Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Oct 30

Over 4 Decades of Bucket Lists

My Life-Long bucket list: 

From the seventies (ages 1-9): 

1.  Marry Mac Davis. 

2.  Rescue abused animals from circuses and take care of them on my big farm.

3.  Never, ever have to clean my room again.

**Progress Note**  I didn’t get any of these things crossed off my bucket list.  I know you were hoping for the marriage thing to work out between Mac and I, but I just couldn’t play the long distance relationship game so I had to let him go. It’s just too much and I don’t want to talk about it anymore.  Moving on…..

From the 80’s (ages 10-19): 

Get a new pair of killer acid washed jeans by Guess. 

Meet Charles Schulz and ask him to draw Snoopy for me.

Look totally outrageous in a side ponytail. 

Have a good friend that I would still know and love even when I get old.  Really old – like, over forty. 

Like, totally go to a rad art school and then land a cool job in Chicago. 

**Progress Note**  I never did master the side ponytail.  Yep, not a photo to be found.  Dodged that bullet.  The friend thing worked out, though (homage to Beth)  

From the 90’s (ages 20-29): 

Graduate from college and immediately get offered a six-figure salary doing work that I loved. 

Get married and live happily ever after.

Live like it’s 1999.

Lose those pesky 20 pounds. Get rid of those extra 60 pounds. Lose over 100 pounds.

**Progress Note**  Skipping the nineties.  Nothing to read here.  The nineties sucked. 


From 2000 to date:

Fall in love again.

Seriously.  Lose the weight – and keep it off. 

Work for the best employer on Earth.   

Become a well-renowned artist.

Be content in my skin and in my life. 

Learn to say, “No.”

Appreciate myself for who I am and what I’ve yet to accomplish.

**Progress Note**  I can’t say that I’ve mastered 100% of these list items but I’m pretty darned close.  Becoming a well renowned artist I’ve found, takes more than a few months.   Go figure.


Everyone has a bucket list, or the equivalent of one.  Things they want to accomplish. As I sit back and look at the things in my life that I so badly wanted to accomplish but didn’t, I laugh at some (how many of you actually remember Mac Davis and why on earth did I have the hots for him so badly?) and I feel melancholy about others (did NOT attend a good art school; instead, followed a boy to his school of choice), but I’m reminded of where I would be had I taken different routes than the ones I did.  One thing leads to another, which leads to something else, and so on. 

One example:  If I had gone to the art school of my choice, I never would have continued my relationship with my boyfriend, who’d later become my husband.  Years later, if my husband hadn’t divorced me I never would have become close friends with the woman who would introduce me to my future husband.   Yes, hindsight is 20/20, but it has also provided me comfort in knowing that the decisions we make/made are for our greater good.  Trust yourself.  Believe in yourself.  Follow your heart. 

Cliché?  Maybe.  True?  I think so.  When things appear at their worst – or even if you’re just having a lousy day, take comfort in knowing that whatever mess you’re in, in the long run it will add flavor to your life, you’ll learn from it and it will make you a better person because of it.

I am still learning, but I haven’t added much to my bucket list lately.  I still struggle with the insecurities of being a new business owner and my body continues to remind me that physically, I’m not as strong as I was before surgery.  But in all honesty, most days I’m excited enough to see where things might go from here.  It’s good to have goals but I’m living a less rigid life now that I’ve hit my forties.  There is the possibility of tomorrow and what surprises it may bring because we truly never know what’s right around the corner.   

Not quite sure why I’m so nostalgic today, but there’s my post to show for it. 


On another note, I returned to yoga class yesterday.  Sue, my instructor, was there with her loving presence and I felt like I’d never left.  Well, emotionally it felt that way.  Physically?  I have got a LOT of catching up to do.  Last year around this time I was doing 3 minute planks.  Now?  I couldn’t hold for more than 5 seconds.  But, at least I have a goal to work towards.  Another goal for my bucket list:  I’ve got it!  Holding plank pose for 43 minutes by my 43rd birthday in February!  Wait – hold the phone; how did that 4 get in there?  I mean 3 minutes – not 43; that’s just crazy talk.

How has your bucket list changed over the years?  Do you remember what dreams you had when you were a kid?  This is a great time to purge your soul, people!  (and I’m not just saying that because I don’t want to be the only one exposed here with my Mac Davis confession).

