From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rejection and a Bucket List

Yesterday was a pretty heavy day for rejection. I got rejected by The New Yorker (not unexpected), I didn't get the job I wanted, and most of all, my roommate did not get into the University of Utah's graduate program. That means she will not be going to Salt Lake in the fall, which means all the options are open, which is a whole new can of crazy scariness.

Anyway, the rejection along with the limbo-ness I talked about yesterday has gotten me thinking about how to shake things up, keep them happy and exciting and inspiring, when you're down and figuring out what to do. Every day can seem like such a repeat of the day before and when things don't work out like you want/expect them to, it can really suck.

So what do you do? I think its time for me to start an actual physical bucket list. I've had reservations about doing it before, because I don't want to gauge the value or success of my life on how many things I can cross off some arbitrary list. I've been thinking about it, though, and here's the thing. When you're in limbo, when you're down, feeling rejected, conflicted or confused, it could be a very good idea to give yourself something you can feel excited about. It may even give you a little bit of the fulfillment you may or may not be missing in the dry times.

And that's where I think a bucket list could come in handy. Not to judge the success of a life, but to have a list to go to when you're thinking, I need something a little ambitious and exciting to do today. It gives you a goal, something to work towards, and something that matters to you. Even on a mini-scale this can be such a big help. I hope this makes sense.

So I'm off to start my list, but here are a few that came to my mind first. (Trying to keep it day-to-day, general life category here, the big career writing ones are of course there too):

-Watch every Best Original Screenplay awarded film.
-Make bread pudding
-Read the entire Bible
-Record a song
-Spend some Saturdays going to cool place within driving distance that I've never been before (like museums or lakes or such)
-Own a puppy (I'll accept playing with one for now)
-Become an amateur graphologist

Then of course there are the other things like meeting Meryl Streep, getting published, and going to Antarctica. But we're talking things you can work on when you need something to work on ideas here.

What day to day things could you do to spice things up? What are some fun things from your own bucket list?

Sarah Allen


  1. Puppies! :) Haha I prefer kittens, personally, but...A goal of mine is actually to volunteer in an animal shelter, since we're on the subject.

  2. Bummer about the rejections. I like your attitude about overcoming obstacles by setting goals for yourself. I recently ran a marathon—that was a biggie on my bucket list—but I haven't sat down to really write out what my goals are. This is good encouragement to think and dream big today. Hope today is better than yesterday :)

  3. I don't have an actual list yet, but I have an overall goal. Basically, I want to touch as many lives as I can and to be remembered for doing so. That's what has really made writing so appealing to me in the long run; the potential for touching countless lives through mere words. Each book written is like your own personal legacy.

  4. I think graphologist sounds pretty sweet. I've always been fascinated by handwriting!

  5. I should write my own list. Sorry about the rejections. :(

  6. Right now, my list includes reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and watching all the Emma movies from the library. I love the BBC version with Romola G. Sorry about all the rejection. I know how that feels. Keep at it. Successful people are the ones who keep trying despite their failures.

  7. I would like to go on a mission trip at some point. Also, I crossed off the "get a tattoo" bullet point on my bucket list on saturday :)

  8. Sorry about the rejection. Onwards! Bucket lists! (sorry, just went outside for lunch, rare occasion, little jumpy) I don't have a bucket list. Hmm. Good luck with yours!

  9. Yeah...I can relate. Getting rejection after rejection can get wearing. Hang in there!

    What a nice little bucket list! Yep, I'd rather play with puppies than own one, cuz then they grow up to be BIG dogs that you have to clean up after. LOL Have fun going through your list and enjoying life!!

  10. Aww too bad on not getting that job. My sympathies! Rejections suck and right now being unemployed myself, it is a bad feeling. I love how you want to watch every screen play! Very good idea! :)

    For mine...oh boy, I can't say I do something every day for that spices up my life...but one thing on my bucket list is to:

    sky dive
    own my own used bookstore (low priority one...I won't be sad if that never happened, just thought that would be kind of cool)
    PUBLISH A BOOK (oh, sorry did I say that too loud?)
    Start an "amusement park" blog where I actually can travel to different amusement parks across the country (I think I'd have to win the lottery to make this one happen...)

    Oh well, a girl can dream, right?

  11. List:
    1. Get another rejection
    2. Experience writer's block
    3. Be criticized
    4. Celebrate items 1 through 3!

    Why? Another rejection motivated me to write better. Writer's block forced me to become more creative. Criticism helped me understand that whatever I write, it will not be for everyone. And that was great.

    New List:
    Write better
    Explore new worlds
    Understand another's point of view
    Celebrate my hero's journey

    Create, write, live, share, love.


    I published a book. And it was worth it.


  12. Awww, sorry to hear about the rejections. As for bucket lists, I like reading other peoples but I'll never get round to doing my own!

  13. I'm sorry to hear about the rejections. :(

    A few months ago, I created a list of 30 goals I'd like to achieve before I'm 30. I did it for the same reason you describe here - it's nice to have smaller things to be excited about and accomplish. Your bucket list looks great so far. Have fun with it!


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