Stories Circulating About ~ What’s On YOUR Bucket List?
Dana Sitar invited me to be a guest writer on her blog DIY Writing to promote her new book A Writer’s Bucket List. I was honored to be chosen and thought you’d like to read my post on Dana’s blog.
What’s On YOUR Bucket List?
I’ve never been one to participate in things like bucket lists or New Year’s resolutions, which is funny because I am totally a list girl! Sure, I have dreams — swim with the dolphins, ride in a hot air balloon, places I’d like to visit some day — nothing too out of the ordinary for bucket lists, from what I’ve seen.
No ordinary bucket list
Not having written a list of my own, I did a little snooping around online. There was a plethora of lists to explore. I found most bucket list entries to be adventure and travel oriented, with pretty much all entries beginning with “I want to”, followed by something the creator of the list wanted to do to benefit himself or to enrich his life.
Now one would think, for as much of a planner and organizer as I am, I would actually possess a bucket list filled with all kinds of fun, adventurous things to do. But, when it comes to adventure,my spontaneous side takes over. I once saw an ad in the back of a magazine to rent a private island in the Bahamas. Did I add it to a list of things I wanted to do someday? No; I called a few of my more adventurous friends, who gladly climbed on board, and in a few short months we were sharing margaritas with curly tailed geckos on our private beach, floating on a deep blue and turquoise sea. Sure, I could have simply made this trip an entry on a list of things to do someday, but I fear, had I done that, I’d still be thinking about taking that trip someday.
All that said, when Dana asked me to write an article about what I will cross off my personal bucket list in 2013, I decided maybe I should actually create a list!
Step one – ponder
And ponder I did. I reached into the corner of my memory that has held my mental bucket list for decades, dusted it off, and out popped the norm: swim with the dolphins, visit Quebec to see where my grandparents lived, write a book, and go to Greece.
As fun as all these things still sound to me, they are all things that I added to this list many, many years ago, and often forgot about; so there they remain, sitting stagnant on an imaginary list. Then I asked myself if these “dreams” are still important to me. Will striving to do these things now somehow change my life, complete my life, inspire my life, or make a difference in anyone’s life but my own? Aside from taking the trip to Quebec, probably not.
What if our bucket lists could help someone else?
As our lives progress, our desires change and mature. Some are replaced with new desires which, as we mature, tend to carry more meaning and less self-focus. Which made me wonder; what if our bucket lists looked something like this:
- Instead of renting a chalet in the Swiss Alps for a week of skiing, build a chalet for a family in need with Habitat for Humanity
- Instead of buying yourself that BMW for Christmas, deliver Christmas gifts to underprivileged kids around the globe with Operation Christmas Child
- Instead of a 5 star safari in Africa with all the bells and whistles, work with charity: water to bring clean drinking water to kids in Africa
Just think about the kind of place our world would be if we all changed the focus of our bucket lists from “us” to “them” — strangers in need that we only think about when we see a commercial on TV and then forget 10 minutes later. Just think of the possibilities: the joy, the adventure, the things we would learn, how many hearts would be warmed, and how many people we could inspire, who will in turn inspire us! Just think — what if?
Getting back to Dana’s question — what will I cross off my bucket list in 2013? The answer is…myself.
Published January 2013