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  1. Ah, Mac Davis. He warned us not to get hooked on him, but did we listen? :)

    My only bucket list item now is to take another long road trip out west. Beyond that, I’m open to what life brings me.

  2. Lisa says:

    Oh… I remember Mac Davis :o)

  3. Kyra says:

    I have no idea who Mac Davis is. However, I had a thing for Kirk Cameron. And no, I can’t explain it. Fortunately, I grew out of it!

  4. Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds says:

    I love love love that picture of you and Craig! I hope it is framed somewhere in your home. Or at least a wallpaper on your phone or computer. :)

    My big childhood crushes were Corey Haim (died from drug overdose 2 years ago) and Joey McIntyre (of New Kids On the Block.) In my early 20’s it was all Brad Pitt, all the time. Now I just wonder what on earth I was thinking!!!

    Yay for being able to return to yoga. 3 min planks? Holy crum….I did my first 1 min plank last week and thought I was going to die. You go girl!

    • Ellen says:

      That is probably one of my favorite photos of us together. I have it on our refrigerator.
      I still have a crush on Brad Pitt, Jenn. He just keeps getting better looking! And hey – at least your crushes were your AGE. Mac Davis could have been old enough to be my dad!!

  5. Loved this post. And so true. “When things appear at their worst – or even if you’re just having a lousy day, take comfort in knowing that whatever mess you’re in, in the long run it will add flavor to your life, you’ll learn from it and it will make you a better person because of it.”

    • Ellen says:

      Forget about my post for a minute and can I just say: I read your About Page – holy cow, you are Super Woman!! Extremely impressed with your successes! (and seriously, thank you for your comment :)

  6. Roxie says:

    I adored Mac Davis and his tv show – thought he was the funniest/sexiest thing alive! “It’s hard to be humble”….

    Ah, the bucket list – rather than the side-pony – I wanted to rock the brunette hair – much like Joyce Dewitt on Three’s Company – cue really bad self-perm and a strong resemblence to Angela Davis.

    I was going to be the next Barbara Walters – a broadcast journalist – back when she was such a thing. Looks like that didn’t happen.

    The bucket list is now less about external things and more about experiences. I just crossed a big one off my list and there isn’t anything that’s calling my name right now. Except maybe dancing Gangnam style 😉

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you, Roxie – I hoped if anyone would hang with me on the Mac Davis thing it might be you! lol
      SO glad that you’re back. Headed right over to your house (blog, whatever) to catch up :)
      OH, and do you know that my post originally began with a reference to PSY? Laughed out loud at that one!

  7. Leslie says:

    Glad to drop by for a visit and catch this hee-larious post. Never quite made my bucket list goal of being an astronaut-veterinarian-ballerina. It sounds like you were a tad more realistic in your younger days– I bet you DID rock that side ponytail (and still could).

  8. Munchberry says:

    In the 70’s I crushed on Robbie Benson and Leif Garrett and may or may not have kissed my little black and white TV screen every time Shaun Cassidy appeared in a scene on Hardy Boys. Later I moved on to Peter Frampton. Haven’t moved off the last one. I,unfortunately, do not have permission from hubs to make him “feel like I do” should the opportunity arise.

    Other than that I lack a bucket list.

    • Ellen says:

      Do you remember that movie that he was in when he was dying of , what? Was it a brain tumor or something? Man, he was good in that movie. Also, John Travolta in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Remember that one? Why did I gravitate towards boys with tragic lives??!!

  9. Lisa says:

    Mac Davis!! I thought I was the only kid who knew about him!! My mother LOVED Mac Davis, therefore I loved Mac Davis. I never really liked the teen heart throbs that the other girls liked, I wanted a real man like Mac Davis.
    I’ve been thinking about my bucket list and getting some things struck off of it! Time to get into action!

    • Ellen says:

      Oh, Lisa – you just made me feel completely normal. Thank you!! I hadn’t thought of him in years and years but then he suddenly just popped into my head when writing this post. I wondered how many people would even know who I was talking about. I suppose it would have been worse if no one had – then I just would have felt OLD! lol

  10. Vickie says:

    Yes, I remember Mack Davis.

    Sleeping bag with twin size fleece scrunched around me in it, has made a huge difference on those can’t get my feet warm nights.

    Take your time with yoga so you do not hurt your wrist or lower back or anything else. It is easy to put too much pressure on another body part when we are babying injury. It will all come back, but it might not come back the same as it was.

