About Emma

Screen Shot 2012-10-12 at 01.42.44

On 31st July 2011, I decided to start this Blog.  Thank you for being interested enough to want to know about me.  I decided to write this blog after having a HUGE wake up call.  I lost both of my Dads within the space of 9 months, one suddenly and without warning, and the other very slowly over a period of 10 months.  Neither one of them was ‘old‘.   It made me realise that growing old is not a birth right, it is a privilege.  I realised that most of us take our health and our future for granted until that moment when it is gone.

Knowing this, I decided that life is too short to be unhappy, or not to fulfil my dreams.  I was/am a person with high hopes and dreams for a bright future, and now I am living in the present moment, and choosing to be responsible for my own happiness. It is very empowering.

It is easy to find excuses or reasons not to be happy, and not to fulfil your dreams and ambitions… I certainly used to… Here were a few:

  • I’m too busy with work
  • I don’t have the money
  • I have children to run around after
  • Blah blah blah

It’s so easy to find reasons not to get off your butt and be in charge of making your life happen the way you want it to.  I realised, whilst I was having counselling to deal with the emotional difficulties in my life that I was so busy trying to control things that I had no power over, yet neglecting the things I actually did…  I placed the responsibility for my happiness in the hands of others by being a victim of sadness or somehow holding others accountable for my fulfilment and satisfaction.  

It was the wonderful woman who I saw to help counsel me through difficult times that introduced me to the practice of mindfulness and mindful meditation. It was like she had switched on a light inside me, and for the first time, I could see clearly, and I realised that the only thing in this world that I can control is my own decisions. 

After a crazy few years, I decided not to be a victim or casualty of this life.  Shit happens and there comes a time when you have to find acceptance, make peace with it and evolve as a result.  One of my favourite quotes from a book I read called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is
Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it… Accept – then act. Always work with it, not against it.  Make the present your friend and ally, not your opponent.  This will miraculously transform your whole life.
I have that quote as the screen saver on my phone, to remind me to be fully present, whatever the present moment contains, whether it is good or bad.  It’s true that in fact the most difficult, challenging and emotive events in my life have also offered me some of the greatest gifts.  
Losing my step-father suddenly, and trying to revive him, even though I failed to do so, demonstrated an inner strength in me, that I wasn’t previously  aware I had.  It also gave me the extra strength and confidence I needed to help support my biological father through his final months in hospital and the hospice in a way that nobody else close to him was equipped to do at that time in quite the same way
Sometimes, it takes a complete stranger to point out what is right in front of you, or even right there inside you, and now that I can see things clearly, I don’t ever intend to soften my focus or lose sight of my empowerment again.

I had 2 paths available to me after what happened: sink or swim… Sink in depression as a victim of bereavement and life or swim with the tide and make it ashore.  I am choosing happiness.

Happiness is not a dependency.  You don’t actually need anything to be happy.  It’s not something that comes from outside.  Happiness is a decision.  Decide to be happy now!

62 Comments on “About Emma”

  1. August 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I’m so sorry about your Dad’s how awful – although I’m sure they are smiling to know that you are fullfilling your dreams and living every day to the full!!

    • August 11, 2011 at 10:10 am #

      Thank you Jen, don’t be sorry, we all have to die one day. Yes it was deeply sad, but if we hold onto the sadness instead of the happiness and joy in life, we wont make the most of the precious time we have to fulfil our own destiny.

      I don’t fear dying any more, I just want to make the most of living before that happens, I think that documenting the positive things in my life will help me to feel inspired, and will hopefully (one day not too soon) serve as a happy reminder of the full life I am living for my own children when I am gone…

      I was clearing out my bio Dad’s house this week. It was a horrible task, but passing most of his furniture, books and clothing to charities, and having to throw 8 car loads of papers, curtains, fittings, and nick-nacks into the refuse waste tip made me realise something that we tend to forget-that it’s not the possessions you accumulate or leave behind in life which are of value… It is the memories

      …Why else are things of sentimental value so priceless, whilst insurance can take care of everything else we own in life? The only real heirlooms that my Dad left me were the ones that had sentimental memories attached to them. Maybe I will be lucky enough to leave some priceless heirlooms to the ones I love, but in the mean time, I want this site to serve as a scrap book of memories, ambitions, dreams and LIFE so that I can leave something truly priceless as my legacy.

