The Experiment: Day 44 ~ Life List, NOT Bucket List, and What’s On Mine?

This is the way I grew up from 10 years old through high school. Competitive riding, jumping, getting up at 3 a.m. to travel to horse shows. It is eventually what led me to stop. I never wanted to do any of that, I just wanted a sweet, old horse to love, and gently ride down winding trails in the country. But that’s not the way it was done where I lived…

How many of us grew up living other people’s dreams? I had fallen in love with a little broken down pony. I loved her. I loved to wrap my arms around her neck and bury my nose in her. I loved to kiss her on the nose. I loved the smell of the barn, I liked mucking out stalls, I just wanted a horse to love. But after a couple of years of taking lessons I got my first horse at 10, at the stables where I took lessons — the only ones offered me — and I was led into competitive riding, jumping, fox-hunting, and everything else that went along with that lifestyle. My teacher had been an Olympian rider. This was not about fun and play and love, it was all about competition and the stakes grew higher and higher until it drove the love of horses right out of me. It had been my misfortune to be good at it. I had a closet full of blue ribbons and trophies. And just like with kids today they might start out with a sport because they love it but if they are good at it they are pushed and pushed and driven until that innocent love early on might be lost completely. I didn’t want to be praised or win ribbons for jumping 5′ fences, I just wanted some sweet old horse that just needed to be loved. And because of the high stakes riding I was doing I was hospitalized 7 times the last two years I rode. I was being trained on a horse that was taken from the race track. My coach was trying to train the horse with me on his back. This did not go well. Finally, I quit, and I never looked back.

But I never stopped loving horses and longing for the sweet old mare I’d dreamt of having. And yet life goes on. You get married, you have children, your life is taken up with other things, and eventually life on horseback nearly fades from memory completely.

And worse you wake up one day and you are way overweight, terribly out of shape, afraid to ride because you would probably end up badly hurt, and you just plain wouldn’t get on a horse because of your weight. And you cry, and you feel heartbroken, and it feels like just another of life’s losses with time and age. I let go of the dream. I very nearly forgot about it, but I didn’t forget completely.

And one day, very recently, something miraculous happened. After I started this journey on my blog and started feeling better, feeling more hopeful about life, and then went on the ketogenic diet and began losing weight at a good pace and feeling amazingly better, even though I’m only at the very beginning of a long journey and have a lot of weight to lose, once I did lose the first 17 pounds and my brain cleared up, and I began to, yes, feel joyful, I started to realize that many things that I had written off in my life, things I thought were lost to me, to the point that I didn’t even wish or dream or imagine wonderful exciting things would come into my life, well, something changed. I turned away from the past, I turned away from that place in my mind that thought I had come to the place in my life when I was just going to bumble through until my days were done, and I started realizing that there could be many possibilities open to me once I get this weight off and get in good shape and in that moment I started planning for my future again, a concept that I had longsince given up on. I wanted to live again and plan and be excited. That’s when I started working once more on my Life List.

I do not believe in Bucket Lists, the notion of making out a list of things you want to do before you die. Oh HELL no, I want to plan for all the things I want to do while I am ALIVE! I want to be able to live fully, so I started making out a list. You can laugh if you want, that’s okay, I don’t mind, no one is going to take the wind out of my sails. I don’t find myself singing through my days or doing cartwheels across the front yard flooded with joy every single day but you know what? I am singing again, one day I might be able to do a cartwheel, and #1 on my Life List is finding my way back to horses. I don’t know how it will be possible but I’m not worried about the how, I am just envisioning myself doing this again —

I will kiss noses, I will hug necks, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to ride again, slowly, at a leisurely pace. I have actually begun to believe this might be possible at a point in my future. Right now I am looking at the next couple of years. I feel that’s how long it will take me to lose my weight, and along the way I am going to live a life increasingly joyful, and I will learn to be merry, and I will have fun. I see a two year journey ahead of me where I will become, finally, healthy and radiant and ready to take on the world.

And there’s more…

Choosing images today for this post I came across two that startled me to pieces. They were images of things that I have shyly dreamed about doing but just knew I never would because I was so afraid. I am terrified of the idea of going out to swim in the ocean, and I am utterly terrified of heights. But guess what showed up on my life list today?

I want to swim with the dolphins! I got all giddy and lightheaded just thinking about it, but it is now a dream, AND, when I lose ALL of my weight I want to celebrate by —

— by riding a hot air balloon! Can you just imagine. Finally being light and free in my own body I could float up to the sky and really see the world!

Of course I don’t know how I will feel over time but right now these things are on my list. Think about it, if everything was possible — don’t worry about the hows, the money, and all the other practical things, give yourself room to dream, to imagine yourself believing again like you did when you were a child. I think it’s high time we all resurrect our lost dreams. Now maybe I won’t ride a hot air balloon, maybe instead I’ll ride an elephant in India! Or maybe I’ll just walk down the street unafraid, happy to be alive in the world, living out loud, and showing up for my own life. Wouldn’t that be something? That’s something I gave up believing might be possible years ago.

Today I am going to start believing in potent possibilities abundant. I will believe that anything might be possible and I will write it down. GEE, I’d LOVE to ROLLERSKATE again! And ice skate! And I’d love not to be afraid to travel so I could go see my out of town kids, instead of living like I do, many days afraid to even walk out to get my mail. I am opening up my heart to the idea that things are possible that I never thought I’d experience again, or ever. I am going to put things down on my life list, I am going to make Vision Boards aplenty, heck I’m even going to get some posterboard and make great big GIANT vision boards. My whole house will be hung with them!

