Bucket lists are things I've heard others refer to from time to time, but I never gave them much thought. I've been too busy keeping up with my to-do lists, wish lists, seasonal project lists, grocery lists, Christmas and birthday lists, carb counter lists, blog stat lists, and lists of short and long-term goals. Bucket lists were for middle-aged people who were considering their mortality and making a plan to complete in the last half of their lives all the things they had never done but still wanted to do---before their time ran out.
However, last week I came across a newspaper article about creating bucket lists, and it has been occurring to me lately that unless I live well past the century mark, like it or not, I am middle-aged. So I read the article, jotted down the questions in my phone, and have been giving this a lot of thought. These are the modified questions I've been pondering so I can create my own Bucket List:
- If time and money were unlimited, this is what I would do:
- What have I been putting off that I have always wanted to do?
- What are the countries I want to visit?
- The things I want to see or experience in person are:
- What skills do I still want to learn?
- The most important things I can do are:
- What do I need to do to lead a life of the greatest meaning?
There was also a question about what I would like to achieve, but I chose to replace it with these two:
- If I knew this would be the last year of my life, how would I spend it?
- If this was the last hour of my life, what would I wish I had spent more time doing?
I was rather surprised to discover that there wasn't as much on my bucket list as I expected there to be. Much of the traveling I've always wanted to do hasn't happened yet. I haven't written a best seller. I don't yet have an addition on our old farmhouse. I didn't go to graduate school and get my PhD. I haven't thrown a grand farm-to-table party in our back yard. But that dream I had as a girl to live in a white farmhouse with covered porches on a mountain with an adoring husband and lots of beautiful children did come true. I did get my BA; I did teach; I did work and volunteer in libraries. I have the goats and chickens and gardens, the porch rockers and swings, and the piano and white wicker furniture I used to envision. Our house is the one where extended family congregates for holidays and other special occasions. Our first grandchild lives nearby. Life is good.
I realized that the things that nag at me---that I think I must have or do or be in order to feel that I have lived a successful life---fall off my bucket list when I get to the last few questions. And then it really all comes down to one very important thing: how well I have loved.
"At the end of life, we are going to be judged on the basis of our love for one another."---Saint Mother Teresa
What's on your bucket list?