My list was developing… and with it, so was I. It was interesting to me the things that were finding their way on to my list. Interesting to see what one hit wonders I found important enough to embark on as the year ahead unfolded.
As with all things though, the list was becoming challenging to write… and the day was growing shorter. As the minute hand ticked on, the pressure I was putting on myself was creating a huge block on my mind. What did I want to do? What did I want on my list? An entire year of opportunity laid ahead of me… and I was going blank.
So, I did what any normal person in my current situation would do… I went to Netflix and watched “The Bucket List” for inspiration.
Watching the movie made me truly think things over. As I watched both men lying on their death beds, I realized, what the hell was I doing still smoking? I also realized, that I really wanted a pair of those mirrored glasses so that I could lay down and watch TV!
In more serious matters though, the movie made me think of how much I still wanted to do. How many things I wanted to see and accomplish before my time was up. I had approximately the same amount of time left that I had already lived… would it be too little?
I thought about when those two men were at the ski lodge scene. They wanted to climb the big mountain but the storm had grown fierce and wasn’t expected to clear until the following spring. They shrugged their shoulders and said, “Well, next time.” We all knew that there wouldn’t be a next time. But, how many times had I said the same thing?
Now, I didn’t want to climb the big mountain. But how many dreams have I looked into the face of and shrugged, saying, “Well, next time?” How many next times would I really have?
This isn’t really something the movie gets full credit for though. It had been something that’s been developing in the back of my mind for awhile now. As we struggled through another Christmas and we made vows of opening a Christmas Club account, I earnestly pointed out that this year, we actually had to do it and not just say it. It wasn’t just Christmas though, there were many other similar tales in the past eleven or so years with my husband. One year, we’ll take the kids to PA. One year, I want to see Niagara Falls. One year…. the list went on and on. Of course, we spoke of our dreams knowing that, one year, we’d eventually get around to it.
But, what if one year never came?
One year, eventually, I will be on my death bed just like those men. If I’ve got any smarts to me it won’t be because of smoking… but I rest my case on that one. One year, I’ll be there. Would I be laying there looking up at the tiled ceiling that hung above my head thinking about all the things I never got around to doing? I sure hoped not.
I didn’t have the money that the old man had on “The Bucket List.” I couldn’t just run out and travel to see the magnificent pyramids or the great wall of china, although those were things I greatly wanted to see… one year, eventually.
I had limitations to making my list, and if I was going to achieve all the things I wrote within the next year, I had to be realistic about them.
Then I realized what was great about a bucket list over a resolutions list. It wasn’t about writing things that I had done, a simple to-do list to mark off as the seasons passed. It was about writing the things I haven’t done. The things that I’ve thought about doing and whispered to myself, “well, next time.”
There were a few things that wriggled their way on to my list that I had in fact done before. But I let them stay. It had been so long since I had done them and just the thought of them made me feel more alive.
And that’s when I realized it. Realized the whole purpose of it. This next year wasn’t about doing the same old things I had been trying to do for the last… oh however long I’ve been making New Years resolutions. This year was about feeling alive… before there was no more next times.