Welcome If you are a frequent follower of the blog, you already know that turning 40 this year was a little rough on me, emotionally. In the past year I’ve been trying to “find myself” the best I can while still functioning as a responsible adult/parent/spouse, and within the boundaries of my budget and geographical location. Let me tell you…it’s hard to do! When you reach the point of feeling like your life is half over, you begin to realize just how many things you are missing out on and still want to accomplish. At the same time, this is a point in life when many responsibilities cry for attention and financial obligations and bills demand all our money! I seriously doubt our mortgage company would justify my skipping a few payments while I go travel the world and acquire inner-fulfillment. So I battle the emotional roller coaster that travels between feeling extremely blessed and grateful for all that I have and have done, and the longing for more in my life than just the “daily grind.” Enter the bucket list.
Food For Thought I love lists. I make lists for everything, sometimes just for fun! Would there be a better activity for me to engage in when turning 40, than to make my own bucket list? So I did, and I encourage you to do the same.
It is a debated topic about where the phrase “bucket list” originated. I read articles from a variety of sources, ranging from a pop culture blog on Slate to an article in the Wall Street Journal, even a website called “The Bucket List.” Some people assume the term came from the 2007 movie with the same title. I disagree, thinking surely people must have been talking about bucket lists earlier than that. I always thought the “bucket list” was a list of items you wanted to accomplish before “kicking the bucket.” When I looked up that term, it has a rather unappetizing origin, so I’ll just stick with my idea. The bottom line is we should make the most of the time we are given while here on earth, because the time is short. And as cliché as it sounds, the older you get, the faster time seems to go. Anyone reading this older than me, will be like, “Oh, yeah, that’s right!” The younger generation will think, “Yeah, right, this lady’s crazy.” You’ll see!
I’ve loosely thrown around the idea of bucket list items in conversation, saying things like, “Yeah, that’s on my bucket list.” But when I decided to really buckle down and make my list, I wanted to be more specific. Let me tell you, there is no shortage of ideas out there if you can’t come up with your own. Just a search on Pinterest yielded everything from seasonal and holiday bucket lists to bucket lists organized by state or country. There are bucket lists for your toddler or teenager, to do with your sister or your best friend. I’ve seen bucket lists for art, photography, and writing. I have even seen a “steamy” bucket list for couples! Bucket lists can be written on a journal page, done as an elaborate craft project, or as a game on a Bingo board. There are popular books, like 101 Things to Do Before You Die, or websites like daringtolivefully.com. It seems everyone is on board with the bucket list idea because you can make bucket lists from anything and about anything.
So what to include on a bucket list? Well, anything goes, really. I’ve seen everything from small step goals to the completely outlandish. And what is outlandish for me, may be completely plausible for another person, like running a marathon or hiking Kilimanjaro. That’s the thing with bucket lists. They are extremely personal. When I wrote mine, I decided to focus on the top 12 items I want to do that are “mostly” attainable. There are hundreds of things I would like to do, but I prioritized and tried to keep it somewhat realistic. I mean, I really want to do these things! I also did not include my “no-brainers,” like watching my child grow up and become a successful, independent adult or to have a better faith walk. I also did not include bucket-list-type items that I have already achieved prior to turning 40. This focus is on the best second half of my life I can have. I could have filled the whole list with travel wishes, too, but I threw in some other goals and dreams, as well. Ideally, some of the items I will check off within the next year or so. Others, I hope I get to sometime. But it’s good to have dreams and goals, as long as I keep my focus on God first, always.
Today’s Project Make a bucket list, already! Seriously! Write it in your journal or writer’s notebook. Write it on a piece of notebook paper and tuck it into a favorite book so you’ll find it again! Add it to your phone’s memo app. Turn it into a creative craft or art project. Whatever you choose, take some time to think about what you want this list to represent and the items you want to include on it.
Because I like arts and crafts, I decided to turn my list into a picture using watercolor pencils and black ink. I’ve included my process today, which was taken from an idea on Teachers Pay Teachers as a writing project for elementary students. I know I’m not a professional artist, or whatever, but I liked it, so I ran with it. Happy creating!