The Just Because Bucket

Do you have a just because bucket? You know, those items on your bucket list that have no particular rhyme or reason but somehow make the list anyway. Just because. More than likely these types of items are not blow-your-socks-off type of accomplishments or activities, but they are still important in their own way and worth the effort and the cross off anyway.

I just did two of them.

It’s the little things in life really. The first was something I’ve been procrastinating on for awhile, and the second happened because I finally stopped procrastinating and the two just so happened to go in conjunction with one another. I’ve had on my Next List the loosely termed “more photography classes” that for me specifically, meant learning and delving into a program I’ve had a license to use for the last two years and have been afraid to touch. So I didn’t.

An opportunity opened up while heading home from a business trip to take a different route and hit up one of the courses at a college in Colorado Springs. A part of me wanted nothing to do with this supposed opportunity while another part whispered, “It’s time.” I usually love school, but after spending four years on a bachelor’s degree, two years on a master’s degree, and several years in-between on a few random certifications I admittedly am schooled-out. So with a bad attitude I signed up for the course.

To get myself pumped up and a little more excited about the whole endeavor, I began looking for a way to treat myself. That’s when the fun stuff opened up. Curious as to what else I could do, I looked up and down my Next List and saw that there were several other things on the list that had to do with that particular part of the state, like touring Garden of the Gods and getting room service at the historic and absolutely gorgeous Broadmoor Hotel. Both of those items were surprisingly something this local Colorado native had never done. Shame on me.

Although I wasn’t able to book a room at the Broadmoor, I was however able to find a cute little room at the historic Cliff House in Manitou Springs and decided to save the elusive Broadmoor Hotel stay for another time. I absolutely love and am enamored with historic hotels and although the historic Cliff House didn’t make the official list, it was a second choice that would do quite nicely. Smiling, I made my reservation.

As I begrudgingly took the steps to cross one item off my list, I was able to make arrangements to have fun with another one. What started as a class to update my photography skills turned into a girl’s trip with my mom and a date with the two of us touring the Garden of the Gods. Turns out, she had never been there either. Shame on her.

Looking back, it was in moments just like these that God blessed me with opportunities to cross off 29 of the 30 items on my 30×30 list–a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I was thirty years old. Twenty-nine done! I still pinch myself. Now with the creation of my Next List with goals for my next chapter and next decade, I smile as I realize that these items make for check marks #18 and #19 since the new list was created. Thank You Lord!

Go ahead, put things on your bucket list that you may not have any idea how, when, or even if you’ll ever get an opportunity to cross them off. Put them on the list anyway.

With my brain chalk full of new knowledge, we hit the trails of this natural wonder and soaked up the perfect weather, the red rock views, and blue skies provided for us. I’m pretty sure I even ended the day with a root beer float. Why? Just because I can.


Ashlee Bratton - Life Before The Lottery

Ashlee Bratton – author of the book “Life Before The Lottery: Living Beyond The Bucket” is a professional photographer, freelance writer, and inspirational speaker with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and master’s degree in business administration.

Along with completing 29 of the 30 things on her 30×30 list, her writing contributions include numerous publications such as Vail’s EAT magazine, creating a 56 page Visitor Guide for a mountain ski town, blogging and guest blogging, being featured in multiple newspapers and e-zines, and various other projects.

Currently, she keeps her camera in hand in Southern Colorado, is a complete and total foodie, and takes plane rides for fun. She likes things that go.

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