Accepting that you won’t live to infinity – or beyond
I was in the car this morning on my way to work, when I popped in a CD from my carefree days at Ottawa University. In between Carrie Underwood belting out the lyrics to “Before he Cheats” and Sarah Brightman serenading me with a wicked rendition of “Deliver Me“, I came across a song by Tim McGraw’s called “Live like you were dying”. If you know the song, you know that it’s all about what you would do if you knew your days were numbered. If you haven’t heard this song before, you can listen to it here.
As I listened to the familiar words of the song, I realized that while, to date, I’m extraordinarily content with where I am in every aspect of my life, there is always the possibility that I won’t be around – forever. My husband thinks talking about death is morbid. I, on the other hand, have a running list of music to play at my ‘celebration of life’ should I make an exit earlier than planned.
And thus, I started contemplating the makings of a Bucket List. When you actually down sit to write one, you discover that it’s a bit of a daunting task. Sure, there’s the obvious ones like travel: easy right? So where do you want to travel? Anywhere I haven’t been. No wait! I have to be more specific. South America? Oh, and Western Africa. And the Middle-East. Oh you mean countries! Argentina, Peru, Jordan, Kenya, etc. etc. etc…. and there goes the entire point of making a Bucket List in the first place. No, you can’t have it all. But yes, you can try.
It’s not easy to articulate the things you want most in the world. After all, including certain things means the exemption of others (or having a list as long as your arm). A few friends of mine have taken a more specific approach to the creation of a Bucket List. While one set a more generic “30 under 30” goal, challenging herself to visit 30 countries by the time she reached 30, another created a more specific “40 things to do before 40” and she’s well on her way to checking things off the list. While I’m currently working on my list. I have no idea what shape it will take, but I know that I need to see my goals on paper: it’s time.
The funny thing about compiling a gigantic sized Bucket List that includes everything you’ve ever wanted to accomplish is that many of the things that end up being put on that list aren’t as enormous as international travel, cost next to nothing, and could very well be accomplished every single day.
Creating a Bucket List for the everyday
So, as it turns out, working towards the creation of a life-size Bucket List, led me to the creation of a Bucket List for the everyday. The point of a Bucket List, is, after all, to list out the things you want to focus on now so you have few regrets once your time is up. Wouldn’t it be great if you lived that way every day? If every time the sunset, you could smile knowing that you checked everything off your Bucket List – and still get to see the sun rise again in the morning?
Below is my Bucket List for the everyday! It’s not huge (after all, there are only 24 hours in a day, of which I’m asleep for a pretty big chunk) but it’s enough to make sure I finish every day with no regrets. I encourage to make your own (you’re welcome to borrow mine) and try to follow it to the best of your abilities, every single day:
- Offer forgiveness and ask for it when needed. Not the easiest one, but possibly the most relieving.
- Love, unconditionally. Yourself included. Go easy on yourself, and on others.
- Do something active. Yes, a 30 second dance party totally counts. But maybe then, go for a run.
- Spend more quality time with people you love, and less time in front of the computer. Your e-mail isn’t going anywhere. But you never know when you might.
- Commit. To yourself, to your partner, to the task at hand. Don’t do something half-ass, it’s not worth it. But avoid obsession. That’s destructive.
- Hold a door open, say “hello”, share your umbrella with the guy getting soaked at the intersection. Lend a hand when needed. It feels good. Really good.
- Read great books, and start writing one. “One day” ain’t gonna come any time soon.
- Have the conversation. Avoiding conflict doesn’t make it go away.
- Ditch the guilt. Feeling bad prevents you from feeling good. Once you’ve had the conversation, trash the guilt and face forward.
- Don’t put getting things off that you really want or need. You work hard and you don’t have to feel bad about wanting things. Like a pair of black boots. And brown boots. And winter boots. This particular point should be taken into consideration on more of a monthly basis.
- Work hard so you can treat yourself with things you really want/need.
- Be honest. With everyone around you. Untangling a web of lies takes more time than explaining the truth. Be honest with yourself as well – you’re not suppose to be able to fool yourself, you’re better than that. Be strong and carry on!
- Eat/drink something delicious every day. I don’t mind eating health if I can enjoy a piece of chocolate and a glass of red wine at the end of the day.
- Be a good friend. Listen. Really listen. And take the time to drop a quick note, just to “check-in”.
- Be a goof. Dance around like a crazy woman. Spin around in circles. Takes breaks to leap like a ballerina mid-jog. Honesty? Nobody really cares.
- Pass on a smile. Why? Because you’ll look prettier. Oh, and smiling is kind of contagious.
I’m still working on my bigger than life Bucket List, but until then, this ought to keep me pretty busy. What would you include on your Bucket List for the everyday?
image credit: er3465