      Thank you again for leaving your lovely comment Jen 🙂

      • June 16, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

        Hi Emma, I’m a freelance journalist and I’m working on a piece for Candis magazine which I thought may be of interst to you.
        I am looking for three case studies of people who have been inspired by someone.
        Their inspirational person can be a partner, friend, child, teacher, medical person, stranger… you get the picture! That person can be alive or dead. I wondered if your dad and step dad would fit the bill.
        I am looking to speak to both the person who has been inspired to do something and the person who for whatever reason is their inspiration.
        What’s important is that the inspirational person has in some way changed the case study’s life for the better / achieved something amazing all because of the influence of that person. So the inspirational person also needs to be amazing, brave or have overcome adversity themselves in some way.
        Case studies can be male or female and should be aged 35-65.
        The case studies must be happy to be photographed for Candis or attend a photoshoot.
        If their inspirational person is deceased, we are happy to photograph them holding a picture of them or similar if necessary. Please get in touch asap if you’re interested as I’m compiling case studies this week. Thanks!

  2. August 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    All the best Emma. Make things happen!

    • August 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

      Thank you Clive! The same to you, I think it’s fab that you’ve taken on such an ambitious challenge-here’s to hoping we both achieve our goals!

  3. Lisa
    October 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    “Decide to be happy now”. Wow, Emma your blog is very inspiring and encouraging. It is sad that your loss has been great within the 9 months but it has made you come to this point in your life where you are focusing on making your dreams and goals come true. Truly encouraging. Many of us struggle with happiness and what things are in our way from getting there. Although, not comparable in any way to our parents. Two days ago my cat of 13 yrs passed away. I found her curled up in corner in my basement on one of my old sweaters. After that, I couldn’t help from asking myself if I loved her enough, if I hugged her enough, if I was home for her enough. When someone we love whether family or even a Pet being a member or our family passes, it makes ‘us the surviving ones’ have to ponder whether we lived our days to the best of our ability for that one. Saying I love you enough, saying I miss you enough, and being there for them. That is what I have learned, and I agree with you that each day should be lived, happy, and focusing on accomplishing our goals and doing what makes us happy. I will definately check in with your blog from time to time as a reminder for myself, that life should be lived, to the fullest and happy. I hope all your dreams come true!!

    • January 4, 2012 at 2:17 am #

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with me Lisa, your experience sounds very touching, and although not the same, pets are still members of our family-I still remember my sadness at losing my pet dog some 15 years ago like it was yesterday!

  4. hayley p
    November 6, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    what amazing goals you have! it has take me 27years to learn the power of now and always being present. i wish i knew this sooner! really enjoyed visiting your site 🙂

    • January 4, 2012 at 2:15 am #

      Thanks Hayley for your lovely comments-I hope you might post your bucket list items on here as a comment for me to read-your other shark swimming one in FP sounded so amazing!

  5. February 8, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    LOVE this! I’m tackling my own bucket list by joining my fellow yogis out in the desert at http://www.BhaktiFest.com this year!! Cannot wait to experience Joshua Tree live. Have you been?? Bliss!!

    • February 13, 2012 at 9:55 am #

      Thanks thinkecochic, I had never heard of Bhaki Fest before you posted that link, but it looks very interesting and enriching. I think I would want to immerse myself into the experience of yoga more before I could consider it personally as I have only ever really attended a few yoga classes despite my keen interest in Mindfulness. Definitely one to bear in mind for the future though-thank you

  6. Ellie
    February 13, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    This is great Emma !!! You are such an inspiration to people !!

