Uncle Bob during his stint in the U.S. Army.
I recently applied for a fellowship. As part of the application, I was asked what the top three items on my bucket list are.

To be honest, due to my depression and other anxiety issues, I never created a bucket list.

So I stared at the application … what do I put, I asked myself.

I can’t remembers one of the things, must not mean that much to me anymore.

One of them was to run a race in every state I’ve lived in. I’ve lived in six and already crossed three off my list.

The other one has to do the Uncle Bob who you see above. Bob died June 4, 2016, on my 40th birthday. He’s my husband’s great-uncle and a veteran who served in the U.S. Army.

He served as World War II was ending, and his job was to search the countryside of Europe for any hiding German soldiers. My husband said Bob never talked much about his service. He opened up to us a year or so before his passing but the stories were mostly broad strokes. I went, I served, the end.

My bucket list item is to go back and see what Bob saw and retrace his path through Europe. It’s something that would take years to plan. Thinking about this bucket list got me thinking about other things that I’ve wanted to do but for some reason haven’t done yet.

I always have wanted to be a coach, so I’m in the process of trying to figure out how to make that happen. For now, my plan is to register with the USATF (USA Track and Field) and go through its coaches program. Costs may keep me from going into super coaching mode for a while, but the beginning program is inexpensive and includes certification to coach at the high school level. 

Bob lived well into his 90s and stayed very active until the end, when his health started to fail. 

I want to be like Bob when I grow up — as active and involved as possible.

This bucket list thing has reset some my thought processes. I am going to create my first goal list in forever. One that doesn’t involve races and projects, where I want to be five, 10 years from now.

While you may wonder why I should apply for something I probably wouldn’t get, my answer is this: I didn’t get that fellowship, but the application process got the ball rolling toward something better. 

It never hurts to try; it only hurts when you don’t try at all and regret it.