So, if you read my entry on Friday you may have either thought, “Wow, this chick is goofy,” or “She won’t really start interviewing people,” or “I’m glad I wasn’t sitting next to her last time I was at Starbucks,” or all of the above. heh heh
I’m going to follow through with my promise and interview someone each week to discuss his/her bucket list. I have a few people already lined up and I’m sure I’ll pull a John Quinones and interview unsuspecting coffee bar patrons. If you or someone you know has accomplished something on their bucket list and would like to be interviewed, contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org – This could get real fun! 😉
Before I start this week’s interview, I want to share a few lines from the devotion I read this morning about taking risks. I found it highly appropriate for today’s blog entry…
From the book Joy Breaks
Risky Living by Patsy Clairmont
That’s the problem with risks: some are worth taking, some aren’t. Some of the risks I’ve taken that turned out poorly have been the greatest teachers for making good future choices. And some sure-shot risks have been long-term detrimental. Hmm, this is complex. Bad could be good, good could be miserable, bad could be disabling, and good could turn out great. I guess that’s why it’s called a risk.
I’m really not one to dive headlong into life, but I don’t want to miss the wave and be left high and dry on the shore.”
Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun
- a wish list of things to do before one “kicks the bucket.”
Melody: Tell us a little about yourself.
Jessie: My name is Jessie Baldwin, I am 34 years old, and I am a family photographer. I have been married for 14 years to Rick and we have two children, Violet (9), and Riley (7). I’ve lived in Las Vegas most of my life and graduated from Bonanza High School. My favorite teacher there was Ms. Lukens. I have a degree in Elementary Education from UNLV and used to be a 4th grade teacher. My favorite books are the Harry Potter series and I have read each of the books at least 5 times. I can quote “The Princess Bride” practically verbatim, beginning to end. When I was 14, I was a news anchor for Channel 8 as part of their short-lived youth “8-Team”. I was once kissed on the cheek by Mark McGrath. I met my husband at church camp. My first car was a 1972 VW Super Beetle. It was Orange and I called it “The Great Pumpkin.” I love math. I have always wanted to be on The Amazing Race. My business name “Speckled Bird Art” was inspired by one of my favorite bands, The Choir. I had a homebirth with my son and it was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. I love making lists, and I especially love crossing things off my lists.
Melody: Wow, that’s all amazing, but what really gets me….you love math? Fascinating!! What’s one huge thing you’ve checked off your bucket list?
Jessie: Just recently my sister and I ran a full marathon in Walt Disney World with Team in Training.
Melody: I’m exhausted just thinking of it. When did this become a goal of yours?
Jessie: We decided to do it last August. A friend of our family had his son diagnosed with Leukemia and I really wanted to do something to help out in some small way. Through raising the money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and training to do something I would have never thought in my life was possible, I felt that I was making a difference.
Melody: What an absolutely worthy cause! Obviously, helping others was motivation enough, but why else do you think reaching this goal was so important to you?
Jessie: I am not a runner by any means, so running something as huge as a marathon was an insane thought. Why no start out like a normalperson with, say a 5K or a 10K? If you know me, however, you know that although I may look ordinary, I am not your average person. I am always dreaming up these wild and crazy ideas! So I couldn’t do just a short race… It had to be something completely foreign, completely unattainable in my mind. If I thought the goal was in any way reachable, then it wasn’t a challenge for me. I had to take myself COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone so I could watch myself achieve something I had always thought impossible. Also, the medals you get for finishing the full marathon at Walt Disney World were pretty fantastic. For the half, you get a Donald Duck medal and for the full you get Mickey Mouse. I’m not gonna lie – I am on Team Mickey. If I was going to run that far, I wanted to wear a golden Mickey head around my neck!
Melody: Did you think you wouldn’t be able to reach this goal and did you ever want to give up?
Jessie: Little things would come up during training that made me worry about finishing the race… minor injuries would slow us down, and of course the thought of running for so long and for such a distance was very scary for me. Seriously, the last time I ran before this training was when I was in 8th grade and I had to run the mile in P.E.! ONE MILE. And it was PAINFUL. Each week as we trained, the longer distances would make me very nervous. And each week I would casually suggest to my sister maybe giving up, or only running the half, or just taking it easy. But each week we pressed on. During the race I was never worried about finishing. I knew once I crossed the start line there was no other option.
Melody: I completely understand. I took P.E. in Summer school two years in a row in high school so that I WOULDN’T have to take it all year long! Without a doubt, this was something totally outside of your comfort zone. What kept you going?
Jessie: I knew that no matter how much the training hurt or how tired I was, it was nothing compared to having to endure chemotherapy, radiation, and weekly spinal taps at eleven years old. Even doing our marathon, which took me nearly 7 hours, was but a drop in the bucket to what people with severe illnesses like cancer deal with on a daily basis. Also, having the support of my sister was HUGE. Knowing she was there, she was keeping me accountable and keeping me company, made it an amazing bonding experience for both of us. When one of us was down, the other would lift us up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 sums it up pretty well:
9 Two are better than one,because they have a good return for their work:10 If one falls down,his friend can help him up.But pity the man who fallsand has no one to help him up!11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.But how can one keep warm alone?12 Though one may be overpowered,two can defend themselves.A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Having a partner I can count on is key to a successful outcome for me. 🙂
Melody: So true! What is one thing on your bucket list you still have yet to accomplish?
Jessie: I have a lot of things on my list that have not been achieved just yet – I want to see the Aurora Borealis in person someday, I want to publish a book, and I want to fill my passport with stamps from the places I have been. I am excited that this last goal is one that I am working toward. Last year I got a chance to photograph a family’s international adoption in India and next month I will be traveling to Ethiopia and Uganda to photograph another adoption.
Melody: That’s incredible, Jessie!! I can’t wait to hear more about that as it unfolds! Leave us with one last thing… What’s your favorite inspirational quote?
Jessie: It comes from Marianne Williamson and it was made famous most recently for its use in the movie “Akeelah and the Bee”…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Now, if that isn’t motivating, I don’t know what is! Let Jessie’s story be inspiring to you….what’s on your bucket list?
©2010 Melody G. Fritchley