    • February 13, 2012 at 9:57 am #

      Wow Ellie! I am so touched by that comment, and the thought that I might be able to inspire any one person is very gratifying and lifting to hear. Thank you so much for such a kind and generous comment 🙂

  7. Abs
    February 16, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Blimey, that made me catch my breath! I also have lost my dad and that not only touched my heart but has helped put things into perspective-so thank you x

    • February 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      Ahh, thank you Abs for touching my heart with your very kind words. It’s a tough experience to go through, and it changes you more profoundly than you ever realise it will when it happens. If I have managed to inspire you-that has helped me tick off another item on my list, so thank you 🙂

  8. February 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    You have some incredible here Emma! You are so adventurous! I wish I am like that but sometimes I am just too scared. LOL. Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my own list too. I ‘m inspired of your own bucket list so maybe I’ll include the others on my own list. 🙂

    • February 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      I really loved that your list was full of wanting to appreciate the simple things in life, like showing your parents appreciation-it is wanting to have that opportunity again that inspired me to write this blog-it’s great that you are doing that already-stay in touch!

  9. March 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi Emma. So nice to have discovered your interesting blog. Great to hear how you’ve been able to turn things round in your life in this positive manner. All the best from Santiago de Chile…

    • March 9, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

      Thank you very much for visiting my blog and for leaving such a nice comment. Chile is a place I have never visited… What would you put on a ‘must see’ list if and when I get around to it?

  10. livelaughlovefully
    April 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Hi Emma, great blog… I am attempting to start a bucket list on my blog as well 🙂 Still learning the concepts but I am getting there! All the best in achieving your dreams


    • October 4, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

      Thanks livelaughlovefully I think we’re all just learning… I know I am

  11. justdoit
    May 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Hi Emma, I really like your blog and you have left some very inspiring messages. I do believe happiness is a decision…I choose happiness everyday moment to moment even when tough things happen. But what you said that I really liked was Eckhart Tolle’s quote. That is a tremendous quote and I needed it. Now let’s see if I have the gumption to put it into action!:)

    • October 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

      hi justdoit Thank you for your message. I’m glad you liked the Eckhart Tolle quote. It’s very powerful. I can’t always live that way-but I always try to come back to it whenever I stray away and catch myself… If you want to put it into action-you will

  12. Sean
    July 4, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    WOW, this is so inspiring, I came across your blog by mistake, this is so inspiring to read, I had a scare with my dad a few years ago with Cancer, he got through it twice and is still with us, But there is nothing that could have prepared me what ever loosing him. I love the part of your blog “It made me realise that growing old is not a birth right, it is a privilege” this is so so true, I have travelled lots in my life, however still have things I want to do, this has really inspired me to get off my but and do them. I remember watching the film the Yes Man, and thinking thats me sometimes, I started saying yes more, and some good things started to happen. Wow, thanks again. If you need any help with anything, please do ask

    • October 4, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

      Hi Sean, how lovely to read that! I haven’t seen that film, but I’m going to add it to my ‘to watch’ list. Thank you. I hope your Dad stays in remission and that you manage to get your own bucket list rocking-and-rolling!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and for being thoughtful enough to leave such a great comment. Comments like that really make my day 🙂

  13. October 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Hi Em, chatting to you on the train was both a revelation and a highlight. Your blog is indeed inspiring and what I’m gathering is that fulfilling your dreams and facing your fears isn’t an option for the few but an everyday option for the many. it’s really a question of having the mindset and resolve to begin, pushing back against the daily demands that stop you thinking bigger, bolder and brighter.

    Your Blog is great, truly a testament to what you can achieve if you put your mind to it. It’s given me ideas and in that alone you’ve passed on a very special gift. My sincere thanks


    • October 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

      Mark, that really made me smile! 😀

      Thank you so much for stopping to leave a comment and for your very kind words!

      It’s the chance to know that I might offer people food for thought or a chance to stop, think and absorb/soak up the good, even if just for a moment, that make this blog so rewarding to write and share.

      and Thank YOU for leaving such a lovely message to read, as I mentioned above to Sean-the lovely messages and comments I receive here are so rewarding to read.

