Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Bucket List

A person very close to me was told that she didn’t have much longer here on earth.  After the emotional breakdown, she collected herself and calmly said, “I guess I have to make my bucket list, don’t I?”

Her bucket list included travel to far away exotic places.  I supported her.  There was no way I could crush her spirit by pointing out she was too weak to accomplish anything on her bucket list.  She eventually figured that out herself.

Like many of us, this person put off all the things she wanted to do, to accomplish the things she had to do.  There was college, a career, and bills.  When she was not working, she did not have the money.  When she was, she did not have the time.

That is the same with the majority of us.  We let money, time, family, and careers get in the way of the things we are most passionate about.  We want to wait till we retire to get take that cruise; wait until we have more time to write that book.  But the thing is we may never live to retirement.  Or we may be too old and feeble, or too poor to do the things we want to do when we retire.  The time to do them is now.

I recognized that 11 years ago when I had a brush with death due to complications in childbirth.  I had all these stories in my head but was waiting until I wrote my dissertation, got my career on the right path, got a good steady job, got more time, (you can insert your obstacles here) before I wrote those stories.  But after that near death experience, I realized that if I died, those stories in my head would die with me.  So when I recovered and went on maternity leave, I immediately set out to pen and publish the stories.  I went at it with a dedicated passion.  That was the number one item on my bucket list: to be a published author.  Six years later, I finally accomplished that. Oh yes, I do have more things on my bucket list, but they are things that if I don’t accomplish, I wouldn’t really care. 

As a kid, I always heard older people speak of what they could have been had they had the opportunity.  I made a promise to myself since I was a child, to never look back at my life when I’m older and regret that I didn’t do the things that I wanted.  And it’s driven me to accomplish a lot academically.   It was the impetus behind my desire to have a family at all cost.  But socially and recreationally, there is still a lot I want to do before I kick the bucket.

So for you guys procrastinating and putting obstacles to achieving the things you want to do in life, I say like the Nike commercial, “Just do it.” Don’t wait until you are told you have limited time to do the things on your bucket list.  Make your bucket list your “to do” list and do them now.


Liane Spicer said...

Getting serious about writing and publishing were top items on my bucket list too. (Duh, we're all writers here.) But there's so much more, and I've been steadily ticking them off mentally.

I'm stepping up the game this year: more travel, for one. Just got back from a writing retreat and plan on making them a regular event. Your post is a great reminder for me to stay focused on what matters most.

William Doonan said...

Cool post! You just inspired me.

M Pax said...

Becoming an author is my most prized thing to do. I'm glad I did it. There's something to be said for finding a small slice of happiness between all the muck life shovels at us.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Liane, I think travel is one of those more recreational things on my bucket list too.

Jewel Amethyst said...

William, you've made my day. I'm happy to inspire someone. In an earlier post I outlined my aim in life is to inspire and encourage others. So I'm happy to know that in some small way I'm achieving that goal.

M Pax, I hear you and I concur.

Charles Gramlich said...

A good lesson for me right now.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Charles, my husband read this post and has decided I'm guilting him into taking that cruise I've been harassing him about. Hope the "lesson" is an inspiration and not a guilt trip.