I’m going to ROCK this! Will you come with me? Will you write in the comments below your top three things you’d like to put on your Life List? Don’t worry about how, don’t worry about anything, just write them down! I’d love to have you do this with me.

For right now I am going to upload this post, I am going to make something good to eat that is keto, I am going to snuggle and kiss pugs, and I am going to dream real big. Will you? Oh please, do!

If not, why not? If not now, when? Let’s do this!


The Experiment ~A 365 Day Search For Truth, Beauty &
Day 1 ~ Introduction To The Project
“Do or do not. There is no try.”

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. Every day when I read your posts I smile at seeing how you are transforming things. I’m so glad to see you dreaming about the what and not worrying about the how!!
    My top 3 things on my life list:
    1. Become a published book author. Both the children’s book and poetry. I want to inspire adults with my poetry book, and I want to do book signings and readings for children at the local library and maybe give talks about going for your dreams
    2. Go on a vacation with Matt and stay in a pretty cottage or a beach house, preferably in an artsy community.
    3. I’d like to be the mom of a little girl.

    • Thank you so much dear Bekah, and of course YOU are a huge part of this transformation! Our times together, our many talks, our play dates, and things that you have written to me on Messenger that I have copied down and stuck with post-it notes on my computer. You surely ARE a Fairy Godmother! I know you’re mine!!! And I love you so much honey. See you in a little bit! 😀

  2. Those are delightful ideas for your life list Maitri.
    My top 3 things, for now, are:
    1. To be vibrant, lean and healthy.
    2. To have contoured soaker tub for bathing.
    3. To have a stylish, coordinated wardrobe.

    • Thank you Joan and oh Goodness! What a wonderful life list you’ve got going there. Oh and you will be (in fact already are!) vibrant and gorgeous and I know you have stylish clothes both in your closet and on the way to you! When you speak your dreams outloud, when you write them down, magic happens! I truly believe that. Okay, those things will be all taken care of, what are you NEXT 3?

      I love you, have a fantastic rest of the weekend! 😀

      • Thanks so much for your encouragement Maitri! The second and third things seem so mundane, but honestly, I have been ‘working on myself’ for so many years that these concrete things would be just wonderful to manifest. So thanks for the tap of your fairy godmother wand to send my wishes on their way to me! 🙂

  3. What a great post, Maitri!

    On my list, I’d put:

    1. Traveling solo again to Europe (such great fun)
    2. Maybe gathering my favorite blog posts into a book
    3. Feeling totally healthy! I’m quite fine, but I have Eeyore tendencies….

    • Oh thanks so much Lisa, it was a fun post to write! And I love your list. I’ve been to Europe but not a solo trip. What an adventure that would be, and a book of your blog posts would be wonderful! You should do that. And ah yes, I know Eeyore all too well as I wrote in one of my last blog posts, but it is not an Eeyore time in my life and that is such a relief! I hope all your wishes come true. And isn’t it better to have a Life List than a Bucket List? 🙂

  4. Really a great post, Maitri.
    I have had a book of poems published, but I want to get back to writing and get published again.
    I want to give lectures on family history.
    I want to get healthier.

    • Thank you Marge and oh, congratulations on your poems being published, you can do it again! 🙂

      And how wonderful, to give lectures on family history. And you will get healthier, you can, I am, it’s just one baby step at a time. I will hold you close in my thoughts and prayers and cheer you on as you go for your dreams!

  5. Dear Matri, I love the idea of calling this a Life List instead of a Bucket List. Some how the wording makes it more positive and affirming.
    My list:
    See the Northern Lights
    Create inspiring art
    Start a blog

    • Yes Lorraine, just so, it is life affirming! And oh, to see the Northern Lights! Yes! And you already DO create inspiring art, and there will be more! And it’s a wonderful thing to have a blog! Do start, and have fun with it. I can’t wait to see it. Onwards and upwards and away we go! 😀

  6. I am so happy for you Maitri. I look forward to reading your blogs every day and read how much happier you are. I hope you keep writing and keep getting published. Happy eating, loving and writing.

    Love, Jean

    • Thank you so much Jean, that means so much to me. I am so happy to have you here with me on my journey. I really appreciate all your good wishes. It has brightened my day. Blessings to you and have a wonderful week ahead… 🙂

  7. Thank you for this inspiring post, dear Maitri!
    Funny enough I was out riding for the first time after 10 years some weeks ago, it was so full of joy. Even looking a bit clumsy trying to mount wasn’t that humiliating. I loved and missed my old horse. He was so gentle. And I was really afraid of the horses I didn’t know and trust, but all went well.
    I would love to visit a woman I hold i my heart even if I have to drive 300 km . In November. Using the Autobahn (sort of a highway). Speak to strangers. Sport of gather enough courage to leave my safe place and really meet her again. Even hug her. If I get bold enough…
    Thank you for sharing your journey! Maybe your new lust for life will be contagious

    • Oh Silke! You went riding again! I can’t even tell you how big I am smiling now and how it just fills me with joy and gives me hope for my future dreams of coming together with a loving, gentle horse again. I am SO happy for you! And oh honey I hope you are able to make the journey to see this woman. it would be life-changing. I believe you will see her and hug her. Please let me know if this comes to pass. I will be so happy for you. I am cheering you on from here. And I appreciate so much you being here with me on my journey. Blessings and love to you dearheart… 🙂

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