Sunday, March 8th, 2015

My “Skills” Bucket List For Bad-ass-ed-ness

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne, Meditation


Cooking live lobster in culinary school.

Cooking live lobster in culinary school. Smiling but completely terrified.

I made a skills bucket list last year.

These are things that I want to do to improve my skills – which are good for body, brain, soul, work (if you work), and just basic bad-ass-ed-ness.

Here’s my list and how they have (or will) help.


Kristen’s Skills Bucket List (in no particular order)

1. Speed reading – I presume this skill is pretty self explanatory, right? The idea of consuming more knowledge in a shorter amount of time is extremely exciting. I love to read (mostly non-fiction, but don’t get me wrong, I can breeze through a trashy romance novel – I have my moments). I would love to read more and faster so I want to learn how to speed read. I have a feeling though, it’ll probably be the last thing I tackle on this list. I see the benefits as super awesome but the process looks anything but sexy or fun.

2. Memory mastery - I’ve listened to a few podcasts where memory masters were interviewed. Wow, what a skill. I’ve already utilized a bit of what I’ve learned from just those podcasts, such as seeing things in images. It’s hard and my brain feels like it’s stretching when I do it, but it works! I would like to dive into this more and I can imagine a whole host of benefits in life if you can master memory. How cool.

3. Dancing – In spite of my musical talent (written in number 4 below), I can’t dance to save my life. I have a memory burned into me where I was preparing for a bodybuilding competition. I was about 19 or 20 and it was at a gym in downtown Flint, MI (The Rock for those of you who know). We were having some fun in the cardio room and my trainer, Yolanda, and I were dancing (well, she was dancing, I was doing something else). After a few moments she declared, “Girrrrrrrrl you have GOT to pick that coordination up off the floor!” That says it all. I need some help.

Plus, I’ve always wanted to take dancing lessons with a partner so once Greg and I get some time (like when we’re 50), we’re definitely tackling this one. Dancing is great for energy and exercise, but learning how to dance is great for neuroplasticity, too.

4. Voice lessons – I come from a fairly musically inclined family on mom’s side. I’ve grown up playing piano, clarinet, drums, and guitar (guitar was extremely short lived – you see I just wanted the purple guitar in the store). My mom, who has a great voice, sang all the time while I was growing up. Ergo, I sing all the time. I won’t say I have any good pipes or anything, but I can hold a tune sometimes, and I’d like to improve on that.

5. ✔️ Cooking – (done). When I changed my diet from vegan to real food omnivore, I felt like a fish out of water. I’d cooked some meat recipes prior to going vegan but it was like “Mom’s Meatloaf” and a few others I had up my sleeve from eating them my whole life. I had no preparation to make steaks, roasts, fish, etc (note to self: Make sure Kamea has great cooking skills and teach her what I’ve learned).

To amp up my skills, my mom and I took a 6-month-long cooking class at Classic Cooking Academy which was worth its weight in gold both for the experience of doing that with my mom and for everything I learned. It did everything I’d hope it do – I learned classic cooking techniques and pretty much nothing scares me. Not even lobster – proof cuz that’s me holding one up above. Ok, truth be told, I’m still freaked about cooking lobster. But I wanted to learn how to do it, and I felt it was proper to be willing to do it myself if I’m going to eat it in a restaurant anyway. My instructor, Chef Pascal, probably thought I was bit nutty when I did a whole Avatar Movie thing… after I took the lobster out of the water, I thanked her for nourishing my body and being a part of the circle of life.

Plus: This magnet says it all…

Says it all...


6. ✔️ Meditation – (done). My work on meditation is not news to this blog. I’ve written about how I do it here. The point is that it was on my list and yay it’s checked off. I regularly meditate and it’s been wonderful. While meditation is never something that can actually be “done,” I mean that it’s now officially part of my life and I expect it always will be.

7. Comedy – I’ve always wanted to be funny. On the spot is even better. I think it would be a great skill for being at parties and get togethers. I mean, who doesn’t like funny people? One way to accomplish this is that I’ll look into local comedy clubs and see if they have any improv classes. Oooh… just dawned on my that this would be super fun to do with my mom. (Note to self: ask mom about this. See? If I had my memory mastered I wouldn’t need all of these notes to self.) I think an improv class would be especially helpful because thinking on your feet is just smart, and well, maybe funny.

8. Self Defense class – This one is pretty self explanatory, too, I think. Going through a self defense class will be empowering for both my mind and body. Learning to take someone down with my car keys if I’m attacked is one bad-ass skill to have – you can’t be too careful. Ok, I’m not sure if they teach that, but I’ll learn some great things I’m sure.

9. French n Spanish Mastery – We live in a world with global influences all around us. I want to take it to the next level personally, especially as we plan on lots of travel. I’m interested in French because I’ve always been into it. I took many years as a youngster so I know I have some vocab in my brain somewhere, just need to find it, and improve upon it. I also, as you might imagine from getting classically trained in cooking, am interested in French because I love French cooking. And, you’d be right. Beurre, anyone?

As for spanish, it’s becoming an increasingly popular language in our country and it’s especially common in Arizona. I want to be a part of that. I want my daughter to be a part of it, which speaking of my daughter… I love the idea of her witnessing my aspirations of skill seeking and improvement. It’s good for kids to see adults constantly growing and evolving. And, if kids can be a part of the process then even better.

I’d be remiss to not mention that language acquisition is très good for the brain and keeping it healthy, too.

There you have it… my list of skills I’m eager to acquire to improve myself.

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