Bucket List. Kind of depressing when I think about it; a list of things to do before I die. The image I have is one of an older generation rushing around, trying to tick off adventures and experiences before the big dirt nap.
Which lead to me to think about lives and how we live. The key word being LIVE. How would the idea of a bucket list change if it was called a LIFE LIST?
The items on the list would no longer be checked off before one dies, but experienced as one lives. What if, instead of creating a list of things to do, we kept a list of things must do, but do them with a joyful heart? The bucket-list-turned-life-list becomes an exercise in optimism.
I’m anxious to try this because I’m a stay-at-home mom, blessed with four children, and encouraged by a husband who completely supports my desire to home school these little ones. My life is not a movie-worthy adventure. We don’t vacation in exotic places; in fact the farthest we’ve been from home on vacation was a five hour drive away when we camped for a week. However, if I could find the joy in the mundane I would be a better mother, a better wife, and a better friend.
This year I’m changing my bucket list to the Life List, taking the challenges of parenthood, of home schooling, of writing, and flipping the negative thoughts on its head.
Bucket List: Retire as a millionaire.
Life List: Grocery shopping trips will become adventures as I shop for an entire month with four kids in tow and stay under budget – putting the money I save in our retirement account.
Bucket List: Tame a wild animal and perform with it at a Circus.
Life List: Train a toddler to be still during Mass.
Bucket List: Become a Psychologist and create a new treatment for behavior disorders.
Life List: Become a parent and train your children to respect authority.
Bucket List: Skydive.
Life List: Watch your daughter drive away in your car on her sixteenth birthday.
Bucket List: Visit every state capital.
Life List: Visit your city’s Soup Kitchen on Thanksgiving Day (better yet, once a month) and serve a meal.
Bucket List: Have picture taken with (insert favorite celebrity here).
Life List: Become a child’s celebrity by becoming a reliable mentor.
Bucket List: Write a book.
Life List: Write a book.
Hey, whatdoyaknow? Sometimes Bucket Lists and Life Lists line up!
I recently wrote a novel based on this idea of a life list. Here’s the back cover blurb: Jack Elliott has Alzheimer’s. To preserve his mind, he has written his life’s story: his westward journey and discoveries. When Jack’s journals are stolen, his granddaughter, Alison, realizes that nothing will protect her grandfather from the evils of Alzheimer’s. Victims of a hit-and-run, Jack is seriously injured. Desperate to find a piece of his past to bring to him, Alison continues the journey, searching for answers, seeking the people and places her grandfather once knew. As Alison follows the stories she grew up on, she realizes discovers her grandfather’s darkest secret.
Writing and actively seeking publication creates a whole new list of Bucket List adventures. Here’s my list for 2013:
1. I’m going to figure out how to use Twitter to reach readers.
2. I’m working towards completing 3 manuscripts that have been in the works for some time now and really need to be finished.
3. And then the editing, revisions, and submissions of those 3 manuscripts.
4. I’m going to read more books written by Independent authors and write reviews for them.
5. The blogging experiences is coming together for me and I love it. It’s more of a community than I expected. To this, I hope to work at my blog, connecting with other writers and readers to network, compile information about writing, research, publishing, and seeking publication.
6. And somewhere in all this, I hope to keep my house a little cleaner. Well, we all have dreams right? Maybe I can do it all…I am a woman. That’s what we believe :)