  14. Michel
    October 23, 2012 at 7:55 am #


    Really great Post! I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog because of the great style and energy. I have a blog on travel theme. If you’re interested, we would love to have you on as a guest blogger. Please send me an e-mail and I can give you more information. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • January 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

      Thanks Michel, I will email you shortly-sorry about the late response!

  15. Mark
    December 15, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Hi Emma,

    your story is truly inspiring! It’s great that you took those decisions after such a hard time. Your bucket list is incredible and it’s great what you have reached until now! More people like you should appreciate life and live it to the fullest!

    Now for some exciting news I have a magazine coming out “The magazine for people living their bucket list” that will be published through the iTunes newsstand. I will be getting contributions from many big names in travel, personal development, and extreme sports markets and I would like to feature you in one of the first issues.

    If you are interested in writing an article about your experiences and your bucket list, I’d be happy if you could shoot me an email to me on the address listed in my comment info

    Let me know and keep living your life!



    • December 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      Thank you Mark! I am really flattered that you’d like to feature my blog, and would love to take part!

  16. January 13, 2013 at 4:43 am #

    hi,just a quick line from down-under. i have been pondering on putting my own life list on line and after stumbling across yours i feel truly inspired. im about to go out for a run and a swim ( it’s pretty hot ) and than start work on my own life list bloq. cheers for the inspiration.

    • January 13, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Hi Patrik,

      What a lovely message to wake up to! Please do share it with me when it’s up and running, I’d love to see it. I definitely recommend it-it’s been very productive for me to write, and has really motivated me and focused me on actually doing these things and realising my list.

      If you get a chance, read a book called The Secret, which is based on The Law of Attraction-very inspiring also!

      Best wishes from the UK!


  17. January 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Hi Emma,

    My name’s Clare and I’m part of the DotComGiftShop team.

    I recently discovered your excellent blog, ‘Emma’s Bucket List’, and wanted to let you know we’ve included it in our post 15 Brilliantly Unusual Blogs. You can see the post here:


    I hope you don’t mind being part of this article. If you do, let us know and we’ll remove your site immediately.

    We also wanted to invite you to become part of the DotComGiftShop Blog Network.

    This will be an informal network of friendly bloggers that we’ll publicly endorse and offer a number of benefits including:

    • 25% off discount code to use at DotComGiftShop for invited members.
    • Regular complimentary products to review and giveaway in competitions.
    • Entry to our Best Blog Award with the winner receiving an iPad.
    • Invitations to guest blog on the DotComGiftShop Blog.

    We’ll also provide a ‘badge’ for your site, saying ‘DotComGiftShop Fave Blog’.

    Being informal, you aren’t obliged to do anything. Although it would be great if you could:

    • Give us a mention on your blog’s home page.

    • Review some of our lovely products that we’ll send you from time to time to tell us and your readers what you think.

    If you are interested in becoming one of the members of our network, let us know with a quick reply to this email at dotcomgiftshopblog@gmail.com, and please delete this message once you have read it.

    All the best,



  18. January 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    This is inspirational. So many people take this life for granted and many of us realize too late that we are in charge of how we live and how to make us happy. Nothing in life is easy…how you handle your life is up to you. You can stay positive no matter what or you can stay negative. I’ve been trying, via my project, to stay positive. I’m not successful every second of the day, but I’m doing better. I wish you the best of luck! Live your life to the fullest and most of all find the things that make you happy, big and small.

    • January 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      Thanks so much TBM, yes, I love your blog! I think anyone who boasts that they can stay positive 100% of the time is a liar or Buddha reincarnated! You strike me as a very positive person, and you’re right, creating projects and events is a great way to create positivity around yourself!

      • January 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

        Thanks so much for visiting my blog. It’s always wonderful to connect with others who have decided to take the leap and to live life. I love goals–I may not accomplish them all, but I’m going to give it my all. I love your bucket list

      • January 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

        Thanks… So do I! I’m loving living out my dreams! I think everyone should make a list as it REALLY has given me a sharp focus on finding and doing what makes me happy. I am certain you will achieve your ambitions because of precisely this!

