Last week we heard from authors Kristina Riggle and Susan McBride about how Robin Gold's Once Upon a List has inspired them to think about their own bucket lists. Today Robin Gold shares her own bucket list - read on!
As a child, I had two primary dreams. First, I desperately wanted to be Annie, which led to a horrific hair cut that left me – with my naturally curly, flaming orange locks – looking like a scary cross between Ronald McDonald and everybody’s favorite singing and dancing orphan who belts the virtue of “Tomorrow.” (I still can’t pass a “Cost Cutters” without a chill tingling down my spine.) Second, I yearned to be allowed to eat hotdogs every single day.
My parents always encouraged me to believe that anything and everything is possible. No matter what. Period. Never once in my life have they suggested that I cannot accomplish something that I set my mind on. (With the exception of becoming Annie addicted to hotdogs.)
As a result of my parents’ positive philosophy, I actually grew up believing I could achieve most personal goals. A helpful factor when it comes to bucket lists! I successfully rode a 100-mile bike race, taught myself how to sew my own clothes, flew in a fancy-pants private plane, learned sign language and how to play the cello, built a gingerbread house from scratch, moved to New York City and got a pretty decent job in the film industry.
But as the decades passed, and I became jaded – as adults often do – self-doubt crept in. I no longer believed that anything is possible. At a low point, I decided to pursue on a professional level the one thing that had always made me happy: writing. I figured that if “Operation Author Girl” failed, I could always fall back on competitive hotdog eating. When I told my parents I was going to write a novel, they smiled and said they knew it would be wonderful. They didn’t say, “How the heck are you gonna pay your bills?” Or “I sure hope you like Ramen noodles!”
I can’t deny it. Over the years, I’ve wondered if my mom and dad are nuts. I’ve asked myself, are they sniffing glue? Why don’t they ever doubt me? I doubt myself all the time! When I questioned my parents about their unwavering support, my mom shrugged and replied, “Someday, when you have a child of your own, you’ll understand.”
Now that I’ve met and married the love of my life and we have a 13-month-old baby, Archie, my bucket list is filled with all sorts of unexpected new ambitions and dreams. I want to bathe and have enough time to wash my hair and shave my legs. I want to take Archie to Disney World. I want us all to ride our bikes together in Europe past fields of sunflowers made famous by the Tour de France (sure, I realize Archie will have to learn how to walk first). I want to give him a sibling. I want to stick his first poem on the refrigerator with a magnet. I want to dress up as the tooth fairy and sneak into Archie’s bedroom the night he loses his first tooth (I may be chubby, but oh, can I rock a tutu!). I want to attend his college graduation. I want to see him fall in love and dance at his wedding. I want to let him eat hotdogs every single day (but I won’t).
Most of all, I want to do everything I can to help Archie believe “the sun will come out tomorrow” and his own dreams can come true. Because anything and everything is possible.
Robin Gold is the author of Once Upon a List, now available as an e-book, and The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size 12. She resides near Chicago with her husband, Greg, whom she finally found and who was well worth the wait; their baby, Archie; eleven bicycles; and a bunch of boxes in the basement that will probably never get unpacked. Odds are high that she has a Cheerio stuck somewhere on her body and doesn't know it.