A friend was recently gifted a copy of this book, and having jumped in to it with wild abandon, excitedly asked me to share some of the things on my bucket list. Unfortunately, I couldn't; I didn't have one.
If you know anything about me by now, you know that I’m absolutely not goal-driven. So the idea of having a list of things I feel compelled or driven to do or accomplish before I die has remained foreign to me. I live. I do, while I live. That’s really been my meandering path for as long as I can remember, and I love it more than I can say.
But it’s December, we’ll blink and it will be over, and I thought, for my last post this year before I head off to fa-la-la-la-la with family and friends, I’d at least sit down over an espresso at LAMILL, looking out over the boats in the marina, put pen to paper and see what showed up.
90 minutes later, this is what I had:
1. Sit at a table of older wise women from which we'll teach younger women everything we know.
That was it. No mountain climbing, no star meeting, no movie extra-ing, no round-the-world treks. Just a spectacular teaching gig.
I wondered, briefly, if that was sad, but quickly dismissed it with the sure knowledge that I’m living the life that I’m happy in. When I want to do something, I mostly do it. When I want to have something, I mostly buy it. When I want to go somewhere, I mostly go. I am in relationships with people I love and who love me, I live and share my truth, in life and work. It’s enough, I thought. Further, it seemed to me that everything about my life was leading me to that place—to that table teaching gig. Just so. Over time. Without push, or driving goals.
I packed up my pad and pencil and went home. A few hours later, I went to bed. And on waking this morning, I instantly knew it was enough to love my life and be happy. I didn’t need goals—mountains to climb before death. What I had was plenty.
Then, over coffee, another thought came to me. I realized that a bucket list—at least my bucket list—doesn’t have to be about things I haven’t done that I want to be sure to do before I die. It can absolutely be about things I already do that I want to be sure I carry with me till my last breath.
With that in mind, I sat again, put pen to paper, and this is what showed up:
1. Love everyone, and yourself most of all.
2. Live your life, your way. Let it speak; notice who listens.
3. If you think it, give voice to the thought without censoring. Someone who hears it needs it.
4. Be neither victim nor martyr.
5. Have faith; impossible things are happening every day.
6. Whenever there are two options choose the third; that’s where the magic is.
7. Have fun exploring new stuff as it shows up in your life. You can always stop if you don’t like something.
8. Have more tries, without any concern for how they turn out.
9. Forgive, knowing that people always do the best they can with what they have.
10. Notice every day sweetnesses.
11. Tell the truth according to you. Honor the truths of others.
12. There’s always tomorrow to get stuff done. And if there isn’t, it won’t matter, anyway.
13. Now matters most. Miss it; miss your life.
14. Never sacrifice one thing for another; it means something’s out of balance.
15. Know who the most important people in your life are. Say yes to them as often as possible.
16. Consider others in all your decisions.
17. When something goes wrong, look for the hole in a process, fix it, then learn from it.
18. Get the messages sent to you.
And those rolled out of me in about two minutes. It would have been faster if I’d been able to write more quickly. And just as quickly, the flow stopped.
This is what I’m taking with me into the New Year. Most resonating with me is the concept of having more “tries.” I’m not (or maybe I should say I haven’t been in the past) much of a “try-er.” I have been far too attached at being successful at that which I do, and when I try something new and don’t see quick improvement, I walk away from the thing. I guess I’ve been more firmly in the Yoda camp around trying, and there have been more do-nots, as a result.
But recently, I’ve tried more things with less attachment to the outcome or “success” rate, and have had quite a bit of fun. So there will be more tries next year. I look forward to them.
In fact, I think I’ll take “try” as my word for next year, and we’ll see where I end up this time next year.
How about you? Do you have a bucket list? A word for the year? A theme? I’d love to hear about it in comments.
As we close out this year and prepare to ring in the new one, from my heart to yours I wish and all those you love the happiest Christmas and the merriest New Year!