    • vickie says:

      I have had to be super careful of my wrists, as I shift too much weight forward, trying to keep as much weight off my left foot as possible, and not bending my left toes. I was thinking about you this morning and realized you are now spending a fair amount of time with a paint brush in your hand. Tell your yoga instructor about that if you have not already. My suggestion would be to spend at least 50% of your yoga time on your forearms (like in down dog and plank).

      • Ellen says:

        I never considered this (regarding my hand/wrist and painting). I will keep watch of this. Good thing too, because I’m so busy trying to keep the rest of my body aligned without injuring it. I don’t want to have to take another month off before trying again, like last time. My back simply will not tolerate me neglecting it anymore. Thanks for always looking out for me, Vickie. xo

  11. teresa says:

    What a great post!!
    The picture of you and Craig is prefection!!! You look soooooo cute!!! And he just clearly adores you so he’s clearly smart.
    Mac Davis!!! I was right there with you. Do you remember this silly song of his, It’s hard to be Humble? I still sing it sometimes…
    So sweet though to think of a little girl wanting to marry him.

    • Ellen says:

      It is my favorite photo. I asked him if I could post it (in two years he’s never let me post a closeup photo of him before) so it had to be this one.
      Oh, I remember that song he used to sing. Everytime he would come on the television my whole family would yell through the house, ‘Ellen! Your boyfriend is on TV!’ I’d get so embarrassed – but not enough to stop me from coming to watch him! lol

  12. Goodnuff says:

    I don’t think I know who Mac Davis is, unfortunately I’m at work so I can’t try to figure it out either.
    I crushed on ALL of the boys from The Outsiders!
    I do have a bucket list and I have crossed off some, deleted and added and am trying to do my best at “following my heart”

    • Ellen says:

      You are probably too young to remember the Mac Davis Variety Hour. He was a bit like Tom Jones – tight clothes, unbuttoned shirt, curly hair. But it was the killer smile that got to me.
      I am reading Rob Lowe’s book autobiography right now (well, listening to it on audio) and he has just finished talking about his role in that movie. I never saw it. Now, I’m going to have to see it, although he had almost 20 minutes of scenes cut from it.
      Following your heart is a great way to get things crossed off of your bucket list. And I’m sure you have greater things on yours than marrying Mac Davis. 😉

  13. Beth says:

    I LOVE, LOVE LOVE you Ellen!! I don’t remember you liking Mac Davis (must have been when you were at Olive before we met), but how funny that you mention Albert…I SO remember you liking him!! Remember who my celebrity crush was in Middle School?? Menudo!! Roy specifically, but I would have settled for any of them. I remember us talking on the phone for hours talking about you marrying Tony Venable, and me marrying…I don’t quite remember who I was supposed to marry? Ah the 80’s…good times!

    • Ellen says:

      All right – we have to get the facts straight here: it was Tony’s brother that I was going to marry – which wouldn’t have worked out anyway because you and I were too busy running lines from Bob and Doug McKenzie’s comedy album. Remember that? omg.

  14. didi says:

    Ok, so next year for Halloween you need to go as an eighties girl and rock the bejesuses out of a side ponytail. It’s never too late to experiment with bad hair!
    That picture of you and your fella is really cute. You have such a pretty smile.

  15. Hanlie says:

    I didn’t know who Mac Davis was until the song was mentioned. I had a huge crush on Tom Selleck and watching Blue Bloods now I realize that he’s actually still awesome! My other enduring crush is Bruce Springsteen.

    This post is actually very topical for me, because I’m in a time of radical change. Saying goodbye to my uterus is very symbolic for me of letting go of old, outdated dreams and desires and moving forward free and unencumbered. I will definitely be writing about that in the weeks to come.

    Maybe your body has slowed down your recovery specifically to help you ease into your new artist role. Our wombs are said to be the center of our creativity and yours has now been released in a big way. It’s very exciting!

    • Ellen says:

      Hanlie, I wanted to let you know how much I really appreciated this comment. I never thought about my creativity that way, but I do know one thing: getting what you wish for isn’t always the best thing. If I’d achieved instant success in my shop, it would have been the end of me. I never would have been able to handle the pressure or all of the work while recovering. Things are moving in the direction they are supposed to. Bookmarking your comment for future reading.

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