Bucket List. Goals. To-d0. Wish List. Whatever you call it, chances are that there is a list somewhere of the things you want to do with your life. Maybe this list is handwritten, typed, charted, or just a fleeting thought passing through your head. But chances are that you have one, or have at least thought about one.
I know I do.
A couple of years ago, I was challenged to sit down and write out 100 things that I wanted to do with my life. At first, the 100 things seems like way too many. I mean, once you knock the big stuff out of the way, what’s left?
I once had a school teacher dump large rocks into a jar and ask if it was full. We all replied, “yes.” Well, then he fit in smaller rocks and asked again. We nodded enthusiastically. By the time he added the pebbles, the sand, and finally the water, we got the point. After the big stuff, there’s tons of little things you can still fit in. That’s the beauty of writing out 100 things.
When I write out my first ten, they are the big things. I want to keep my marriage happy and healthy. I want to love my husband each morning more than I did the night before. I want to raise respectful men who know what it means to hold a door open, and pay for the date. I want to finish my Masters degree, adopt a daughter, publish a book, buy a house that I don’t have to PCS from, and survive this deployment without selling the kids on ebay. You get the idea.
But after that… that’s when you have to dig. If you had 100 things you could accomplish, what would they be? Travel is a huge one for us. We love to travel. I want to stand next to the Pyramids, kiss Jason on a Gondola ride through Venice, go to Paris again without the kids, walk on the Great Wall, see an Opera in the Sydney Opera House, and tan my pale skin on the beaches of Palau. I want to drop our youngest baby off at College, look at my husband and know that it’s OUR time now. I want to make Jason’s dreams come true, and find the time to read all of the Classics. See, if you really start delving into what you’ve always wanted, it will be hard to stop at 100.
Since it’s New Years, I like to revise my list. The trick is to do it without looking at the original list. That way, when I get to compare, it’s fun to see what I’ve done off the original list. Last year, I graduated college, and we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary more in love than ever. I love to see what I still have to accomplish, but it’s even more intriguing to see what’s on the old list that’s no longer important to me. A year can change so much. So instead of New Years Resolutions, I like to just take stock. I write out my desires, my goals, my tiniest longings and then I smile when I think about completing them. Then, I stick the list in my lingerie drawer, so that while I’m feeding my obsession with matching underwear, I’m looking at that list every day, reminding myself of what I really want to do with this life once the diapers are changed and groceries are bought.
Each day is another chance to cross an item off that’s little and plan for the bigger ones. So whether you call it a bucket list, or life-goals, or whatever, it’s astounding for me to just to sit down in the quiet and see where my focus has been, and where I want it to be…
Happy New Years, from our house to yours!