablanca in a theater.
  47. Taken an all-day train ride.
  48. Seen Blue Man Group.
  49. Been a camp counselor.
  50. Beaten everybody else in the world at online Boggle (or at least everybody who happened to be playing at the time).
  51. Won 103 consecutive games of Free Cell.
  52. Waded in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
  53. Waded across the Mississippi River headwaters.
  54. Gone on an overnight canoe trip.
  55. Spent a day detasseling corn.
  56. Ridden on a combine tractor.
  57. Driven a pony cart.
  58. Walked across a lake on the ice.
  59. Taken a ballroom dance class.
  60. Gone archery golfing.
  61. Seen a wild moose.
  62. Broken par at disc golfing.
  63. Won a ping-pong tournament.
  64. Carved a wooden duck.
  65. Attended a Broadway play.
  66. Built a snowman.
  67. Taken a walk when it was -30 degrees
  68. Taken a walk when it was over 100 degrees.
  69. Walked at least 100 miles a month for an entire year.
  70. Seen Niagara Falls at night.
  71. Traveled alone at least 300 miles from anybody I knew.
  72. Been to the top of the Washington Monument.
  73. Been to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
  74. Learned to do “around the world” with a yo-yo.
  75. Written a letter to a President.
  76. Parred a hole in golf.
  77. Boxed a round.
  78. Collected hail and use it as ice in a drink.
  79. Pulled an all-nighter to study for a final.
  80. Caught a snake with my bare hands.
  81. Won a prize at a carnival game.
  82. Stacked three golf balls.
  83. Adopted a stray cat.
  84. Had a published book dedicated to me (by my father).
  85. Gone to the top of Pike’s Peak.
  86. Ridden in an electric trolley.
  87. Eaten an entire baby octopus
  88. Had one of my photographs published in a book.
  89. Celebrated the Fourth of July in two foreign countries.
  90. Eaten ostrich.
  91. Eaten shark.
  92. Eaten musk oxen.
  93. Eaten caribou.
  94. Been to the top of the world’s tallest building (at the time).
  95. Caught a fish that weighed more than 10 pounds.
  96. Skied down a hill (on cross-country skis)
  97. Ridden on a snowmobile.
  98. Gone water skiing.
  99. Heard Timber Wolves howling.
  100. Driven a London taxi.
  101. Managed a car wash.
  102. Stood on Little Round Top at Gettysburg after dark.
  103. Seen a Gray Whale.
  104. Been a School Safety Patrol crossing guard.
  105. Played Little League Baseball.
  106. Been to a tent circus.
  107. Qualified as a Marksman with the National Rifle Association.
  108. Camped for a night on an island in Lake Superior.
  109. Been to a Harlem Globetrotters game.
  110. Ridden in a gondola in the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco in Mexico City.
  111. Taken an eight-hour bus ride through Mexico.
  112. Swam over 100 yards.
  113. Learned to ice skate and roller skate.
  114. Gone sailing by myself.
  115. Worked in a library.
  116. Driven a catering truck.
  117. Worked as a roofer.
  118. Seen a Coati.
  119. Gone deep-sea fishing.
  120. Played the harmonica.
  121. Been married for 30 years (and counting).
  122. Been bitten by a dog.
  123. Been stung by six bees in 30 seconds.
  124. Pumped gas at a full-service gas station.
  125. Discovered the nest of a Bachman’s Sparrow.
  126. Taught a canoeing course at a summer camp.
  127. Been the southernmost person on the West Coast of the United States.
  128. Watched a Dallas Cowboys-Chicago Bears football game with Josh McDowell.
  129. Walked within six feet of a six-foot alligator.
  130. Memorized all the countries in the world and their capitals (and forgotten most of them).
  131. Taken a ballroom dance class.
  132. Been to the first night game at Wrigley Field.
  133. Been to the final game at the old Comiskey Park and the first game at the new Comiskey Park.
  134. Taught workshops at a training conference.
  135. Attended an opera.
  136. Been given a cooking lesson by the owner/chef of a fancy restaurant.
  137. Participated in the first ever Chinese fire drill in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
  138. Maintained a daily blog for  more than three years.

I could go on, but I think we’ve all had enough.

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5 Responses to Things I’ve Already Done Before I Die

  1. n8 says:

    You’ve ridden a running horse while running? I’d say that’s an accomplishment!

  2. n8 says:

    Sorry, I misread. I thought it said … (including one as fast as I could.

  3. Angela says:

    You’ve ridden a horse!?!?!?!?!?!

  4. jeff says:

    ever been in a Turkish prison?

  5. karen says:

    139. Impressed your friends on a regular basis.

Comments are closed.