  19. January 20, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    Happiness is a choice Emma. We live only one life, there may be tough times but hey! This will turn out to be the person you are and who you want to be. Just like what you did and what you have overcome. I admire you for that 🙂

  20. January 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Inspiring, we are living on the road and live the moment indeed.
    Thanks for checking us out. I noticed that one of your bucket list is watch the sunset. Check my post http://lowestravels.com/2013/01/06/sky-displays-to-behold/
    It might entice you to visit the Sonoran Desert and watch their beautiful sunsets.

    • January 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

      Hey! I would love to do the whole RV or sail around the world thing some day… Living on the road/open sea and travelling wherever my heart inspires me to go is ultimate freedom! Well done for taking the plunge to do something so life-changing! Will definitely check out your posts 😀

  21. January 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    THis is a most excellent response to what is very often a feeling of helplessness or resignation at times when you lose people who might previously have helped give you a little oomph. I haven’t yet gone through your bucket list but by the looks of things you are way further than I am with mine. I did a Pre-40 40 list and didn’t accomplise enough of that so have done a Pre-50 50 list which is going to be a little bit of a task. I shall take comfort from someone who clearly is getting on and doing it.

    • January 21, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

      Thanks Red Baron, it’s the best response I could practice.. I hope my list inspires you to try some of the things on it!

  22. January 21, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    Thanks for the add, I added you in return!! Your optimism and strength is awesome!!

  23. holdrelf
    April 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Hey there! I nominated you for the Inspiring Blogger Award and, if you’d like to accept, you can click here: http://thereandbackagainawhittietale.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/blogger-award/
    I love the idea behind your blog, as well as your amazing stories! Thanks for all the inspiration! 🙂

    • April 17, 2013 at 1:24 am #

      Thank you for the award! I never know what these things mean… If there is actually an award competition, or whether its a nice twist on a blog version of a chain letter?

      In either event, thank you very much for my nomination! I’m very touched that you thought of me.

      Emma 😀

  24. Claire
    May 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Hey, I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award because I love your blog!

    Award guidelines can be found here: http://truetravelings.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/the-versatile-blogger-award/

  25. stevesayskanpai
    July 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    Hi there, did you leave a comment on my blog? I tried to email you but your email address wasn’t recognised … thanks, Steve.

  26. August 21, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    I’ve nominated you for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger award’

    Check out my post to see how it works. http://travelecstacy.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/keeping-the-blogisphere-a-beautiful-place/

  27. April 16, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    I love this blog! I stumbled onto it and couldn’t not read about the amazing things you’ve been doing. Some of the things on your list are similar to my own life goals, although I’m currently focused on the ones I want to do in the next few years before I turn 30. Grief played a huge part in my realization that time is very much a gift and it’s so inspiring to find others who have experienced the same epiphany.

  28. Hello! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster award:
    Happy Blogging!

  29. June 18, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    This is a good one. Happy you realized how lucky you are! (Very seldom do others do too.) and good luck on your bucket list! 😀

    • October 2, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

      Thank you Dyanne XX

      • Julia
        March 30, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

        Hi Emma! Thanks so much for your blog – I have been reading it over the last days and have found it really wonderful to read. I am writing my Masters Thesis about bucket lists and was wondering if you would available for a Skype interview (super informal!)? I would love to include your perspective if you are willing to share! Feel free to email me at j.l.widdig@gmail.com if you would be interested and I can give you more information. I look forward to hearing from you (and to continue reading!). Kindly, Julia

        P.s. Since I am eager to get in touch, please excuse the comments on multiple posts 🙂

      • September 7, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

        Sorry, I’ve been remiss with my blogging lately-I’m guessing it’s too late to reply now-I hope you did well and got a fab result with your thesis!

  30. Carly
    November 10, 2015 at 6:06 am #

    Hi Emma! First of all, I’m sorry to hear about your dads but this is a really beautiful and inspiring blog! Keep up the good work 🙂


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